Y-12 honored with DOE sustainability awards

  • Posted: Thursday, October 8, 2020, 2:50 pm

Donnelly, team honored for efforts

Oak Ridge, Tenn.—The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded two 2020 Sustainability Awards to Y-12 National Security Complex. Jim Donnelly from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Production Office (NPO) was honored with the Sustainability Lifetime Achievement Award. The second award for an innovative approach to sustainability was given to a team that found a new paving method to increase parking lot space for the Uranium Processing Facility Project workforce while minimizing storm runoff and decreasing the amount of asphalt waste.

Donnelly honored for leadership

Jim Donnelly, National Nuclear Security Administration’s Production Office
Jim Donnelly, National Nuclear Security Administration’s Production Office

Jim Donnelly was recognized for his more than 20 years of leading Y-12 in managing recyclables, wastes, air emissions, and water resources. He was instrumental in Y-12 receiving the Tennessee Pollution Prevention Partnership flag in 2008, making it the 15th organization in the state to receive the recognition from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

“This award recognizes that Jim Donnelly’s efforts and commitment to sustainability are essential to ensuring DOE is a federal leader in sustainability,” said Jan Jackson, Y-12 Sustainability and Stewardship manager.

“During Jim’s tenure, he has assisted Y-12 in receiving more than 148 sustainability awards and promoted sustainable initiatives across the state,” Jackson said. Since his oversight of sustainability programs began in 2000, Y-12 has completed more than 1,700 sustainability initiatives, including ongoing recycling projects. During 2019, for example, Y-12 implemented 97 sustainability-related initiatives and reduced more than 31.13 million kilograms of waste, which resulted in a cost efficiency of more than $19.6 million.

Donnelly also has applied his skills to the Uranium Processing Facility Project, working with the UPF team to incorporate sustainable building concepts.

Paving the way for sustainability

Innovation at UPF also garnered a DOE award for the Y-12 paving team: Chris Pruett, Bill James, Scott Vance, and David West.

The team wanted to find an innovative, flexible, and cost-effective solution to the challenge of providing additional parking for the growing UPF Project workforce. The team needed the pavement to be environmentally friendly and easy to remove following completion of construction and stabilization of the site population as UPF begins transition to operations in 2025.

The team selected the USA-manufactured TrueGrid pervious paving system, made from 100% post-consumer, recycled high-density polyethylene. This product is designed to capture storm water and allow it to seep into the ground, thereby recharging groundwater and reducing storm-water runoff from parking areas.

Using this product, Y-12 and UPF constructed two new parking areas totaling 98,250 square feet last year specifically for UPF Project employees. These parking areas are near an on-site creek, which is protected from surface runoff by the detention of storm water by this product.

“The paving team thought ahead to reduce the current and future environmental impacts of paving,” Jackson said. “Once the parking area is no longer needed, the system can be relocated to another area of the site for continued use, again encouraging reuse and waste elimination.”

TrueGrid pervious paving system


Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC operates the Pantex Plant, located in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, under a single contract for the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration. CNS member companies include Bechtel National, Inc.; Leidos, Inc.; ATK Launch Systems, Inc.; and SOC LLC. Pantex and Y-12 are key facilities in the U.S. Nuclear Security Enterprise, and CNS performs its work with a focus on performance excellence and the imperatives of safety, security, zero defects and delivery as promised.

For more information on each site, visit www.pantex.energy.gov or www.y12.doe.gov. Follow Pantex on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Follow Y-12 on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Kathryn King, APR
Office (865) 315.5996

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