By Bill Tindal
What is Y-12? Even to most East Tennesseans, that answer is never quite clear. Long shrouded in secrecy, the Y-12 National Security Complex has received a variety of designations over its history.
Seventy-five years ago, Y-12’s original purpose was to serve as one of several vital components to World War II’s Manhattan Project. The enriched uranium that fueled the world’s first atomic weapon was produced there, next to the “secret city” of Oak Ridge built to house the thousands of scientists, engineers, and workers throughout the Oak Ridge reservation.
Throughout the Cold War, Y-12 supplied materials, machining, and other expertise vital to keeping the peace and avoiding global conflict, while partnering with scientists to pioneer medical isotope production and providing its world-class machining capabilities for national interests.
Today, Y-12 is a key component in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Nuclear Weapons Enterprise. With a focus on more than just nuclear weapons, Y-12 has expanded its missions to include: [Read more…]