Y-12 Biology Complex Demolished, Achieving an EM 2021 Priority

Source: EM Update | Vol. 13, Issue 22; Contributor: Susanne Dupes | June 8, 2021

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Crews have completed demolition on the last of 11 structures that comprised the former Biology Complex. Its removal enhances safety at the site and clears land for the National Nuclear Security Administration to reuse for national security missions. With demolition complete, the final step in the project involves removing the building’s slab, which is scheduled to be complete this fall.

EM crews have completed demolition on Building 9207, the largest and final building in the former Biology Complex at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.

The project, which is one of EM’s 2021 priorities, removes significant structural risks and opens land for national security missions.

Removal of the massive six-story, 255,000-square-foot Building 9207 ushers in a new chapter of transformation at Y-12. Earlier this year, workers also completed demolition of the three-story 65,000-square-foot Building 9210 in the Biology Complex.

“This is the most significant skyline change we’ve achieved at Y-12 as we begin our new chapter of cleanup,” Oak Ridge Office of EM Manager Jay Mullis said. “It highlights the transformative nature of our work, and now these experienced teams will move to other projects that address other vacant, deteriorated Manhattan Project and Cold War-era facilities at the site.”

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EM crews began demolishing Building 9207 in March. Standing six stories and spanning 255,000 square feet, it was the largest and final building standing in the former Biology Complex at Oak Ridge.

EM crews have completed demolition on Building 9207, the largest and final building in the former Biology Complex at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.

The project, which is one of EM’s 2021 priorities, removes significant structural risks and opens land for national security missions.

Removal of the massive six-story, 255,000-square-foot Building 9207 ushers in a new chapter of transformation at Y-12. Earlier this year, workers also completed demolition of the three-story 65,000-square-foot Building 9210 in the Biology Complex.

“This is the most significant skyline change we’ve achieved at Y-12 as we begin our new chapter of cleanup,” Oak Ridge Office of EM Manager Jay Mullis said. “It highlights the transformative nature of our work, and now these experienced teams will move to other projects that address other vacant, deteriorated Manhattan Project and Cold War-era facilities at the site.”

The cleared 18-acre footprint where the former Biology Complex once stood is the planned location for the future Lithium Processing Facility.

“Clearing this site and making it available for development is an important step forward in our modernization plans,” National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Production Office Manager Teresa Robbins said. “Being able to relocate our lithium processing to this new site will greatly benefit site operations and reduce risks associated with the aging structure where operations are currently located.”

EM is working to remove the buildings’ foundations, which is slated for completion this fall. That marks the final step before the land is available for reuse by NNSA.

EM and its contractor UCOR have numerous deactivation projects underway, preparing for the next wave of demolitions at Y-12. Crews are performing work at Alpha-2, Beta-1, the Old Steam Plant, and the Old Criticality Experiment Laboratory. Early preparation activities are also underway at Alpha-4.

The Biology Complex, which dates back to the 1940s, was originally comprised of 11 buildings. It was initially constructed for recovering uranium from process streams, but it was later used for research that led to strides in understanding genetics and the effects of radiation. When operational, the facilities once housed more individuals with doctorates than anywhere in the world.