Oak Ridge was the home of the uranium enrichment plants K and Ythe liquid thermal diffusion plant Sand the pilot plutonium production reactor X Graphite Reactor. InGeneral Leslie Groves approved Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as the site for the pilot plutonium plant and the uranium enrichment plant. Manhattan Project engineers had to quickly build a town to accommodate 30, workers--as well as build the enormously complex plants.

By the time President Roosevelt authorized the Manhattan Project on December 28,work on the east Tennessee site where the first production facilities were to be built was already underway. On Saturday, September 19, Groves had approved the acquisition of 59, acres of land along the Clinch River, 20 miles west of Knoxville, Tennessee. Also approved was the removal of the relatively few families on the marginal farmland and extensive site preparation to provide the transportation, communications, and utility needs of the town and production plants that would occupy the previously undeveloped area.

Oak Ridge, TN

At first, this location was known as "Site X" and later changed to the Clinton Engineer Works, named after the nearest town.

After the war, the name was again changed officially to Oak Ridge. Original plans called for the military reservation to house approximately 13, people in prefabricated housing, trailers, and wood dormitories. Kenneth D.

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Nichols in command at Tennesseeestimates for the town of Oak Ridge had been revised upward to 45, people. By the end of the war, Oak Ridge was the fifth largest city in Tennessee. While the Army and its contractors tried desperately to keep up with the rapid influx of workers and their families, services always lagged behind demand. The town site was in the northeast corner of the reservation, a strip less than one mile wide and six miles long with hilly terrain descending from the Black Oak Ridge in the north.

Town planners were originally to provide housing for an estimated 30, people, but bythe population had reached 75, However, wartime constraints limited the availability of labor and materials. Rather than performing time-consuming grading, houses were adjusted to fit the contours of the land. Materials were in short supply, so the first houses were built of prefabricated panels of cement and asbestos or cemesto board. Later, thousands of prefabricated houses were sent to Oak Ridge in sections complete with walls, floors, room partitions, plumbing and wiring.

Workers turned over 30 or 40 houses to occupants each day. The Roane-Anderson Company administered all housing facilities. However, the top-secret project was not warmly welcomed in Knoxville, arousing both suspicion and resentment. In a time of austerity and rationing, others resented Oak Ridge residents arriving with unlimited ration stamps and fistfuls of cash. Oak Ridgers who ventured into Knoxville were easy to spot. The quickly constructed secret city was blanketed in a thick layer of mud.

The four production facility sites were located in valleys away from the town. This provided security and containment in case of accidental explosions. The Y area, home of the electromagnetic plant, was closest to Oak Ridge, being one ridge away to the south. Farther to the south and west lay both the X area, which contained the experimental plutonium pile and separation facilities, and K, site of the gaseous diffusion plant and later the S thermal diffusion plant.

On December 2,using a lattice of graphite blocks and uranium rods, Enrico Fermi proved that a nuclear chain reaction could be controlled.

oak ridge, tn

Scientists knew that it would only be a matter of time before the energy of the atom could be harnessed for a bomb. The X Graphite Reactor was a semi-works pilot plant facility based on design and engineering information developed at the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago. Based on Fermi's pile CP-1the X Reactor and associated chemical extraction facility, produced the world's first plutonium outside the laboratory.

The site would include an air-cooled experimental pile reactor, a pilot chemical separation plant, and various support facilities.

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Cooper produced blueprints for the chemical separation plants in time for construction to begin in March. A series of huge underground concrete cells, the first of which sat under the pile, extended to one story above ground.Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

oak ridge, tn

Unemployment Rate. Median Income. Median Home Price. Median Age. Comfort Index Climate. Knoxville, the largest city in eastern Tennessee and home to the University of Tennessee, serves as a gateway to the tourist and recreation destinations of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to the southeast.

The acre university campus with its 26, students is located along the waterfront just to the southwest of downtown, and adds a notable college-town element, particularly during football season. Read More about Oak Ridge.

The economic base is a mix of the active university and Tennessee Valley Authority, which has its headquarters in Oak Ridge about 20 miles northwest. The manufacturing base has declined but the university and related health care facilities and the TVA and a few large corporate employers like Alcoa and Kimberly Clark have brought economic stability to the area.

There are nice older neighborhoods across the river from downtown to the south, and good suburbs mainly west along Fort Loudoun Lake. These suburbs, Farragut being one, offer a good family lifestyle and convenience both to Knoxville itself and to the energy research labs of the TVA.

Costs of living and housing are an attraction, and housing values are good. Crime, once a negative, has improved. For a city its size, Knoxville has a number of quality museums, excellent mountain and water recreation, and the area is known for its golf courses. Knoxville is located in a broad valley between the Cumberland Mountains northwest and the Great Smoky Mountains to the southeast.

Oak Ridge "The Secret City"

The two mountain ranges exercise a marked influence upon the climate. In winter, the Cumberland Mountains slow the flow of cold air from the northwest. In summer, moist, warm air from the south and west prevails. Mountain air keeps summer nights comfortable.

Most precipitation occurs in the winter with another peak period in the late spring and summer; frequent afternoon thunderstorms are common in summer. Snow does occur but seldom remains for more than a week. Fall is the driest period.Very few of the employees, most of whom were women, knew what was being built at the time, or exactly what they were getting into.

Delightful Oak Ridge was, in a lot of ways, just like any quaint southern city—there was an abundance of leisure activities like swimming, a library, 13 grocery stores, an orchestra, and swing dancing. Two years after WWII ended, the city was relinquished to civilians.

For a special treat, stop in the museum afterwards to see the brilliant photos of Ed Westcott, the official photographer during wartime. On behalf of our small editorial team, it would mean the world to us. Follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic.

Please click below to consent to the use of this technology while browsing our site. To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our cookie policy. Top Places in Tennessee. Synchronized Fireflies of the Great Smoky Mountains. Titanic Museum Attraction.

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B-1 Flat Top in Oak Ridge. The Prophet of Oak Ridge's Grave. Near This Place. Oak Ridge, Tennessee. One of the Cemestos prefab homes built to secretly house thousands of Manhattan Project workers. Clinton, Tennessee. A bronze sculpture honors the 12 black students who attended the first integrated public high school in the segregated South. Petros, Tennessee. This former maximum-security prison is creepy, sobering, and supposedly haunted. Related Places. Washington, D. Was there a small "backpack nuke" hidden in the attic?Explore Oak Ridge.

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Vacation Packages. United States. Tennessee TN. Oak Ridge Oak Ridge. Oak Ridge Pet Friendly Motels. Hotels near Pellissippi State Community College. Start planning for Oak Ridge. Create a Trip to save and organize all of your travel ideas, and see them on a map. Create a Trip. Essential Oak Ridge. Go Play. Places to see, ways to wander, and signature experiences.

See all. Children's Museum of Oak Ridge. Haw Ridge Park. Manhattan Project National Historical Park.Jump to a detailed profile, search site with google or try advanced search.

Current weather forecast for Oak Ridge, TN. Oak Ridge, TN residents, houses, and apartments details. Detailed information about poverty and poor residents in Oak Ridge, TN. Races in Oak Ridge detailed stats: ancestries, foreign born residents, place of birth.

According to our research of Tennessee and other state lists, there were 41 registered sex offenders living in Oak Ridge, Tennessee as of July 18, The ratio of all residents to sex offenders in Oak Ridge is to 1. The ratio of registered sex offenders to all residents in this city is lower than the state average. The City-Data. It adjusts for the number of visitors and daily workers commuting into cities.

Latest news from Oak Ridge, TN collected exclusively by city-data. Ancestries: American Nearest city with pop. Nearest cities: Oliver Springs, TN 2. Nitrogen Dioxide NO 2 [ppb] level in was 9. This is significantly worse than average. Closest monitor was 8. Sulfur Dioxide SO 2 [ppb] level in was 0. This is significantly better than average. Closest monitor was 3. Ozone [ppb] level in was This is better than average. Closest monitor was 1. This is about average.

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Station Offline. Send Report. See more Reset Map. Current Station. Personal Weather Station. Key Springs Rd. Nearby Weather Stations. Radar Satellite. WunderMap Nexrad. Low 74F. Winds light and variable. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High around 95F.

Low 73F. Top Video Stories. See more Top Video Stories. Partly Cloudy. Actual Time. Civil Twilight. Nautical Twilight. Astronomical Twilight. Length of Visible Light. Length of Day. Tomorrow will be 1 minutes 19 seconds shorter. Jul Oak Ridge is home to four outstanding museums, sure to delight both children and adults.

Watch this video, and make your plans to spend a couple of days exploring the museums of the Secret City. Brad Spears is the President of RSI Services, LLC, an accomplished environmental firm specializing in sustainable restoration, development, and long-term stewardship of the land.

Department of Energy and [ Rueter has been cycling for a quarter of a century and follows many of the latest trends in the cycling community. Ray enjoys the outdoors by hiking and taking photographs.

Living in Oak Ridge, TN

An Article by Roadtrippers. I sit by myself, feeling like a spy from a John [ Hidden in plain sight. Some are right next to the road and some require a little hiking… My friend, Steve Oliphant, is a great hiker and also an excellent historian. I asked him to list the top 10 Secrets of Oak Ridge knowing he would focus on those of interest to him and many [ There may be an issue with the Instagram access token that you are using.

Your server might also be unable to connect to Instagram at this time. Due to the recent concerns over the Covid Virus, the following tourist attractions are closed or have different hours until further notice:. We will fill your glass growler or plastic bottle ie; milk jug, soda bottle, juice bottle. Please note that your bottle needs a cap and please bring your container clean and ready to be filled. They will fill 32oz up to 1 gallon oz and do take cash and credit cards. All city playgrounds and public restrooms are closed at this time, but greenways and walking trails are open for your enjoyment, and please practice social distancing at all times.

From the peaceful waterfront to the innovative achievements, there is always more to explore in Oak Ridge. Getting Here. Trip Ideas. More to Explore in the Museums Oak Ridge is home to four outstanding museums, sure to delight both children and adults.

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