Experimental Approach

by Craig S. Hunt, Assoc. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, Virginia.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2000, Vol. 70, Issue 2, Pg. 52-55

Document Type: Feature article


One of the best kept secrets during World War II, the K-25 facility in the Cumberland Mountains of East Tennessee prepared uranium for use in nuclear weapons. By 1987, the 13 million sq ft (1.2 million m²) facility closed for good, leaving a dangerous radioactive brownfield. So the Department of Energy teamed with local business interests and companies in a reindustrialization initiative to lease out valuable industrial space—some needing remediation, some not. In exchange for discounted leases and the valuable equipment and materials on the premises, companies are paying for or conducting site cleanups themselves, saving the taxpayers millions of dollars and speeding the remediation process.

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