By U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management
The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Park Service have made considerable progress in their inaugural year managing the national park commemorating the Manhattan Project, according to DOE.
“Everyone involved with the park from DOE, the National Park Service, and our community partners has put a lot of work into the Manhattan Project National Historical Park over the past year and it shows,” DOE Office of Legacy Management Acting Director Thomas Pauling said in a November 30 newsletter called “EM Update.” “The Office of Legacy Management is excited to join the team, and we’re looking forward to contributing to its continuing success.”
Established on November 10, 2015, the park consists of facilities at three sites—Hanford, Washington; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico—that played key roles in the creation of the atomic bomb during World War II as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project. The park tells the story of the people, events, science, and engineering that led to the creation of the atomic bomb, which helped end World War II.
Since the park’s inception, DOE and NPS have installed visitor contact stations in all three communities. Each location is interpreted, broadening the public’s access to the Manhattan Project story. DOE and NPS formed partnerships with organizations supporting the park, and the influx of thousands of park visitors benefits the local economies.
DOE recently made its Office of Legacy Management responsible for park management. In November, DOE named Tracy Atkins its principal representative for the park, and NPS named Kris Kirby as the permanent superintendent.
First-year accomplishments at the park units include:
- Eliminating the age requirement for all park facilities and increasing tour seats by 40 percent to 14,000.
- Working with partners to enable recreational opportunities inside the park for the first time, including a full-scale choral concert and 20-mile bike ride.
- Piloting an agreement with a riverboat cruise company to bring its own buses to B Reactor and hire Hanford trained guides, resulting in more visitors at no government cost.
- Expanding Oak Ridge Reservation facility access for park interpretive events, including the Secrecy, Security, and Spies Education Program at the DOE historical gatehouses; bike tours on DOE greenways and special tours for Girl Scouts and Girls Inc. at the X-10 Graphite Reactor.
- Doubling the days for bus tours to more than 120 days a year.
- Forming an agreement between NPS and the National Nuclear Security Administration for historic preservation work on park and park-eligible buildings.
- Finalizing smartphone apps to support park interpretations at Los Alamos park properties.
- Sampling for industrial hygiene at properties for worker access and historic preservation work in park and park-eligible buildings.
This story originally appeared in the DOE’s “EM Update” electronic newsletter on November 30, 2016.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today.
Copyright 2016 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.