One building of the Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge was evacuated around 10:30 a.m. when alarms sounded after a chemical spill in the nuclear plant’s purification factory, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
Fewer than 10 employees were present when the building was evacuated, National Nuclear Security Administration spokesman Steven Wyatt told the Knoxville News Sentinel.
The chemical, acetonitirile, is a flammable solvent and is toxic when inhaled. However, the building was evacuated shortly after the spill and no employees were injured.
According to a media release from infrastructure manager Andy Huff, the leak was small– less than a gallon–and is used in several thermonuclear processes at Oak Ridge’s facility. Huff did not specify why the chemcial was in use this morning.
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