WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) project celebrates its first major milestone with the completion of site readiness work, delivered on time and under budget.
“UPF is essential to our Nation’s uranium mission,” said John Eschenberg, UPF Federal Project Director. “Site readiness work sets the standard for UPF and opens the door for other site infrastructure projects to begin. We’ve accomplished a lot of work in an area that stretches across approximately a five-mile linear footprint. Most importantly, we have accomplished all of these activities securely, on schedule, under budget and with high quality.”
The site readiness construction subproject, which includes the Bear Creek Road extension and the creation of a haul road, began in late spring 2013. Its completion signifies a significant step forward toward the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) commitment to complete UPF by 2025 and move out of the aging 9212 building facilities it is currently using for a cost not to exceed $6.5 billion. UPF is the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) single largest capital investment in Tennessee since World War II and NNSA’s largest-ever construction project. UPF will replace the hub of the nation’s uranium processing operations.
Work completed includes relocation of Bear Creek Road; a new bridge; relocation of several potable water lines; rerouting of overhead electrical lines; construction of a haul-road that will segregate earthmoving equipment from plant traffic and alleviate traffic congestion while the UPF project is under construction; mitigation for wetlands impacted during road construction; development of the west borrow and wet spoils areas to receive soils for later project phases; demolition of a parking lot, guard tower and other structures; and construction of sediment basins to protect the facilities natural resources from erosion and sedimentation.
“The UPF team has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the fundamental principles of any successful construction project: safety, high quality, cost and schedule,” said Brian Reilly, UPF Project Director. “During the last year, we have really changed the landscape on the west end of the Y-12 complex, and we have done this work safely for more than 600 days without a recordable accident or injury.”
To execute the work, NNSA employed an integrated acquisition and project management strategy to ensure best use of taxpayer dollars. This strategy includes a partnership between DOE, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC.
“Our unique partnerships have served us well by capitalizing on the core competencies of each agency and contractor,” said Lt. Col. John Hudson, commander of the USACE Nashville District. “At the same time, the multiple interfaces require clear and continuous communication, keen attention to detail and active collaboration among all team members. The cooperation between all parties has been exceptional.”
“UPF will be the core of our nation’s nuclear security operations for many decades,” added Eschenberg. “Delivering this facility is crucial for our community and for our country. Site readiness is the first step in completing the project, and we will continue to build on this success for future stages of the project.”
Site readiness work supports the start of site infrastructure and services work, which includes demolition of an existing building, hillside excavation, construction of a sediment basin, installation of a vehicle arresting system gate, construction of a new portal, establishment of a concrete batch plant and building the construction support facility.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.