Environmental control workers recently completed the first dismantling of a nuclear reactor in the central campus area of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Cleanup contractor UCOR has safely demolished the Bulk Shielding Reactor, also known as Building 3010, according to an ORNL news release.
Nathan Felosi, Federal Project Director, ORNL Portfolio, Oak Ridge Environmental Management Authority, said in a release: “The demolition of Building 3010 is a significant achievement for our program as it begins efforts to decommission the aging reactor facility at the heart of ORNL.”
The Bulk Shielding Reactor complex was built in the 1950s for radiation shielding research as part of the Federal Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program. A 27-foot-deep reactor pool filled with water was included to shield the radioactive components contained in the pool. That mission he changed to a general-purpose research reactor in 1963 and closed completely in 1991, the release says.
“This important milestone in UCOR’s decontamination history is a testament to the skill and dedication of our craft workers, and that our craft has the programs, procedures and tools to safely accomplish its mission. It’s made possible thanks to a dedicated support group that guarantees,” said UCOR’s Dan Macias. Site integration and cleanup manager.
At the reactor site, work continues to reduce the size of the decomposed debris and transport the debris to the disposal facility. By the end of November, workers will have packed and disposed of 250 truckloads of waste and debris from the project.
According to the release, one of the most significant activities prior to demolition was the removal and disposal of irradiated components from the reactor pool. After these operations, the worker drained 130,000 gallons of water from the pool and sent it to an on-site treatment facility. The pool area was then decontaminated, filled with a concrete mix and closed.
In addition to stabilizing the reactor pool, workers removed asbestos and other waste from the facility.
The Bulk Shielding Reactor is one of more than a dozen research reactors built over decades at ORNL. Each has contributed to his ORNL reputation as a world leader in cutting-edge nuclear research and development. The facility was one of 16 inactive research reactor and isotope facilities that the Oak Ridge Environmental Management Agency is working on at his ORNL.
Renewal of two reactors
The crew continues preparations for deactivation and demolition at the adjacent Low Intensity Test Reactor and Oak Ridge Research Reactor. Both are slated for demolition in the near future to make room for further transformation of ORNL, reducing risk, and expanding research missions at the site.