K-25 Updates: Spring 2011

K-25 Updates: Spring 2011

The sign outside the historic K-25 Plant in Oak Ridge

The Atomic Heritage Foundation has joined local, State and national organizations in fighting for the preservation of a portion of the K-25 plant in Oak Ridge, TN. Degenkolb Engineers reported to Oak Ridge officials that a portion of the North Tower could be preserved (K-303-10).

The Degenkolb study's first option proposes preserving one of the original 54 buildings (K-303-10) that made up the mile-long plant, at a cost lower than what would be required for demolition. The second option proposes to preserve less than 1/4 of that building. The third and fourth options propose razing the entire K-25 plant and creating an open air shed for visitors.

The first option as critical to representing the mammoth K-25 plant, once an icon of Manhattan Project. The second option would not convey a sense of the grand scale of K-25 and would limit visitors to 15 at a time on the operating floor. Tearing down this historic site on the eve of the creation of a Manhattan Project Historical National Park would be a tremendous and unacceptable loss for the American public and future generations.

In 2001, the Department of Energy recognized the K-25 plant as a Signature Facility of the Manhattan Project along with the X-10 Graphite Reactor and Y-12 Beta-3 Calutrons at Oak Ridge. Saving a representative portion of the K-25 plant is essential to tell the full story of the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge. It will be the "jewel in the crown" of a new Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

Bill Wilcox wrote an informative piece in the Oak Ridger detailing the importance of preserving K-25. To access the article, click here.