Rocky Flats Plant – Building #776/777

AddressRocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, Hwy. 93, Golden 80402
QuadLouisville, 1965 (1979)
SectionS10 & 11; T2S, R70W
Elevationc. 6000
SourceHistoric Building Inventory Record #5JF1014.55, 1995, Colorado Historical Society.
Initialdate1998-12-28 00:00:00-07
HistoryBuilt by Catalytic Construction Co. of Philadelphia in 1956, this 2 + 2 subfloors, 223,000 sq. ft. building was used for plutonium fabrication and assembly. It is an irregular-shaped structure constructed of reinforced concrete on a reinforced concrete foundation. The roof is flat, the doors are metal, and there are no windows. In 1957, operations began, with the first significant machinings of plutonium beginning in 1958. In 1961, the concrete wall between Buildings #776 and #779 was removed to accommodate new equipment. In 1964, the "Cambell Incident" occurred - an explosion between plutonium and carbon tetrachloride, resulting in the research and development of the interaction of plutonium and a variety of solvents. In 1965, a Glovebox drain line fire due to the spontaneous combustion of plutonium chips resulted in contaminating the building. In 1966, Glovebox 134-24 was modified to increase storage. In 1967, Part V expansion caused equipment to be re-arranged and added in the foundry. In 1968, additional shielding was added to the gloveboxes. On May 11, 1969, there was a major fire and afterwards, sprinklers and firewalls were added. On October 18, 1971, clean up from the fire and contamination was completed. Plutonium fabrication operations were transferred to Building #707. Building #776 was converted to waste storage and size reduction. Operations ceased in 1989.