Oak Ridge (USA)

Map of Oak Ridge

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Eastern Tennessee, is the oldest nuclear research center in USA;

Graphite Reactor closed in 1963 ( opened in 1943 to produce plutonium for the atomic bomb program)

Oak Ridge began as a huge government complex that included the Graphite Reactor and the uranium enrichment sites known as K-25 and Y-12. Today, K-25 is shuttered and Y-12 makes parts for nuclear weapons.

The Oak Ridge lab complex, with 3,800 scientists investigating everything from new materials to the genetic code, is experiencing a rebirth. An array of labs and offices are under construction and the $1.4 billion Spallation Neutron Source, the country's biggest nonmilitary science project, is set for completion in 2006.

Facilities in Oak Ridge

plantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down
Oak RidgeResearch Center1940
2003-02-07

60 th Anniversary.:

1943, when the reactor ``went critical,'' becoming the world's first continuously operated nuclear reactor.
Two months later the reactor produced plutonium, in a design that would be replicated many times over at a facility in Hanford, Wash., to fuel the atomic bomb dropped over Nagasaki, Japan.

The reactor produced the first electricity from nuclear energy. It was the first to create the element promethium, used in nuclear-powered batteries in guided missiles. And until it closed in 1963, the reactor was one of the world's foremost sources of radioisotopes for medical, agricultural and industrial uses.

Built in the hills of eastern Tennessee, Oak Ridge began as a huge government complex that included the Graphite Reactor and the uranium enrichment sites known as K-25 and Y-12. Today, K-25 is shuttered and Y-12 makes parts for nuclear weapons.

The Oak Ridge lab complex, with 3,800 scientists investigating everything from new materials to the genetic code, is experiencing a rebirth. An array of labs and offices are under construction and the $1.4 billion Spallation Neutron Source, the country's biggest nonmilitary science project, is set for completion in 2006.