Y-12 to revitalize facilities, reduce mercury contamination with new plan

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Department of Energy is releasing new information about their plans to clean up the area around Y-12 by demolishing old, unused buildings that could pose a threat to the environment.

According to the Department of Energy’s website, there are hundreds of dilapidated buildings that could pose risks to the environment as they deteriorate.

The plans include the construction of a mercury treatment facility, followed by large-scale demolition at the Y-12 National Security complex.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Y-12 used more than 20 million pounds of mercury, and over 700,000 pounds were lost into the building and soil on site.

The treatment facility’s purpose is to capture mercury contamination that could escape buildings and soil during the demolition process. It is projected to reduce mercury in the water released by Y-12 by 84%.

The mercury treatment facility is expected to begin operation by 2020, and demolition should begin shortly after.

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