The National Nuclear Security Administration has completed a major capital improvement project that has resulted in critical infrastructure upgrades to two key production buildings at the Y‑12 National Security Complex. The $75.7 million project was completed nearly 11 months ahead of the construction completion schedule and approximately $5.6 million under budget.
The Nuclear Facilities Risk Reduction project included upgrades to mechanical, electrical, ventilation, and heating/cooling systems for enriched uranium operations in Buildings 9212 and 9204‑2E. The project began in 2008, when 10 tasks were identified and undertaken to make those facilities safer for operations. The project was originally scheduled for completion in 2016.
Improvements include major portions of a 40-year-old ventilation system being replaced, and 11 steam stations being consolidated into seven with improved function and maintainability. Several upgrades, replacements and modifications have been made to electrical switchgear and motor control center systems, and a Kathabar system was replaced with a more environmentally friendly brine chiller.
“The NFRR project was a really big step toward upgrading facilities in dire need of investment,” said Steve Erhart, NNSA Production Office Manager. “The infrastructure improvements at the 9212 Building will enable the 70-year facility to continue to safely operate until replaced by the Uranium Processing Facility.”
Y‑12’s Engineering, Production, Construction and Maintenance collaborated closely on the project. Site engineering organizations did all of the design work, and Y‑12 employees did a majority of the field work. All of the work was done inside the site’s high-security area. More than 2,000 hours of work were safely completed with no lost workdays.
This project was delivered in accordance with the Department’s project management policies and regulations with strict focus on cost and schedule performance. During the period of execution, several project peer reviews were conducted to ensure accurate project performance reporting, change control review, appropriate contractor accountability, and increased management attention.
NNSA’s ultimate project management goal is to deliver every project at the original performance baseline — on schedule, within budget, and fully capable of meeting requirements for mission performance, safeguards and security, quality assurance, sustainability, and environmental, safety, and health. Over the past three and a half years, NNSA has delivered its project portfolio 7.5 percent under budget.