Source: CNS Y-12 | Blog | February 17, 2021

The shelter has perimeter benches that provide employees a place to sit. Rubber matting is also on the floor, providing a layer of cushion. 

The shelter has perimeter benches that provide employees a place to sit. Rubber matting is also on the floor, providing a layer of cushion. 

Did you know that some Y‑12 employees work at East Tennessee Technology Park? The Material Acquisition and Control Center, or MAC, is located at the former K‑25 site and provides a state‑of‑the‑art supply chain management option to Y‑12 and Pantex. These buildings, one with 48,000 square feet of storage space and one with 38,000 square feet, are similar to large commercial fulfillment centers.

So when 65 employees were going to work at the MAC, plus the 20+ visitors it has each day taking care of pickups and deliveries, it was necessary to have a storm‑withstanding shelter available.

Jason Smith, MAC facility manager, explained that when Y‑12 managing and operating contractor Consolidated Nuclear Security first moved to the site, the nearest ‘shelter’ was over a mile away. “If there was a severe weather event like a tornado warning, employees had to travel to the shelter in potentially dangerous weather. CNS and Uranium Processing Facility employees working at the K‑1065 MAC Complex needed a closer option,” Smith said.

Now these employees and visitors have access to a 10‑foot‑wide x 40‑foot‑long storm shelter that will hold 50 people.

“We have a shelter rated to withstand an EF5 tornado,” Smith said. “These shelters are prefabricated from quarter‑inch cold rolled steel at a factory in Thomasville, Georgia and shipped to the installation site. A crane set the structure onto a massive steel‑reinforced concrete foundation. The shelter is then welded to steel‑embedded plates in the foundation and bolted to the foundation for added safety.”

The new storm shelter located at the Material Acquisition and Control Center (at East Tennessee Technology Park) is rated to withstand and EF5 tornado.The shelter interior has perimeter benches that provide employees a place to sit. Rubber matting is also on the floor, providing a layer of cushion. The shelter also has power and lighting provided by a self‑contained battery power center, which is kept charged by a solar panel and is always ready in case of a severe weather event.

Gina Fitzmaurice of Safety and Industrial Hygiene said, “There was a concern for the lack of a storm shelter for our employees working at MAC; this issue was identified and tracked for closure by our Labor/Management team. Each month, IGUA and ATLC union safety representatives along with management meet to discuss status of issues and also walk down potential or existing safety hazards. This new storm shelter is a success story of the teams working together.”

This shelter is a success story, but it’s not anything they want to put to use anytime soon. “It’s just good we’re now prepared,” Smith said.