Oak Ridge preservation: what’s worth saving and how?

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The Dept. of Energy is planning a couple of meetings (May 5-6) with “consulting parties” on historic preservation in Oak Ridge.

One of the meetings will be about K-25, apaprently with a focus on how to memorialize the historic uranium-enrichment plant that supplied the fissile material for most of the nation’s Cold War nuclear arsenal. DOE has concluded that the state of deterioration is such that the North Tower of the U-shaped behemoth can’t be physically saved, so the discussions will likely deal with what to do instead and how to proceed.

The other meeting reportedly will review the facilities at Y-12 and ORNL that are scheduled for demolition as part of the Integrated Facilities Disposition Program, which is being accelerated through the use of stimulus funding. DOE’s Site Specific Advisory Board recently emphasized the need to make sure no facilities of historic significance are being demolished without proper forethought.



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