Y-12 Blog

Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 12:05pm

UPF began placing concrete for the structural foundation of the Main Process Building on Sept. 11.UPF began placing concrete for the structural foundation of the Main Process Building on Sept. 11.

The Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) is placing concrete twice per week for the structural foundation of the Main Process Building (MPB). The placements began on Sept. 11.

“These are not the first concrete placements on project, but they’re the first structural concrete for MPB,” said MPB Area Lead Matt Nuckols. “MPB is the heart of UPF and will provide casting and special oxide production capabilities to support NNSA’s defense and nonproliferation missions.”

The largest of UPF’s three buildings at 252,000 square feet, MPB is also the highest hazard and highest security building being constructed as part of the facility.

The concrete placement on Sept. 11 was the first of 32 similar placements for MPB’s structural foundation that will occur two times per week through March 2019. The full slab will be nine feet deep, which includes a 7-1/2-foot base slab and an 18-inch top slab.

“This is a significant step in concrete placement and a major milestone for the project,” Nuckols said. “It starts the steady drumbeat of concrete placement that will last several months for the foundation and more than a year for the entire building.”

The team incorporated lessons learned from earlier concrete placements on the Mechanical Electrical Building and Personnel Support Building.

“Thorough preparation and incorporating lessons learned from earlier placements is going to help the team complete these placements smoothly and efficiently,” Nuckols said.

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 5:42pm

Mick Wiest points out his father in a 1948 Y-12 Bulletin. With Mick retiring, the combined time of Y-12 having an M. C. Wiest is 74 years.Mick Wiest points out his father in a 1948 Y-12 Bulletin. With Mick retiring, the combined time of Y-12 having an M. C. Wiest is 74 years.

M. C. Wiest has been at the plant almost since its inception. When Mick Wiest retires later this year, it will be the first time the name M. C. Wiest will no longer be in the Y-12 directory.

As those of you doing the math may have surmised, M. C. Wiest isn’t just one longterm employee. The original M. C. Wiest was hired in May 1944 to work at Y-12 by Tennessee Eastman Corp. He had just graduated at the top of his class with a degree in chemical engineering from the University of North Dakota and was considering a job offer at Columbia University, but he was also offered a “war job” in Tennessee that would support the country’s World War II effort.

He and his wife, Marie, left North Dakota and moved sight unseen to the Clinton Engineer Works more than 1,200 miles away.

M. C.’s official name was Merritt, but was known as “Red,” and he ended up spending his entire career at Y-12, mostly with the Product Engineering Department. During part of that time, Red was a key liaison working special projects between Y-12 and the weapon design labs in the western U.S. and the United Kingdom.

Dubbed by a Y-12 plant manager as “the guru of complex devices,” his mechanical skills also helped him with his lifelong hobby of gunsmithing. As people learned of his abilities to fix guns, he opened a gun shop next to his Oak Ridge home in 1947. That business grew into a family operated firearms business and indoor range called Guncraft Sports Inc. that operated until 2005 when the business was sold to Coal Creek Armory.
Red and Marie were blessed with five children, all born in Oak Ridge. The third son was named after their father, and M. C. Wiest Jr. never went by Merritt either. Instead, he was dubbed Mickey at birth.

Mickey, now Mick, Wiest was hired to work in the Y-12 Environmental Compliance Department in March 1988, and, for approximately one year, worked with his father at Y-12. Mick said, “This caused confusion more than once, but the most notable time was when a mix up of our security clearance numbers caused an immediate re-investigation of me, but the problem was eventually worked out.”

On November 1, Mick will retire from the Environmental Compliance Department after 30 years of service, thus ending the “M. C. Wiest era” at Y-12.

“I’m proud of the work my father and thousands of other Y-12ers did in helping to bring WW II to a close, and for their major contribution to winning the Cold War,” said Mick. “I’d also like to point out that the work Y-12 does today is equally important, and I am proud to have been a part of it.”

Mick’s strong interest in history has helped Y-12 work toward compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act, while also performing his primary duties related to the Clean Water Act. But his contributions to local history won’t stop there, despite his retirement.

Mick and his wife Teri, a semi-retired teacher and Mick’s high school sweetheart, will stay in Oak Ridge and remain active in the community. As a founding member of the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association, Mick plans to continue preserving and sharing Oak Ridge history. ORHPA recently opened the Oak Ridge History Museum at their headquarters in the Midtown Community Center on 102 Robertsville Road.

When asked about leaving Y-12 during its 75th anniversary, he said, “These occasions are a good time to reflect on our important role in United States and world history. I hope the interest in our history does not fade because there is still the need to preserve historic buildings, such as Beta 3 and 9731, which will help tell our remarkable history for years to come.” #y12turns75

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 5:34pm

With Y12’s new paper disintegrator, all of the site’s sensitive and nonsensitive paper will be disintegrated onsite.With Y12’s new paper disintegrator, all of the site’s sensitive and nonsensitive paper will be disintegrated onsite.

Y-12 recently completed installation and startup testing of a new dual-stage paper disintegrator to better support site information security and sustainability practices. Now, 100 percent of Y-12’s sensitive and nonsensitive office paper is disintegrated on-site and available for recycling into compressed paper products.

Processing this paper on site reduces potential security risks. “The new disintegrator allows for expanded control of unclassified workrelated paper, ensuring all paper is properly destroyed,” said Marcia Baird, manager of Information Security.

Moreover, the new disintegrator system produces paper briquettes to be used by off-site recycling vendors to make compressed paper products, such as egg cartons. “Our old disintegrator cut paper into such small pieces that the paper fibers weren’t long enough to go through the recycling process,” said Jan Jackson, program manager for Sustainability and Stewardship. “The new dual-stage disintegrator system first shreds, then fine cuts paper, and finally compresses the disintegrated paper into recyclable briquettes.”

Y-12’s new disintegrator replaces equipment that had exceeded its design life and was no longer a reliable, cost-efficient option. The new disintegrator will process more than 300,000 pounds of paper annually, nearly doubling the quantity previously processed on-site.

Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 2:44pm

B61-12 Life extension poster

It’s a go.

Y-12 recently received the Qualification Evaluation Release for the B61-12 Life Extension Program canned subassembly. Receiving this QER was the final step to authorize CNS to begin manufacturing and delivery of the program’s first production unit, scheduled for March 2019.

Y-12 Site Manager Bill Tindal said, “We are delivering a key contribution to global security through this program. I couldn’t be more proud of how all organizations pulled together to accomplish this difficult task.”

Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 4:18pm

Tom Hayden (center) listens to Y-12 interns share results from their projects.Tom Hayden (center) listens to Y-12 interns share results from their projects.

Last month, CNS’s 47 summer interns gave employees an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the valuable work they performed at Pantex and Y‑12 over the past 10 weeks.

Of the interns (11 at Pantex and 36 at Y-12), eight returned to CNS for a second stint. The students represented 24 universities, including the United States Military Academy at West Point, and worked with one of six CNS organizations. More than 20 were part of NNSA’s Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program or other university partnership programs and consortia.

Amanda Muirhead, Talent Management consultant and Y‑12 Summer Intern program manager, said, “This 2018 summer intern class was an extremely bright and engaged group, and they served as a great reminder of the importance of taking initiative in your work and in what you care about. Something unique about this class in particular were the friendships that were made and care they displayed for each other. This class not only demonstrated they are book smart, but that they are overall well‑rounded people who we had the pleasure to get to know.”

Nicole Eminger, acting senior manager of Diversity and Talent Management, said, “Last fall when we began reviewing resumes, I knew that the caliber of students for the 2018 Intern Program was going to raise the bar. This group of interns certainly did not disappoint. As a whole, the intern class inspired me and reminded me that tomorrow’s workforce is innovative, passionate to affect change, willing to learn, and ready to take on any challenge we put in front of them.”

Twenty‑three interns were selected to receive full‑time employment offers to join CNS after graduation with an additional 11 being considered for returning internships.

Evan from @school (right) talks with Morgan Smith (left) and Mike Beck at the Pantex Intern Expo.Evan from @school (right) talks with Morgan Smith (left) and Mike Beck at the Pantex Intern Expo.