OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — After the demolition of the K-25 building, there were over 2,000 truckloads of contaminated soil removed from the East Tennessee Technology Park.
Environmental Management crews were able to remove 2,200 truckloads of contaminated soil from a building that was inside the K-25 U-shaped footprint, but not from the U-shaped footprint itself.
EM has coordinated clean-up efforts after the K-25 building was demolished a few years ago. After removing the slabs from the facilities, there were samples of soil that were contaminated and needed to be replaced.
Employees found that the soil contamination was from the solvent used to clean equipment during the Manhattan Project and Cold War operations.
EM cleanup contractor UCOR is removing the contaminated soil, excavating down as far as 38 feet to ensure appropriate soil removal. The contaminated soil will be disposed of at the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility’s onsite landfill.
“As we methodically excavate and dispose of the contaminated soil, we are sampling to determine the extent to which we will have to continue digging,” UCOR Project Manager Amanda Human said. “We’ve made great progress and are working diligently to deliver an end state free of environmental risks.”
As EM works to complete the cleanup for the site, they’re anticipating the soil remediation projects to be finished by 2024.
Uranium enrichment operations at ETTP, once known as the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, ceased in 1985 and the site closed in 1987. EM has been working to transform the site into a multi-use industrial park, national park and conservation area.
Editor’s Note: The story has been updated from the additional information we received about the process.