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Tipsheet

So, There Was a Fire at a Nuclear Security Facility in Tennessee on Wednesday

The Y-12 National Security Complex outside of Knoxville, Tennessee, had a busy day on Wednesday after a fire broke out in one of its production buildings shortly after 9:00 a.m. local time. 

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Local media reported that the production affected was "Building 9212, a uranium procession facility." That is, the kind of place a fire is not ideal. 

Local reports also noted that the building involved in the incident "was constructed in 1945 and has undergone multiple renovations and repairs over time." 

By early afternoon, Y-12 officials gave the all-clear and reported that normal operations were continuing. 

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So, the good news is no one was injured and no radiation leaks were detected. Still, the cause of the fire remains unknown and Y-12 has undertaken an investigation. 

The complex is "a premier manufacturing facility dedicated to making our nation and the world a safer place and plays a vital role in the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Security Enterprise" while helping "ensure a safe and effective U.S. nuclear weapons deterrent."

To conduct this work, the Y-12 National Security Complex says it also retrieves and stores nuclear materials, fuels the nation’s naval reactors, and performs complementary work for other government and private-sector entities.

After responding, Y-12 officials reported that the fire remained contained and evacuations were ordered. No injuries or contamination was reported during the response. 

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