Y-12 Blog

Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 6:15pm

MyZone proximity detection system (as shown attached to the hard hat) alerts workers on the Uranium Facility Project when they are within 30 feet of heavy equipment. MyZone proximity detection system (as shown attached to the hard hat) alerts workers on the Uranium Facility Project when they are within 30 feet of heavy equipment.

If Brian Garrett or any other worker gets within 30 feet of heavy equipment at the Uranium Processing Facility project, a device in his hard hat vibrates to make sure he’s aware the equipment is in the vicinity.

UPF began using the MyZone proximity detection system as part of a mobile equipment/personal interface strategy to eliminate incidents between people and equipment.

“In addition to robust procedures, we also have this tool to help us achieve our goal of zero accidents,” said Garrett, UPF Environment, Safety and Health lead. “It gives people a personal warning to pay attention.”

The MyZone system consists of transmitters placed in vehicles and receivers the size of a pager that clip on to workers’ hard hats. A low-level radio frequency makes the receivers vibrate when they come within a certain distance of the transmitter.

Excavation began at UPF in September. Within the next few months, crews will remove about 300,000 cubic yards of soil from the future footprint of the facility, averaging about 120 loads per day.

UPF is using MyZone at the excavation site and at two disposal sites, where 15 constantly moving 45-ton articulated trucks load and dump soil.

UPF Project Director Brian Reilly and Construction Manager Matt Putinas have seen the MyZone system used on other projects and were advocates for adopting it at UPF.

“We are committed to minimizing risk to our workers, and the MyZone system adds another layer of protection,” Reilly said.

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Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - 3:34pm

Y‑12 firefighters recently helped with the Sevier County wildfires.Y‑12 firefighters recently helped with the Sevier County wildfires.

The folks at Y-12 know how to help each other succeed at achieving their mission, so when residents of Gatlinburg and the surrounding area were devastated by wildfires, Y-12ers knew just what to do.

Employees donated more than $5,500 to the American Red Cross and Consolidated Nuclear Security added another $5,000.

Collections across the site also resulted in a truckload of goods, such as Gatorade, water, toiletries, and food that was sent to the East Tennessee Red Cross.

Seeing the tremendous outpouring from employees at Y-12, the Bechtel Group Foundation donated $50,000 to American Red Cross. They also are matching any employee’s further contributions to relief efforts until Jan. 15.

The help from Y-12 did not stop there, however. Through a mutual aid agreement, Y-12 dispatched a fire engine, support vehicle, ambulance, and crews to help with efforts where the fire swept through the Gatlinburg area.

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Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - 3:23pm

Continuing Y-12’s longstanding relationship with Junior Achievement of East Tennessee, Cynethia Sims from Finance and Business Operations taught the five-week Our Families program to first graders.Continuing Y-12’s longstanding relationship with Junior Achievement of East Tennessee, Cynethia Sims from Finance and Business Operations taught the five-week Our Families program to first graders.

Two members of Y-12’s Finance and Business Operations recently found out how easy and satisfying being part of the Junior Achievement (JA) program can be to both the students and the instructor.

After attending an informational session about JA, Cynethia Sims was hesitant. Her trepidation soon turned to excitement as she taught the Our Families program to first graders. “I looked forward to being greeted by students eager to learn about how family members’ jobs and businesses contribute to the well being of the family and neighborhood,” Sims said.

JA excels at providing age-appropriate lessons for students, including games and exploratory activities. “The materials that JA provides you are excellent,” said Y-12’s Ashley Walker. “The students loved the lesson and were excited for my return each week.” JA of East Tennessee provides instruction to seven counties with programs for kindergarteners through twelfth graders.

Y-12 has a longstanding relationship with JA and recently revamped its storefront at JA’s Biz Town, a mini-city with a town square and 17 businesses. “JA’s mission to inspire young people to succeed in a global economy perfectly aligns with Consolidated Nuclear Security’s goal to strengthen our community. Our volunteers serve as mentors to guide these children in becoming valuable members of their communities,” said Kristin Waldschlager, Y-12’s community and education outreach coordinator.

If you’d like to know more about Junior Achievement in East Tennessee, check out their website at http://www.jaeasttennessee.org/.

Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - 3:18pm

Thanks to uncompromising safety vigilance, the UPF project recently celebrated five million hours without a lost time injury.Thanks to uncompromising safety vigilance, the UPF project recently celebrated five million hours without a lost time injury.

In November 2016, the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) Project celebrated a significant safety milestone: five million hours without a lost-time injury.

“We attribute this significant achievement to a proactive approach and uncompromising safety vigilance,” said UPF Environmental Safety and Health Manager Gary Hagan. “Safety expectations are baked into our everyday project life.”

UPF’s last lost-time incident was three years ago in January 2014.

Hagan said project leaders that make decisions based on safety and an insistence on an injury-free day for every colleague have resulted in a culture where people care about safety for themselves and their co-workers.

“We don’t just have a few senior safety leaders; we have 1,200 plus safety leaders at all levels of the organization,” said Project Manager Valerie McCain. “As a result, we’ve seen people’s behaviors and actions demonstrate they value safety for themselves and their co-workers.”

UPF is a $6.5 billion, first-of-its kind complex being built for enriched uranium operations in support of Y-12 National Security Complex missions.

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Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 9:26am

Vice President of Mission Engineering Mike Beck (left) and Vice President of Operations Support Darrell Graddy are supporters of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk. Beck was the team management sponsor in 2015 and 2016, Graddy the sponsor in 2014.Vice President of Mission Engineering Mike Beck (left) and Vice President of Operations Support Darrell Graddy are supporters of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk. Beck was the team management sponsor in 2015 and 2016, Graddy the sponsor in 2014.

This year isn’t the first time the Y-12 team representing Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS) at the Light the Night (LTN) Walk in Knoxville surpassed its goal. The team has raised more than $30,000 to date for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), rising above its $22,000 goal.

Pam Summers, team captain, said, “These donations are used for research in finding a cure and in services for those who are dealing with these blood cancers.”

Team management sponsor Mike Beck, vice president of Mission Engineering, said, “I want to express my appreciation for your support of the LLS and the Light the Night Walk. Your personal commitment was incredible and allowed us to exceed our team goal. The total raised by the team will make a significant impact on patients with blood cancers.”

Team fundraising efforts began in April and will continue to the end December through the team’s website. Summers said, “Our grand total for the LTN bake sales and silent auctions was $5,046.75. I want to thank everyone who participated and supported this fundraiser in making it a success.”

Lori Friel, East Tennessee LTN campaign manager, said, “CNS is the number one corporate team and has been for the past 10 years. Since 2007, Y-12 employees have raised more than $197,265 for the LLS.”

The Y-12 team and hundreds of others supporting LLS met Oct. 25 at the University of Tennessee’s Circle Park and walked around campus while members of the Pride of the Southland Band played Rocky Top.

“Whether you provided a monetary donation, silent auction items and baked goods, or joined the team for the walk itself,” Beck said, “your generosity was most helpful in support of this great effort.”

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