The Tennessee General Assembly has approved legislation that would establish the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee, or CROET, as the manager of the 1,300-acre East Tennessee Technology Park in west Oak Ridge, a press release said.
The legislation was sponsored by Tennessee Senator Ken Yager and Representative Kent Calfee, both Kingston Republicans. It has been sent to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam for his signature.
East Tennessee Technology Park, or ETTP, is also known as Heritage Center and the former K-25 site. It once housed the K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which was built during World War II as part of the Manhattan Project. That was a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic weapons, before Germany could.
The ETTP site, once used to enrich uranium, is slowly being cleaned up. K-25 operations ended in 1985, and the site was permanently shut down in 1987. Now, it is being slowly converted into a large industrial park. Proponents hope it will become one of East Tennessee’s prime locations for new industry, the press release said.
CROET President Lawrence Young said the state legislation “is the latest step in efforts by the Department of Energy and CROET to reindustrialize the former K-25 site and help diversify the region’s economy.” [Read more…]