Category Archives: Manhattan Project Park

Atomic basketball (1947)

26307398691_5e515acf6b_kBasketball was big in Oak Ridge during the 1940s. In fact, my mother, who worked for the Parks and Recreation Department during the World War II Manhattan Project, said she first saw my father at a basketball game in Oak Ridge. “He had nice legs,” she said. In this Dec. 28, 1947 photograph, the Oak Ridge Elks Club is playing a team from Maryville. (Department of Energy archives/Ed Westcott photo)

Kerry visits Hiroshima; group urges Obama to follow

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, walks past A-Bomb Dome after visiting the site in Hiroshima, western Japan Monday, April 11, 2016. Kerry visited the revered memorial to Hiroshima's atomic bombing on Monday, delivering a message of peace and hope for a nuclear-free world seven decades after United States used the weapon for the first time in history and killed 140,000 Japanese. (Shingo Nishizume/Kyodo News via AP)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, walks past A-Bomb Dome after visiting the site in Hiroshima, Japan on Monday. Kerry visited the revered memorial to Hiroshima’s atomic bombing on Monday, delivering a message of peace and hope for a nuclear-free world seven decades after United States used the weapon for the first time in history and killed 140,000 Japanese. Peace Action, the largest peace group in the United States, issued a statement praising Kerry and called on President Obama to visit Hiroshima next month during the G7 meeting and expand his commitment to help rid the world of nuclear weapons. (Shingo Nishizume/Kyodo News via AP)

Not what you want to hear about your basement

y12overviewThe Department of Energy, of course, is battling lots of obstacles in trying to clean up what once were the engineering jewels of the Manhattan Project and the Cold War. Not the least of the problems is water pouring through the disabled roofs of old, old buildings. In many cases, DOE is simply trying to stem the tide — so to speak — until the day comes when there’s enough money and manpower to tear down the buildings and clean up the mess.

One of the roofs targeted for repairs is at Alpha-4, a mercury-laden building at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant. Asked how much rainwater had accumulated in the building’s basement, DOE cleanup manager Sue Cange replied:

“The volume of the water fluctuates because of the season and the amount of rainfall.” Continue reading

Signing up for jobs (1944)

24647176570_2458c0133a_kThe current hiring campaign at Y-12 and Pantex has attracted attention, signaling changes in the mission work at the nuclear weapons plants in Tennessee and Texas. But today’s post-Cold War hiring surge pales in comparison to the urgent job hires that took place in Oak Ridge during the World War II Manhattan Project. The above photograph show workers processing the paperwork for a crowd of applicants on June 5, 1944. (Department of Energy archives/Ed Westcott photo)