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Kaiser-Hill Announces Physical Completion of Rocky Flats Cleanup

Kaiser-Hill Announces Physical Completion of Rocky Flats Cleanup

DENVER,13 October, 2005 — Kaiser-Hill has successfully completed the physical work to clean up and close Rocky Flats, per the terms of its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The Rocky Flats Site near Denver, Colorado, produced plutonium and enriched uranium "triggers" for nuclear weapons from 1952 until 1989. Every nuclear weapon in the current U.S. arsenal contains triggers produced at Rocky Flats. Kaiser-Hill's cleanup effort began in 1995.

Today's announcement represents the culmination of a ten-year effort to complete the largest, most complex environmental cleanup project in United States history and converts an environmental liability into a community asset. Rocky Flats is also the first large nuclear weapons facility to be decommissioned and closed anywhere in the world. The site will become a national wildlife refuge.

Kaiser-Hill President and CEO Nancy Tuor emphasized her appreciation for DOE's leadership and management of the innovative contract. The contract arrangement motivated industry-leading safety performance and technical innovation that helped shave more than 60 years and $30 billion off initial estimates of the cleanup.

"The safe accelerated closure of Rocky Flats is a tribute to the tireless efforts of our dedicated and immensely talented workforce," said Tuor. "This is the same workforce that helped win the Cold War and then demonstrated great flexibility and skill by transitioning to a world-class nuclear decommissioning workforce. These workers, in partnership with community leaders, elected officials, regulators, and many other committed individuals have delivered this historic accomplishment for the people of Colorado and the U.S. Government."

The Rocky Flats Closure Project was an enormous undertaking. To complete its mission, Kaiser-Hill:

  • Removed more than 21 tons of weapons-useable nuclear materials
  • Decontaminated and demolished 800 structures, comprising more than 3 million square feet
  • Drained 30,000 liters of plutonium solutions
  • Size reduced and removed more than 1,450 contaminated production glove boxes and 700 tanks
  • Stabilized and packaged 100 tons of high-content plutonium residue
  • Performed environmental cleanup actions at 130 sites
  • Dispositioned millions of classified items and excess property
  • Safely shipped more than 600,000 cubic meters of radioactive waste, enough to fill a string of railcars 90 miles long

The Department of Energy will now review Kaiser-Hill's declaration of physical completion. This process, required by the closure contract, will proceed over the next several weeks. Final acceptance of the work is the next step in the transition of the site to the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

About Rocky Flats
Rocky Flats is a Department of Energy-owned cleanup and closure site operated by Kaiser-Hill Company under an accelerated closure contract. The Rocky Flats mission included special nuclear material management and shipment, nuclear deactivation and decommissioning, waste management and shipment, environmental cleanup and site closure. When cleanup is complete, the site will be transitioned to a National Wildlife Refuge managed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

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