Youth to demonstrate in Oak Ridge, say ‘no’ to ‘bomb plant’

OREPA Spring Demonstration at Y-12

Members of Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance and supporters gather across from the Y-12 National Security Complex to protest the plant’s proposed Uranium Processing Facility in April 2013. (File photo)


Young people from Knoxville and Maryville have planned a peace rally, demonstration, and march in Oak Ridge on Saturday to protest the proposed Uranium Processing Facility, which they call a “bomb plant,” at Y-12 National Security Complex, a press release said.

The peace rally and demonstration is called Action for Peace and Disarmament, and it starts at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2, at Alvin K. Bissell Park with a bring-your-own-picnic lunch, a press release said. It will be followed by a youth led program at 1 p.m. and a march to the Y-12 at 2 p.m.

“While young people will provide the leadership, the event is open to people of all ages,” organizers said in the press release. [Read more…]

DOE offers expanded public bus tours of federal sites in Oak Ridge

DOE Public Bus Tour

Public bus tours of the U.S. Department of Energy’s facilities in Oak Ridge are now offered nine months of the year. (File photo courtesy DOE/Lynn Freeny)


The U.S. Department of Energy’s public bus tour of federal sites in Oak Ridge is now offered to visitors nine months out of the year, versus only summer months as in the past.

This popular tour of the 33,000-acre DOE Oak Ridge Reservation offers visitors a first-hand look at all of the DOE’s Oak Ridge facilities and provides historical commentary on the transformation of the Oak Ridge Reservation during the past 70-plus years.

The reservation-wide tour is a popular attraction for tourists visiting the area.  Since its inception in 1996, the DOE public tour program has attracted approximately 35,000 visitors from all 50 states. The three-hour DOE tour allows visitors to see the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation and learn about its rich history and how Oak Ridge became a secret city of 75,000 people with a mission to end World War II. [Read more…]

Morris named NPO assistant manager for environment, safety, health

Susan Morris

Susan Morris

Susan Morris has been named assistant manager for environment, safety, health, and quality for the National Nuclear Security Administration Production Office. The NPO oversees work at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge and the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas.

Morris is responsible for oversight of contractor programs for health physics and radiological protection, industrial hygiene and occupational medicine, industrial safety, transportation safety, construction safety, chemical safety, fire protection, firearm safety, explosive safety, aviation safety, and quality assurance at the Pantex Plant and Y-12 National Security Complex, a press release said. She has more than 28 years of federal service.

Morris has had a broad range of responsibilities, including serving as the team leader and subject matter expert/program manager for industrial hygiene, occupational medicine, fire protection, and environmental programs, and she served as the Y-12 Site Office NEPA compliance officer, the release said. [Read more…]

Y-12, UT scientists develop patented chemical sensor

Y-12 UT ChIMES Team

ChIMES uses chemical recognition materials called molecular recognition phases to detect chemical and biological warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, waterborne and airborne pollutants, explosives, and illegal drugs, just to list a few. The tiny white cylinders are the MRPs. The magneto elastic wire that runs through the MRPs wirelessly sends data to interpreting software. (Photo by Y-12 National Security Complex)


A three-year collaboration of scientists from Y‑12 National Security Complex and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville resulted in the innovation of a patented chemical sensor that is unique in several aspects: it’s inexpensive, tiny, and portable; it promises virtually limitless applications; and it allows readings through barriers.

The sensor, named ChIMES (Chemical Identification by Magneto-Elastic Sensing), received one patent last fall, and scientists anticipate approval this spring of a second patent for applications outside national security.

ChIMES is based on chemical recognition materials called molecular recognition phases, or MRPs. Using strategically selected MRPs, sensors can be made that detect chemical and biological warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, waterborne and airborne pollutants, explosives, illegal drugs, food pathogens, and exhaled gases that indicate disease or illegal drug use, just to name a few possibilities. In fact, the list of applications for the sensor is virtually unlimited, said Y‑12’s Vincent Lamberti, who managed the project. [Read more…]

20th Anniversary Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit at ETSU May 27-28

Tennessee Valley Corridor Logo


The Tennessee Valley Corridor will hold its 20th Annual TVC National Summit in Johnson City at East Tennessee State University on May 27-28.

The Summit will be hosted by ETSU President Brian Noland, in cooperation with Congressman Phil Roe, with the theme “Education Fuels the TVC Economy.”

“From our region’s community colleges to our outstanding four-year universities, the Corridor has a strong foundation to prepare the next generation of the workforce,” Roe said. “As co-chairman of the Tennessee Valley Corridor Caucus, I look forward to sharing some of the work that is ongoing in Congress. The Summit will look at education from the business and industry perspective and discuss how to ensure the workforce has the skills they need to find quality jobs at home, and how our educational institutions can partner with businesses and organizations for better success, which is critical for us all to learn about.” [Read more…]

CNS donates $25K to Boys, Girls Clubs; others match the gift

CNS Donation to Boys and Girls Club

Boys and Girls Clubs of the Clinch Valley founder and Executive Director Emeritus Lawrence Hahn, center, discusses the history of the organization with CNS President and CEO Jim Haynes, left, and the club’s Chief Volunteer Officer Gerald Boyd. (Photo courtesy CNS)


Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC has donated $25,000 to Boys and Girls Clubs of the Clinch Valley, and that gift has been matched—for a total of $50,000. The money will be used for a new roof at the Oak Ridge facility.

CNS President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Haynes presented a symbolic $25,000 check to the Oak Ridge unit during a ceremony on Thursday. Representatives of some of the 16 organizations that matched the CNS donation were also present.

“On behalf of our 5,000 employees at Y-12, we are extremely pleased to contribute to an Oak Ridge organization that makes such a difference in young peoples’ lives,” Haynes said. “Y-12 employees have a long history of serving this community, and we are honored to continue that tradition. The Oak Ridge Boys and Girls Club has served the community for decades, and we are proud to contribute so that it can continue to serve for decades to come.” [Read more…]

Planning for national park, Park Service tours Jackson Square, K-25, ORNL, Y-12

Vic Knox of National Park Service

Vic Knox (Photo by D. Ray Smith)

Note: This story was last updated at 12:37 p.m.

Planning for the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park has started, and federal officials this week toured Jackson Square, the former K-25 site, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Y-12 National Security Complex.

Stops included the Alexander Inn, Chapel on the Hill, the former K-25 Building site, the Graphite Reactor at ORNL, and two buildings at Y-12: Building 9731, a pilot plant, and Building 9204-3, also known as Beta 3.

“Several of those sites are just amazing,” said Vic Knox, associate director of park planning, facilities, and lands for the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. “They seem like they are just the way they were in 1943. It seems like they take you back in time.”

Oak Ridge was built as part of the Manhattan Project, a top-secret federal program to build the world’s fist atomic weapons during World War II. Besides Oak Ridge, the new national park includes Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hanford, Washington. [Read more…]

Big day: Main Street Oak Ridge, Manhattan Project Park on Thursday’s agenda

Main Street Oak Ridge Presentation

Pictured above during a presentation on Main Street Oak Ridge last week are Crosland Southeast partner James Downs, right; Barry James, Crosland Southeast senior vice president, center; and Houston E. Daugherty, Cannon and Cannon vice president.


A vote that could help Main Street Oak Ridge, the redevelopment of the former Oak Ridge Mall, is on Thursday’s agenda. So is an open house on the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

They are among two of the biggest projects in Oak Ridge in years, and both are considered key parts of an economic renaissance that also includes new business development along Oak Ridge Turnpike and South Illinois Avenue, a new Kroger Marketplace shopping center, the proposed multi-billion-dollar Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex, and the announcement by metal powder manufacturing company CVMR this month that it will move its operations from Toronto to Oak Ridge, investing $313 million and adding 620 jobs.

A rezoning has been requested for Main Street Oak Ridge. It will be considered by the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission during a meeting that starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom. The Planning Commission will also consider a planned unit development, or PUD, master plan for the project. [Read more…]

DOE deputy secretary meets two ‘Calutron Girls’ at Y-12

DOE Deputy Secretary and Calutron Girls

Two of the calutron girls met with DOE Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall during her visit to Oak Ridge. Seated from left to right are Petty Stuart and Ruth Huddleston. Standing left to right are Kathryn Grant, special assistant to the deputy secretary; commander Wayne Smith, senior military assistant; Sherwood-Randall and Timothy McClees, chief of staff. (Photo courtesy CNS)


When Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall was in Oak Ridge last week, she met two “Calutron Girls” at the Y-12 National Security Complex.

Peggy Stuart and Ruth Huddleston both came to Y-12 when they were 18 years old. They both were recruited as seniors in high school when someone from Oak Ridge, a place Peggy did not know existed, came to their schools and invited them to join the war effort.

Peggy said: “My friend had worked there and got lonesome for home in Sneedville, Tennessee. When she decided to go back to Oak Ridge, I came with her. They did not hire her because she did not stay when she was there before, but I got a job.”

Ruth was living in Oliver Springs. When the Manhattan Project began, she knew that something big was happening, so she applied for a job and got it. Peggy and Ruth both married and have spent most of their lives in this area. [Read more…]

Officials celebrate new bridge, road relocation, haul road for UPF at Y-12

Bear Creek Road Extension and Bridge

Pictured above is the new Bear Creek Road extension and bridge on the west side of the Y-12 National Security Complex.


They called it their first major milestone: the completion of site readiness work, delivered on time and under budget. The work included the relocation of Bear Creek Road, a new bridge, and construction of a haul road.

It’s part of the project to build a Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex. UPF could replace World War II-era buildings at Y-12. The project has been capped at $6.5 billion, and it’s expected to be completed by 2025.

Federal officials and contractors celebrated the completion of the site readiness subproject in a Friday morning ceremony at Y-12. [Read more…]

Federal, contractor officials celebrate UPF site readiness work on Friday

Frank Klotz

Frank Klotz

Federal officials and contractors will celebrate the completion of site readiness work for the multi-billion dollar Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex on Friday morning.

The UPF site readiness work includes a Bear Creek Road extension and the creation of a haul road.

“Site readiness is the first major step for UPF, a project essential for supporting our nation’s uranium mission,” a media advisory said. “Completion of this stage of the field work to prepare for building UPF signifies a move forward toward the National Nuclear Security Administration’s commitment to complete UPF and move out of the aging 9212 facility.”

The Friday morning celebration starts at 10 a.m. The media has been invited to attend. [Read more…]

Gov. Haslam, state to make ‘significant’ economic announcement in OR Friday

Bill Haslam during Presidential Visit at Pellissippi State

Governor Bill Haslam is pictured above during a visit by President Barack Obama at Pellissippi State Community College on Friday, January 9. (File photo by Rob Welton)

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and the state will make a significant economic development announcement in Oak Ridge on Friday afternoon, officials said.

The announcement—which will also include other federal, state, and local officials—is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, March 13, at the former Theragenics Building at Horizon Center.

Details of the announcement have not been released. [Read more…]