Associated Press, October 10, 2006
OAK RIDGE (AP) — A small fire occurred late last month when workers inspected highly enriched uranium stored in a huge aging warehouse at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge.
Officials said no one was injured and there was no release of radiation in the fire.
The Washington-based watchdog group Project On Government Oversight disclosed the fire Tuesday.
The Y-12 plant makes parts for every warhead in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. It also is the nation’s primary storehouse for bomb-grade uranium.
Spokesmen for the contractor at the plant said a plastic bag and masking tape in which the uranium was packed ignited, apparently when the material was exposed to air. The fire was quickly extinguished with powdered graphite.
An internal review is under way.
The building is one of five uranium warehouses within the Y-12 complex.