474526 Invited Presentation By 2016 Management Award Recipient--Enriching the Future of East Tennessee through Environmental Clean up and Stewardship

Wednesday, November 16, 2016: 8:30 AM
Union Square 19 & 20 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Kenneth Rueter, URS/CH2M Oak Ridge, LLC, Oak Ridge, TN

 As the recipient of the 2016 AIChE Management Division Award, Ken Rueter is living testimony to the fact that chemical engineering can be a rewarding career that offers cutting edge opportunities in innovation and problem solving. His experience underscores the value of the chemical engineering profession in addressing unprecedented national technical challenges.
 As President and Project Manager of URS|CH2m Oak Ridge LLC (UCOR), Rueter has led his company’s success in providing positive solutions for large-scale nuclear environmental cleanup, restoring once contaminated land for future economic development purposes.
 While most engineers win acclaim for the enduring projects they design and build, Ken Rueter’s most recent noteworthy achievements stem from what he and his company are demolishing and cleaning up. Today, across the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) complex, millions of gallons of liquid radioactive waste are being processed. Thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel and special nuclear material are being disposed. Huge quantities of contaminated soil and water are being remediated. And thousands of excess facilities are being deactivated and demolished.
 This massive environmental cleanup – involving some of the most dangerous materials known to humankind – results from over five decades of nuclear weapons development and production and Government-sponsored nuclear energy research. In Oak Ridge, this work addresses the legacy of the super-secret World War II Manhattan Project where uranium was enriched for use in the atomic weapons that ended the war and, later, for fuel in commercial nuclear power plants.
 In 2016, UCOR completed demolition and cleanup of the gaseous diffusion facilities at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This was a historic moment for a community that carved its place in history during World War II and the Cold War. It marked the first time in the world that all of a site’s uranium enrichment process buildings were removed anywhere, eliminating environmental hazards and paving the way for future economic development. In Oak Ridge, that task included
deactivating and dismantling 4.5 million square feet of radiological and chemically
contaminated facilities and shipping more than 46,000 truckloads of debris.
 These facilities include the massive and historic government uranium enrichment
facilities from the Manhattan Project and the Cold War eras which played a key role in
ending World War II and keeping the nation safe and energy-sufficient for decades
afterwards. One of those facilities – the once super-secret K-25 gaseous diffusion plant –
consisted of over two million square feet and in its time was the largest building under
one roof in the world.
 UCOR is working closely with its multiple partners in government, labor and the private
sector to accomplish this massive environmental clean up and remediation project.
UCOR’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and its labor force, including
union crafts, is unprecedented in the nuclear industry. With its collective technical
competency, UCOR has accomplished a cleanup task that others will never have the
opportunity to address.
 This achievement brings the Department of Energy closer to its ultimate vision for the
site, now known as the East Tennessee Technology Park, as a privately owned and
operated industrial park and home to new job-producing industries.
 UCOR has completed these first-of-a-kind demolition tasks involving some of the most
hazardous materials known to man with an unprecedented safety record – amassing
more than 7 ½ million hours with a Lost Day Away accident and being recognized by
DOE with Voluntary Protection Program Star status, recognizing the safest worksites in
the nation.
 UCOR, like one of its parent companies AECOM, is built to deliver a better world. UCOR
takes its inspiration from AECOM’s transformative work in designing, building, financing
and operating infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations in
more than 150 countries. As a fully integrated firm, AECOM connects knowledge and
experience across its global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex
challenges – from building high-performance buildings and infrastructure to creating
resilient communities and environments, like the revitalized East Tennessee Technology
Park in Oak Ridge.

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