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New uranium facility in Oak Ridge offers contract work for Campbell Countians

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By Dwane Wilder

OAK RIDGE—Campbell County Mayor William Baird said on Monday that $2.4 billion in local contracts are up for grabs in the construction of a new uranium processing facility at Oak Ridge.

The uranium processor will be built on the Y-12 site using scavenged parts from that plant, which is being demolished to make room for the new facility.

Fuel generated by the uranium processor will be used to power Navy submarines.

The facility is also expected to play an integral role in processing nuclear material from dismantled weapons for use in commercial power reactors and medical isotope production in research reactors.

“There are 600 engineers on that job right now,” said Baird. “There will be all kinds of construction opportunities. There’s a need for contractors to do welding and fabricate 300 different types of skids, which are 5 feet to 30 feet long.”

According to Baird, local contracts will account for more than a third of the total project cost of $6.4 billion.

“This is a 15-year project, and they’re already three or four years into it,” said Baird. “The new facility will have a smaller footprint and be much more efficient.”

Anyone in Campbell, Anderson or surrounding counties interested in contract work on the project is encouraged to attend the Advanced Business Decision Seminar on Jan. 16 from 9 a.m. until noon at the New Hope Center in Oak Ridge. The fee is $35.

The seminar is a prerequisite for the Nuclear Industry Supplier Development Course Series scheduled for Feb. 25-28 at the same location. Fees for classes in the series range from $35 to $300.

According to an official University of Tennessee press release, the Nuclear Industry Supplier Development Program was created to help companies evaluate potential business opportunities in the nuclear field, understand the impact of incorporating nuclear compliant operations and provide training designed to prepare companies to be successful nuclear industry supply chain partners.

For more information or to register, call 615-253-6371. Registration can also be completed online at www.cis.tennessee.edu.