Oak Ridge National Laboratory

 

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New vault will protect vital records at ORNL

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June 5, 1995 — The Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will soon be the site of a new state-of-the-art vault to protect its vital records.

A 40-by-46- foot vault that will withstand temperatures as high as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit is being built at ORNL, which is the first DOE facility nationally to construct such a vault.

"All vital records from the Lab will be placed in the vault," said Alston Hodge, ORNL's manager of capital assets planning. "Records to be placed are essential for restart of a business in case of fire or catastrophe."

Hodge said records are presently kept in Building 4500-North at ORNL, but new federal regulations require such records be kept in a fireproof and weatherproof facility with four-hour fire protection from the outside. A smoke detector and sprinkler system will also be installed. The vault, which will be 12 feet high, will be constructed next to Building 4500-North near ORNL's East Portal.

The modular structure will be constructed with highly insulative ceramic core panels. Hodge said temperature and humidity will remain constant.

"The temperature will be 68 degrees Fahrenheit, while humidity will always be 40 percent," Hodge said.

A similar vault was built in Southern California to house Walt Disney's original 1920s drawings of Mickey Mouse. Plans for the Department of Defense's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) system are housed in this type of vault in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Hodge said construction on the vault was started in May. Plans call for construction to be completed by Nov. 1.

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram national research and development facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, which also manages the Oak Ridge K-25 Site and the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant.