‘One of a kind’ training facility coming to Oak Ridge

Gov. Bill Lee is among the many on hand at the Y-12 History Center for a groundbreaking for the new technology & training center.
Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 7:51 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 2, 2021 at 8:57 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - On Thursday, a groundbreaking ceremony took place to celebrate the Oak Ridge Enhanced Technology and Training Center (ORETTC).

The new center will draw skilled personnel and visitors from around the world, making East Tennessee a training destination for people and organizations interested in security testing, emergency response and nuclear nonproliferation.

Michelle Reichert, the president and CEO of Consolidated Nuclear Security, said the center will be the first of its’ kind.

“It’s very much the first of its’ kind. It has evolved from small classroom training to large-scale hands-on, but nobody else offers what we do. It’s such a unique partnership between the state, the city, and the federal government working together. That might be the first of its’ kind as well,” shared Reichert.

Governor Bill Lee sat among the many on hand at the Y-12 History Center to celebrate the ORETTC.

“I think the new facility is part of the overall community of Oak Ridge that has been in the business of securing the nation and this world for generations. I’m proud of what’s happening here because it continues that legacy of protecting America, protecting the world against the ill effects that may occur because of misuse of nuclear energy,” said Gov. Lee.

Reichert said the center is planned to be completed this time next year.

“We’ll have all of the emergency response equipment, we’ll have virtual reality training. We can set up scenarios that they might see in their local community. So if they’re concerned about a hospital, we’ll set up a hospital setting. If they’re concerned about a local airport or a port etc., we can set up the scenarios for them that they can’t afford to do themselves,” shared Reichert.

Officials with the project said the $35.1 million facility is fully funded through a federal-state partnership, with Congress appropriating $20 million, and the state of Tennessee contributing $18 million.

The training facility is estimated to bring in $40 million annually.

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