Another fire at a factory broke out last week, this time at a uranium compound plant near Knoxville, TN.
Fire at Uranium Processing Facility
A fire broke out last Wednesday, Feb 22, at the Y-12 National Security Complex uranium processing facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
All 200 employees were immediately evacuated from the site.
The fire at the Y-12 complex started in a uranium processing area in building 9212 on Wednesday at 9:14 a.m., Y-12 communications manager Taz Painter said in an email to Knox News.
Wednesday’s fire involved a metal compound of uranium, but within a few hours, the evacuation of the site ended and business had returned to normal throughout the remainder of the complex.
Uranium Processing Buildings
The building where the fire began is listed on the Department of Energy website as a uranium processing building, constructed in 1945. It serves as one of the primary chemical processing and enriched uranium production facilities at Y-12.
The security complex has been in Oak Ridge, known as the “Secret City” for not being on any maps, was built as part of the then-secret “Manhattan Project,” which was a research and development undertaking during World War II. The site was instrumental in the U.S. victory over Nazi Germany during the war because of the development of the atomic bomb.
Officials Say Everything is OK
“There are no reports of injury or contamination,” NNSA officials added, explaining that air monitors did not go off, which means there was no release of radioactive material. Operations returned to normal at 1:00 p.m., but officials said they are still trying to determine how the fire started and would assess employees, if needed, following the incident.
Despite authorities assuring that they found no contamination in the Oak Ridge uranium processing facility, the recent incident sparked worries among residents in the neighboring areas, noting that it was the atomic bomb birth site.
According to experts, approximately two million people in the nearby area during the accident were exposed to small amounts of radiation, which they deemed to have “no detectable health effects on the plant workers or the surrounding public.”
Visit Radiation.news to learn more about “incidents” that could cause radiation emissions.
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