Oak Ridge, Tenn. – The Y-12 National Security Complex has an improved fire protection system after workers recently completed an extensive eight-year plant-wide effort to replace more than 9,850 sprinkler heads in six different facilities.
Completion of the $46 million “50-Year Safety Significant Sprinkler Head Replacement Portfolio” means that those facilities can continue to meet fire protection requirements, which reduces the site’s fire protection systems risk from high to low risk while improving Y-12’s long-term operations capability. The facilities with improved fire protection include one legacy facility and five production facilities.
Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, the management and operations contractor at Y-12, coordinated the work that involved 20 individual wet-pipe systems with more than 12 separate departments using integrated project teams to minimize the impact to ongoing facility operations.
The sprinkler heads, which were originally retrofitted to existing nuclear facilities beginning in the late 1960s, were either at, or near, the end of their 50-year life. While testing a sampling of the fire protection systems may have given a 10-year reprieve on replacement, site leadership chose the longer term solution.
“The facilities that these sprinkler systems protect are essential to ensuring our nation’s security,” said Y-12 Site Manager Bill Tindal. “Therefore we must take a long term view. Successful completion also provides a safer environment for our workers and increases confidence in our facilities to operate now and well into the future.” Completion of this portfolio of projects ensures Y-12’s facilities compliance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 25 Standard for safety-significant systems.