Final Demolition of the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant (K-25 Plant)

A high-reach machine is used to start demolishing the four-story, 10-acre K-27 Building on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. K-27 is the last of the big five uranium-enriching buildings at the former K-25 site, now known as East Tennessee Technology Park or Heritage Center. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

Demolition started Monday on K-27, the last of the big five uranium-enriching buildings at the former K-25 site, and officials expect the work to be complete by the end of the year. Completion of the K-27 demolition work by the end of the year is part of DOEs Vision 2016, which calls for the removal of all gaseous diffusion buildings from the site by the end of the year. Rueter said the demolition work will probably proceed at the same pace as it did toward the end of the K-25 Building demolition: about one unit per month. Teardown of the K-27 Building follows the successful demolition of four other uranium enrichment process buildings, including K-29, K-33, K-31, and the mile-long, U-shaped K-25 building. All of those facilities once produced highly enriched uranium for national defense and commercial energy production. The K-27 Building is different than K-31, the last building that was demolished, because of its brick wraparound exterior. Read entire article:

About the K-25 Plant
The K-25 plant, located on the southwestern end of the Oak Ridge reservation, used the gaseous diffusion method to separate uranium-235 from uranium-238. Gaseous diffusion was one of three isotope separation processes that provided uranium-235 for the Hiroshima weapon – the other two being electromagnetic separation and liquid thermal diffusion. The S-50 liquid thermal diffusion plant, using convection to separate the isotopes in thousands of tall columns, was built next to the K-25 power plant, which provided the necessary steam.