Source: EM Update | Vol. 12, Issue 2; Contributor: Wayne McKinney | January 14, 2020

The skyline at Oak Ridge’s East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) continually changes as EM completes demolitions.
But when buildings come down, the work is not quite finished: concrete slabs remain. Slab removal is not typically part of the building demolition project, and it is handled as a remedial action to ensure no slab or soil contamination is left behind. Slabs are assessed and sampled prior to removal. Employees also sample the underlying soil to determine if any actions are needed, such as excavation and backfilling.
Watch a video about slab removal work at Oak Ridge here.
EM and cleanup contractor UCOR are in the final stages of major cleanup at ETTP. That work is scheduled for completion this year.
Because EM is converting the site into a multi-use industrial park, it is essential for the land to be usable for future development, conservation, and historic preservation efforts.

Before and after: Demolition of the 380,000-square-foot K-1037 Building left behind a massive slab, at top, which workers have since removed, above.


UCOR workers use heavy equipment to break up and remove the slabs — clearing the landscape and opening space for the site’s next chapter. The land is often seeded to become a grassy field. Next, regulators confirm the land is safe before it is transferred from government ownership and made available for industrial use.

Recent demolition projects, such as the 380,000-square-foot K-1037 Building, have left behind significant acreage for future use. The slab for the K-1037 Building was recently removed and workers are currently clearing remaining slabs and underground structures in the Poplar Creek area.

Some of the largest projects involved ETTP’s former gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment buildings, which had a massive combined footprint spanning a 4.4 million square feet. All of their slabs have been removed except for Building K-25’s, which is being used for historic preservation activities as part of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

With those removals complete, hundreds of acres can benefit the community. The former K-31 area is already being leased, and the K-33 area has been transferred to attract large industry to ETTP. The Building K-27 and K-29 areas will be available for economic development in the future.

In the months ahead, crews will continue to remove numerous slabs from sites where other facilities have been demolished. This work helps usher in EM’s ultimate vision for the site, which can be found here.