Reuse of Cleanup Equipment in Oak Ridge Saves Millions

Source: EM Update | Vol. 12, Issue 36; Contributor: Susanne Dupes | November 24, 2020

A view of one of the transport platforms installed outside the six-story Building 9207 at the Y-12 National Security Complex’s Biology Complex. These platforms allowed crews to move abatement equipment and remove packaged asbestos and hazardous waste from the building’s higher floors and roof.

Reuse of transport platforms — large elevator-like devices installed outside facilities that allow workers to access multiple floors — among EM cleanup projects in Oak Ridge will save nearly $3.5 million.

“Our cleanup program is focused on completing projects successfully while also being extremely mindful of any efficiencies we can achieve to be responsible stewards of tax dollars,” Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) Manager Jay Mullis said. “We recently completed core cleanup at the East Tennessee Technology Park $80 million under budget, and that is a trend we look to continue as we move forward with cleanup at the Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).”

OREM and cleanup contractor UCOR had the platforms installed at Y-12’s Biology Complex to support deactivation activities to prepare remaining structures in the complex for demolition. The platforms allowed crews to accelerate that work and paved the way for a teardown that began last week.

With the transport platforms, crews were able to more easily move asbestos abatement equipment and restock supplies inside the Biology Complex’s three-story- and six-story-tall buildings. Workers also used the platforms to remove packaged asbestos and hazardous waste from higher floors and the roof.

As the start of demolition on the Biology Complex approached, OREM and UCOR worked collaboratively to identify additional uses for the equipment.

Only a few miles away, at ORNL, OREM and UCOR were starting to plan for another major deactivation project at the Experimental Gas-Cooled Rector. Standing eight stories tall, it presented a perfect opportunity to reuse the platforms.

Due to the size of the reactor, crews will again need additional capacity to reach the upper levels to support deactivation activities.

“Transferring the transport platforms from a cleanup project at Y-12 to one at ORNL became an obvious ‘win-win,’ eliminating the need to buy more costly equipment,” said Dan Macias, Oak Ridge Reservation environmental cleanup program manager for UCOR.