The first of the three Community School evening seminars focusing on management of legacy wastes from Oak Ridge will feature local historian D. Ray Smith. The seminar will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 15, at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church at 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike.
In his presentation, “Stories from the Secret City,” Smith will give an overview of early Oak Ridge history including how the East Tennessee location was selected and the predictions the “Prophet of Oak Ridge.” In material provided about the presentation, Smith said that many Ed Westcott historical images will form the backdrop for the stories of the history of Oak Ridge during the Manhattan Project. A primary focus will be the Y-12 National Security Complex, which produced the uranium for the first atomic bomb, with some Oak Ridge National Laboratory history included as well.
He said he will touch on the Cold War Era and today’s Oak Ridge missions, and time permitting, give an update on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. A concluding activity of the first seminar will be an Oak Ridge mapping exercise, led by Community School staff.
Smith, the official Y-12 historian, has over 44 years of experience at the Y12 National Security Complex and knows the history of the facility in depth. He co-produced the award-winning and highly acclaimed “Secret City” DVD set that has become the definitive history of Oak Ridge.
He has given presentations on Oak Ridge history at Vanderbilt University, the University of Tennessee, and numerous other colleges, schools, clubs, and organizations. He was a featured speaker in the National Archives at Atlanta’s “Secret City in the East Tennessee Hills: From Dogpatch to Nuclear Power” in September 2012. Among many other venues, he gave presentations at the American Nuclear Society in 2013 and 2014 and continues his busy speaking schedule.
The second seminar, to be held on September 22, will feature presentations by Susan Cange, manager of the U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management; Ellen Smith, environmental scientist and Oak Ridge City Council member; and Chris Thompson, deputy director of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
The third of the evening seminars, scheduled for September 29, will feature David Adler, program manager of DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management, and a panel of members from the Oak Ridge Environmental Quality Advisory Board and the DOE Site Specific Advisory Board.
The Community School is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge and Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning. It is made possible by a $20,000 Community Involvement Fund grant, awarded to the local league by the New Mexico Community Foundation and funded by the Department of Energy. A portion of the grant helped to fund an environmental education program for children at ORUUC’s Rainbow Camp in June.
All Community School seminars are free and free child care will be provided, but advance registration is requested. To register online, go to www.lwvoakridge.org or facebook.com/ORREEI. You may also register at http://goo.gl/forms/qaUSlKuP7g or by calling (603) 498-9307.
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