KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a contract to purify uranium away from Y-12 National Security Complex, a move opposed by city leaders in Oak Ridge.
That contract was given to Nuclear Fuel Services in Erwin, Tennessee. The National Nuclear Security Administration said the move is a part of a strategy to allow for efficiency and safety upgrades for the processes at Y-12 while continuing to meet the needs of the Department of Defense and the nation.
Some facilities, equipment and processes used at Y-12 are more than 70 years old, according to NNSA. The administration insists there will be no jobs lost at Y-12.
“NNSA remains fully committed to Y-12 as the Nation’s Uranium Center of Excellence, as evidenced by continued increasing investments including this year’s funding of over $2 billion for national security programs on the campus.”National Nuclear Security Administration press release
Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch called the move unsettling, as it is happening while there is no new secretary of energy confirmed and while a new Y-12 contractor is being selected.