Y-12 Blog

Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 4:34pm

Communications staff members with the flag and certificate from the 39th Commuications Squadron in Turkey. Communications staff members with the flag and certificate from the 39th Commuications Squadron in Turkey.

For almost two years, the Communications group at Y‑12 has sent care packages to coworker Lisa Harris’ son, who serves with the U.S. Air Force. The packages started as a way to make her son and his squadron’s deployment in Turkey more comfortable.

Harris said, “We’ve supported them as often as we can with small items they can carry with them — gum, granola, peanuts, cookies. We sent them things to help take their focus off being away from their families and friends for long periods of time.”

To show their appreciation for the gesture, the squadron sent a flag that was flown in the cockpit of an A‑10 Warthog during a mission. Harris said, “We never expected anything in return. To us, it was the least we could do.” The group plans to continue sending care packages to the 51 members of the Air Force stationed there.

The certificate, photograph and flag are displayed in the group’s area in Jack Case Center. The certificate, photograph and flag are displayed in the group’s area in Jack Case Center.
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 4:31pm

Dale Christenson (left) receives the Federal Project Director of the year award from Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes.Dale Christenson (left) receives the Federal Project Director of the year award from Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes.

Dale Christenson, project director of the Uranium Processing Facility, was presented the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Project Director of the Year Award on March 14. Christenson leads the NNSA’s $6.5 billion UPF project underway at Y-12. See the NNSA blog entry for more information.

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Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 4:29pm

Photo courtesy of NASA. Photo courtesy of NASA.

Last month was important for the Y-12 KRUSTY team. The team who has been working with NASA on the Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology, or KRUSTY, system, saw NASA complete a full-power, full-temperature run, marking the first nuclear reactor test for NASA in decades. The system was fueled with highly enriched uranium alloy components fabricated at Y-12.

“Y-12 and other NNSA sites are on the front edges of the advanced reactor effort for boutique reactors for NASA and other possible users such as the Department of Defense,” Senior Technical Consultant for Program Development Chris Robinson said. “The final test lasted 28 hours and is a significant milestone for the NASA’s fission surface power program.

“Support for NASA continues to progress the technology for future testing and need for reliable fission-based power systems. In addition, our accomplishments gave the U.S. Army the confidence to initiate a multi-year project to upgrade the fuel for the White Sands Missile Range Fast Burst Reactor,” Robinson said.

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Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 4:21pm

Construction is underway on the Mechanical Electrical Building at the Uranium Processing Facility site.Construction is underway on the Mechanical Electrical Building at the Uranium Processing Facility site.

Last month, the UPF project received authorization from DOE/NNSA leadership to start construction on the Main Process Building and Salvage & Accountability Building subprojects. UPF will replace World-War-II-era facilities with a modern, more efficient, and safer facility for conducting highly enriched uranium operations at Y-12.

“This milestone is another important step toward delivering UPF and strengthening our nation’s nuclear security,” said Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator. “I’m proud of the UPF team for keeping an acquisition project of this size and scope on budget and on schedule.”

See the complete NNSA press release for more information.

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Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 5:49pm

In less than five years, the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) Project has recycled or reused nearly 194 million pounds of materials and diverted more than 97 percent of the project’s total waste from landfills.

“Our recycling and reuse effort is the result of careful planning prior to the beginning of construction,” said UPF Project Director John Howanitz.

In the early stages of planning, UPF’s Construction and Environment, Safety & Health (ES&H) personnel teamed up to determine what types of waste would be generated during site preparation and how it could be converted to beneficial use.

Asphalt removed from parking lots and other areas of Y-12 was recycled and used onsite, and vegetation debris from clearing land became a barrier to prevent silt from entering streams and waterways.

From May 2013 through December 2017, UPF recycled or reused 64 million pounds of asphalt, 1.2 million pounds of mixed scrap metal, and more than 13 million pounds of wood.

UPF’s efforts resulted in an Environment and Energy Award from the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry and an Environmental Stewardship Award from the National Nuclear Security Administration.

“The UPF team is committed to environmental sustainability, and we will continue to identify opportunities to recycle or reuse materials and divert material from landfills as construction progresses,” Howanitz said.

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