History of Oak Ridge and Y-12 (The Secret City)

The Manhattan Project was a research and development project that produced the first https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapon during https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II. It was led by the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States with the support of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_general_(United_States) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Groves of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_Corps_of_En; physicist https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Robert_Oppenheimer was the director of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Alamos_National_Laboratory that designed the actual bombs.

Specifically, Oak Ridge, Tennessee and the Y-12 National Security Complex (Known only then as the Clinton Engineering Works) played a key role in producing Highly Enriched Uranium, which was used to produce the nuclear weapons that ended World War II.
Construction began in February 1943 and the facility continues to operate today as a research and defense facility.

Today, Y-12 is the site charged with protecting the nation's stockpile of HEU (Highly Enriched Uranium) in a secure facility known as the HEUMF (Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility). Y-12 also helps maintains the United States nuclear stockpile and component mechanisms of nuclear weapons.


Oak Ridge and the Y-12 Facility continues to produce groundbreaking technology for defense and peacetime purposes as a pioneer in medical and scientific research.

On November 12, 2015 the Oak Ridge Complex became part of the Manhattan Project National Historic Site: www.nps.gov/mapr/oakridge.htm