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DOE: Y-12 building 'worst of the worst' of high-risk list | News

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DOE: Y-12 building 'worst of the worst' of high-risk list

A building in Y-12 Security Complex was named the "worst of the worst" in a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) report detailing its high-risk facilities.

The department named the Alpha-5 building at Y-12 the "worst of the worst" of more than 200 facilities in an audit released Wednesday.

Alpha-5 was built in 1944 as part of the Manhattan Project in World War II. Through the years, the DOE used this building in a number of missions that used materials like uranium, mercury and beryllium. The facility still houses utilities that serve production facilities at Y-12, but it hasn't been operational since 2005.

ID=22532205A 2014 assessment of the building revealed that the building's roof was leaking, spreading hazardous and radioactive materials inside Alpha-5. Officials also noted in the audit that there's a risk of explosion.

"Overall, the assessment concluded that this facility presents a high risk to the workers and environment and should not be accepted," according to the report.

Corroded pipes and deteriorating roof panels also caused substantial flooding in 2008.

The DOE spent more than $24 million in operating and maintenance costs since the 2008 evaluation of Alpha-5.

The government said the only safe option is to tear down the large building.


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