Y-12 - The Calutron Plant

Y-12 - The Calutron Plant (HM24FJ)

Location: Oak Ridge, TN 37830 Anderson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 0.82', W 84° 15.475'

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Inscription
The top priority of the secret wartime Oak Ridge project was the Y-12 plant. That was the code name given to the process considered the best bet for separating weapon-grade uranium-235 (U-235) from U-238. This isotope separation process was the brainchild of Ernest O. Lawrence and his team at the University of California. The complex machines used at Y-12 were called "calutrons", for California University cyclotrons. The architect-engineer for this first-of-its-kind plant was Stone & Webster Engineering of Boston. The plant's wartime cost was $478 million. Construction of Y-12, which began in February 1943, required more than 10,000 construction workers and 14,700 tons of silver, valued at $300 million. Silver ingots were borrowed from U.S. Treasury vaults to make thousands of calutron electromagnets because normally used copper was urgently needed for other war uses. The plant operator was Tennessee Eastman Corp. of Kingsport. Frederick Conklin was plant manager. Ph. D. physicists were at first thought necessary to run the complex calutrons, but Eastman found that local women could be trained to outperform the scientists. The chemical recovery of the calutron project required tremendous effort. In May 1945 Y-12 had 22,400 employees. Despite the formidable technical problems of this brand new process, Y-12 succeeded in its



wartime mission of producing the vital U-235 needed, enabling Los Alamos to build the first atomic bomb that helped bring World War II to an end. By the close of 1946, K-25 had taken over the U-235 production task, and about 20,000 Y-12 employees had left. In 1947 a new and equally vital nuclear defense mission was undertaken and has been successfully managed by Y-12 for the past half century.

Erected in Honor of the Scientists, Engineers, Managers, and Support Staffs Who Designed, Constructed, and Operated this Vital Facility of the Manhattan Project.
Details
HM NumberHM24FJ
Tags
Year Placed2005
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, January 8th, 2018 at 7:01am PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 747124 N 3988942
Decimal Degrees36.01366667, -84.25791667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 0.82', W 84° 15.475'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 0' 49.2" N, 84° 15' 28.5" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)615, 865
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100-144 S Tulane Ave, Oak Ridge TN 37830, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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