Uranium fire at Tennessee nuclear complex contained, did not release radioactivity
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — A fire at one of the nation’s enriched uranium processing facilities on Wednesday did not result in the release of radioactivity, according to officials at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Officials at Y-12 notified city officials, legislators and media that emergency response teams were handling an “incident” at a building on the western side of the Y-12 complex.
The fire at the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility led to the evacuation of “a couple hundred employees,” a spokesman said and involved uranium in a metal-type form in a hood at Building 9212 — an original 1945-era building that is scheduled to be replaced in the coming years.
At a press conference, a Y-12 spokesman said internal monitors did not alarm — meaning no contamination was detected within the facility. No offsite impact has been detected and no injuries were reported.
Y-12 returned to normal operations just before 1 p.m., when officials said in a press conference that the situation was “stable.”
A hotline has been established by Y-12 to address public concerns. An investigation is ongoing to determine the cause.
The National Nuclear Security Administration oversees operations at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.
Y-12 supports the U.S. nuclear security enterprise through uranium storage, processing and manufacturing operations and is operated by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC for NNSA.