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IBEW Members Help Modernize History Making Nuclear Site

Growing ranks of electrical workers represented by Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Local 270 are working alongside other building trades members to install electrical equipment as well as millions of feet of wires and cables at the new Uranium Processing Facility, which is about to become an official IBEW Code of Excellence jobsite.

IBEW members are helping to makeover the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge Tennessee. The compound, which is sister facility to its more widely known neighbor, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and is regarded as the birthplace of the atom bomb, is getting a much needed upgrade. IBEW members are being increasingly called upon to ensure that the work happens safely and professionally.

In 2018, The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration broke ground on a replacement for the 80 year old Y-12 compound. The new facility is a multibillion-dollar, state-of-the-art Uranium Processing Facility, or UPF. It is expected that by the end of 2021, more than 800 journeyman wiremen and apprentices, employed by contractor, Consolidated Nuclear Security, will be in place and will install over 600 miles of wire and cabling throughout the buildings that comprise the new complex.

80 years ago, Y-12 was where researchers on the Manhattan Project enriched the uranium used in the atomic bombs deployed over Japan, effectually bringing an end to World War II.

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