East Tennessee Technology Park | Wikipedia audio article
K-25, was the codename given, by the Manhattan, Project to the program, to produce enriched, uranium, for atomic bombs using, the gaseous diffusion method. Originally. The codename for the product, over time it came to refer to the project, the production, facility, located, at the clinton engineer works in Oak Ridge Tennessee the, main gaseous, diffusion building. And ultimately, the site when. It was built in 1944. The four-story, k-25. Gaseous, diffusion plant. Was the world's largest building. Comprising, over 1 million six hundred and forty thousand, square feet. 152, thousand, square meters, of floor space in, a volume of 97. Million five hundred thousand. Cubic feet two million seven hundred and sixty, thousand, cubic meters. Gaseous. Diffusion is, based on Graham's law which states that the rate of effusion of a gas is inversely proportional to, the square root of its molecular mass, the. Highly corrosive uranium. Hexafluoride, uf6. Was the only known compound, of uranium, sufficiently, volatile, to be used in this process, before. This could be done the special alloyed, materials. Sam laboratories. At Columbia, University. And the kelex Corporation, had to overcome formidable. Difficulties, to develop a suitable barrier. Construction. Of the K 25, facility, was undertaken, by J a Jones, construction. At. The height of construction, over 25,000. Workers were employed on the site. Gaseous. Diffusion was, but one of three enrichment, technologies, used by the Manhattan Project. Slightly. Enriched product, from the s50 thermal diffusion plant was fed into the K 25, gaseous, diffusion plant. Its. Product, in turn was fed into the y-12, electromagnetic. Plant the. Enriched uranium was, used in the little boy atomic, bomb used in the atomic, bombing of Hiroshima in. 1946. The K 25, gaseous, diffusion plant. Became capable of producing highly, enriched product. After. The war for more gaseous, diffusion plants.
Named K 27. K 29, K 31, and K 33, were added to the site the. K 25, site was renamed the Oak Ridge, CSD fusion plant in 1955. Production. Of enriched uranium ended. In 1964. And gaseous, diffusion finally. Ceased on the site on the 27th. Of August 1985. The. Oakridge, gaseous, diffusion plant. Was renamed the Oakridge k25, site in 1989. And the East Tennessee Technology. Park in 1996. Demolition. Of all five gaseous, diffusion plants. Was completed, in February, 2017. You. Topic. Background. The, discovery, of the neutron by, James Chadwick, in 1932. Followed, by that of nuclear fission in uranium by, the German, chemists, Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, in, 1938. And it's theoretical, explanation. And naming, by Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch soon after opened, up the possibility, of a controlled, nuclear chain, reaction, with uranium, at. The poopin laboratories, at Columbia, University. Enrico, Fermi, in Leo Szilard, began exploring, how this might be achieved fears. That a German atomic bomb project would, develop atomic weapons first especially among scientists, who were refugees from, Nazi Germany, and other fascist countries, were expressed, in the Einstein, silard letter to the President of the United States Franklin. D Roosevelt, this. Prompted, Roosevelt, to initiate, preliminary, research in late 1939. Niels, Bohr and John Archibald wheeler applied, the liquid drop model of the atomic, nucleus to explain the mechanism, of nuclear, fission as the. Experimental. Physicist studied fission, they uncovered, puzzling, results, Georg, Platt Czech asked Bohr why uranium, seemed to fishin with both fast and slow neutrons. Walking. To a meeting, with Wheeler Bohr had an insight that the fishing at low energies, was due to the uranium. 235. Isotope, while at high energies, it was mainly due to the far more abundant, uranium. 238. Isotope. The. Former makes up just, 0.714. Percent, of the uranium atoms in natural uranium about, one in every 140. Natural, uranium is, 99 point two eight percent, uranium. 238. There. Is also a tiny amount of uranium. 234. Which accounts, for just, 0.06. Percent at Columbia John R Dunning believed that this was the case but Fermi was not so sure the. Only way to settle this was to obtain a sample of uranium 235. And test, it he. Got Alfred O senior, from the University. Of Minnesota, to prepare samples of uranium, enriched in uranium. 234. 235. And 238. Using, a mass spectrometer. These. Were ready in February, 1940. And Dunning Eugene, T booth and Aristide von gross then carried out a series of experiments. They, demonstrated. That. Uranium-235. Was, indeed primarily, responsible for, fission with slow neutrons but, were unable to determine precise, neutron, capture cross-sections. Because the samples, were not sufficiently, enriched at the University, of Birmingham in Britain the Australian, physicist, Marc Oliphant assigned to refugee, physicists, otto, frisch, and rudolf peels the. Task of investigating the, feasibility of, an atomic bomb ironically, because the status's, enemy aliens precluded, they're working, on secret, projects, like radar, their. March 1940. Frisch peels memorandum. Indicated, that the critical mass of uranium. 235. Was within an order of magnitude of 10 kilograms, 22. Pounds, which was small enough to be carried by a bomber of the day. Topic. Gaseous. Diffusion. In, April, 1940. Jesse beams Ross gun Fermi, Mia motive, and Harold Urey had a meeting at the American Physical, Society in, Washington, DC at. The time the prospect, of building an atomic bomb seemed dim and even, creating, a chain reaction would, likely require enriched, uranium, they. Therefore recommended, that research be conducted, with the aim of developing the, means to separate kilogram, amounts of uranium, 235. At. A lunch on the 21st, of May 1940. George, B Castilla Kowski, suggested, the possibility of using gaseous diffusion gaseous. Diffusion is, based on Graham's law which states that the rate of effusion of a gas through a porous barrier is inversely proportional to, the square root of the gases molecular, mass in, a, container, with a porous, barrier containing. A mixture of two gases, the lighter molecules will, pass out of the container more rapidly than the heavier molecules, the. Gas leaving the container, is slightly enriched, in the lighter molecules while, the residual, gas is slightly depleted. A container. Wherein the enrichment process takes, place through, gaseous, diffusion is, called a diffuser, gaseous, diffusion had, been used to separate, isotopes, before.
Francis. William Aston had used it to partially, separate isotopes, of neon in 1931. And Gustaf ludwig hertz had improved on the method to almost completely, separate, neon by running it through a series of stages in the. United, States William, D Harkins had used it to separate, chlorine. Castilla. Kowski, was familiar with the work of Charles G Mayer at the Bureau of Mines who had also used the process to separate, gases, uranium. Hexafluoride, uf6. Was the only known compound, of uranium, sufficiently, volatile, to be used in the gaseous diffusion process. Fortunately. Fluorine, consists, of only a single isotope. 19, F so that the 1% difference, in molecular weights between 235. Uf6, and 2 3 8 uf6, is due solely to the difference in weights of the uranium isotopes. For. These reasons, uf6. Was the only choice as a feedstock for the gaseous diffusion process. Uranium. Hexafluoride a, solid, at room temperature, sublimes. At 56, point, five degrees Celsius. 133. Point seven degrees Fahrenheit. At one standard, atmosphere 100. KiloPascals. Applying. Graham's law to uranium, hexafluoride. Rate. One. Rate. Two. Equals. M2. M1. Equals. 352. 349. Approximately. Equals. One. Point zero four, three, display. Style mbox, rate underscore. One over, m box rate underscore. Two equals, s QR t m underscore, 2 over m underscore, 1 equals, s QR, t. 352. Over, 349. Approximately. One point zero four, three, wear. Rate. One is the rate of a fusion of two three five uf6. Rate. Two is the rate of a fusion of two three eight uf6. M1 is the molar mass of 235u. F6, approximately. Equals. 235. Plus 6 times 19, equals, 349. Graham's, mole minus 1. M2. Is the molar mass of 2 3 8 uf6, approximately. Equals. 238. Plus 6 times 19, equals. 352. Graham's mole minus 1 uranium, hexafluoride is. A highly, corrosive substance. It. Is an oxidant, in the Lewis acid which is able to bind to fluoride, it. Reacts, with water to form a solid compound and is very difficult to handle on an industrial scale. Equals. Topic. Organization. Equals. Booth. Dunning, and von grosse investigated. The gaseous diffusion process. In. 1941. They were joined by Francis. G slack from Vanderbilt, University, in Willard, F Libby from the University, of California in. July. 1941. An office of scientific research and development, OSRD. Contract, was awarded to Columbia, University, to study gaseous, diffusion, with. The help of the mathematician. Carl P Cohen they built a 12 stage pilot, gaseous diffusion plant. At the poopin laboratories. Initial. Tests showed that the stages were not as efficient, as the theory would suggest and, that they would need about. 4600. Stages, to enrich to 90%. Uranium. 235. A. Secret. Contract, was awarded to M W Kellogg for engineering, studies in July 1941. This. Included, the design and construction of a 10 stage pilot, gaseous, diffusion plant. On the. 14th, of December 1942. The Manhattan, district, the US Army component, of the Manhattan, Project as, the effort to develop an atomic bomb became, known contracted. Kellogg to design build, and operate a full-scale, production plant. Unusually. The contract, did not require, any guarantees, from Kellogg that it could actually accomplish, this task, because. The scope of the project was not well-defined, Kellogg, in the Manhattan district, agreed to defer any financial, details, to a later cost plus contract, which was executed, in April 1944. Kellogg. Was then paid 2.5 million dollars, for security, reasons, the army had Kellogg established a wholly owned subsidiary, the, kelex corporation, so that the gaseous diffusion project. Could be kept separate, from other company, work Cal stood. For Kellogg. And X. For. Secret, kelex, operated, as a self-contained an, autonomous, entity, Percival. C Keith Kellogg's, vice president, of engineering was, placed in charge of, kelex, he. Drew extensively, on Kellogg, to staff the new company, but also had to recruit staff from outside as well. Eventually. Kelex, would have over. 3,700. Employees.
Dunning, Maned in charge at Columbia until the 1st of May 1943. When, the Manhattan, district took over the contract from OS Rd by. This time, slacks group had nearly 50 members his. Was the largest group and it was working on the most challenging problem. The design of a suitable barrier, through which the gas could diffuse, another. 30 scientists. And technicians were working, in five other groups, Henry. A Bors was responsible, for the pumps booth for the Cascade test units. Libby. Handled, chemistry, near analytical. Work and Hugh C Paxton, engineering, support, the. Army reorganized, the research effort at Columbia, which became the special alloyed, materials, Sam laboratories. URI. Was put in charge dunning becoming, head of one of its divisions, it. Would remain this way until the 1st of March 1945. When, the Sam laboratories, were taken over by Union, Carbide the expansion, of the Sam laboratories. Led to a search for more space, the. Nash garage, building, at. 3280. Broadway was purchased, by Columbia, University. Originally. An automobile, dealership, it was just a few blocks from the campus, major. Benjamin K, Huff jr., was the Manhattan district's. Columbia, area engineer, and he moved his offices, here to, kelex. Was in the Woolworth Building at, 233. Broadway. In lower Manhattan, in, January. 1943. Leftenant Colonel, James C Stowers was appointed, New York area engineer, with responsibility. For the entire K 25 project, his. Small staff initially, of 20 military, and civilian, personnel but which gradually grew to over 70. Was co-located. In the Woolworth Building the. Manhattan, district, had its offices nearby at 270. Broadway, until it moved to Oak Ridge Tennessee in August, 1943. You. Topic. Code, name. The, codename. K-25. Was. A combination, of the K, from. Calyx and. 25a. World, War 2 era code, designation for, uranium. 235. Derived, from element, 92 atomic. Mass. 235. The. Term was first used, in calyx internal, reports, for the end product enriched, uranium, in march 1943. By. April 1943. The term K, 25. Plant, was. Being used for the plant that created, it that month, the term K, 25. Project, was. Applied to the entire project, to develop uranium. Enrichment using. The gaseous diffusion process. When. Other K, buildings. Were added after the war, k-25. Became. The name of the original larger. Complex. Topic. Research. And development. You. Topic. Diffusers. The, highly corrosive nature of uranium, hexafluoride threw. Up several technological. Challenges. Pipes. And fittings that it came into contact with had to be made of or clad with nickel this. Was fine for small objects, but impractical for the large diffusers, the tank like containers, that had to hold the gas under pressure, nickel. Was a vital war materiel, and although the Manhattan Project could, use its overriding, priority to, acquire it making the diffuses, out of solid nickel would deplete the National supply the. Director, of the Manhattan Project Brigadier. General Leslie, R groves jr., gave the contract to build the diffuses, to Chrysler in. Turn, its president, Katie Keller, assigned, Carl hoster an expert, in electroplating. The task of developing a process, for electroplating. Such a large object. Senior. Chrysler, executives, called, this project. X100. Electroplating. Used one thousandth, of the nickel of a solid nickel diffuser, the. Sam laboratories, had already attempted, this and failed poisoner. Experimented. With a prototype, in a building built within a building and found that it could be done so long as the series of pickling and scaling, steps required, were done without anything, coming in contact with oxygen. Chrysler's. Entire Factory, at Lynch Road in Detroit was turned over to the manufacturer, of diffusers. The. Electroplating, process required. Over 50,000. Square feet. 4,600. Square meters, of floor space several. Thousand, workers in a complicated, air, filtration system. To ensure that the nickel was not contaminated. By. The war's end Chrysler, had built and shipped over. 3500. Diffusers. You. Topic pumps. The, gaseous diffusion process. Required, suitable, pumps that had to meet stringent requirements. Like. The diffusers, they had to resist corrosion from, the uranium, hexafluoride feed.
Corrosion. Would not only damage the pumps, but would contaminate, the feed they. Could not afford any leakage, of uranium, hexafluoride, especially. If it was already enriched, or of oil which would react with the uranium hexafluoride. They. Had to pump at high rates and handle, a gas 12 times as dense as air to. Meet these requirements the, Sam Laboratories, chose to use centrifugal, pumps, they. Were aware, that the desired compression, ratio of two point three one to three point two one was unusually, high for this type of pump, for. Some purposes, a reciprocating. Pump would suffice and these were designed by Henry a Bors at the Sam laboratories. While Ingersoll, Rand tackled, the centrifugal, pumps, in early 1943. Ingersoll. Rand pulled, out, Keith. Approached, the Clark compressor, company, in Worthington pump, and machinery but they turned it down saying, that it could not be done sir, Keith and groves saw executives. At allis-chalmers, who, agreed to build a new factory to produce the pumps even, though the pump design was still uncertain, the. Sam laboratories, came up with a design and westinghouse, built some prototypes, that were successfully. Tested, then. Judson, Swearingen, at the elliot company, came up with a revolutionary and, promising, design that was mechanically, stable, with seals that would contain the gas this. Design was manufactured. By allis-chalmers. You. Topic. Barriers. Difficulties. With the diffuses, and pumps paled into insignificance besides. Those with the porous barrier to. Work the gaseous diffusion process. Required, a barrier with microscopic, holes but not subject, to plugging, it. Had to be extremely, porous but strong enough to handle the high pressures, and like. Everything, else it had to resist corrosion from, uranium hexafluoride. The. Latter criterion. Suggested, a nickel barrier foster. Scenic's, at the Bell Telephone laboratories.
Experimented. With nickel, powder while Edward o Norris at the CE o j-- elif manufacturing. Corporation and, Edward Adler at the City College of New York worked, on a design with electroplated. Metallic, nickel, Norris. Was an English interior, decorator, who had developed a very fine metal mesh for use with a spray gun their. Design appeared too brittle and fragile for, the proposed use particularly, on the highest stages of enrichment but there was hope that this could be overcome, in. 1943. URI brought in Hugh s tailor from Princeton, University to. Look at the problem of a usable barrier, Libby. Made progress on understanding the chemistry of uranium, hexafluoride leading. To ideas, on how to prevent corrosion and, plugging, chemical. Researchers, at the Sam laboratory, studied, fluorocarbons. Which resisted, corrosion, and could be used as lubricants, and coolants, in the gaseous diffusion plant. Despite. This progress the, K 25, project, was in serious, trouble without a suitable, barrier, and by August 1943. It, was facing, cancellation. On the. 13th of August groves informed, the military policy, committee the senior committee that steered the Manhattan, Project that, gaseous, diffusion enrichment. In excess of 50% was, probably, infeasible, and that the gaseous diffusion plant. Would be limited, to producing, product with a lower enrichment, that could be fed into the Kalu Tron's of the y-12, electromagnetic. Plant, URI. Therefore, began preparations to, mass produced, the Nora Sadler barrier despite, its problems meanwhile. Union, Carbide and calyx, had made researchers, at the bakelite Corporation. A subsidiary, of Union Carbide aware, of Nyx's unsuccessful. Efforts with powdered, nickel barriers, to. Frazee a graph and other researchers, at bakelite, slabber, Ettore in Bound Brook New, Jersey, it seemed that Nicks was not taking, advantage, of the latest techniques, and they began their own development efforts. Both. Bell inbound Brooks sent samples of the powdered, nickel barriers, to Taylor for evaluation. But he was unimpressed, neither had come up with a practical barrier, at. Kellogg's, laboratory, in Jersey, City New Jersey Clarence. A Johnson, who was aware of the steps taken by the Sam laboratories, to improve, the Norris Adler barrier realized, that they could also be taken, with the bakelite barrier, the. Result was a barrier, better than either although still, short of what was required, at. A meeting at Columbia, with the army in attendance, on the 20th, of October, 1943. Keith's proposed, switching, the development, effort to the Johnson barrier, URI. Balked at this fearing, that this would destroy morale at the Sam laboratories. The. Issue was put to groves at a meeting on the 3rd of November, 1943. And he decided to pursue development of both the Johnson, and Norris Adler barriers, groves, summoned British help in the form of Wallace Akers and 15 members of the British gaseous, diffusion project. Who would review the progress made thus far their. Verdict, was that while the new barrier was potentially, superior, Keith's undertaking. To build a new facility to produce the new barrier in just four months produce, all the barriers required, in another for and have the production facility, up and running in just 12 would, be something of a miraculous, achievement. On the. 16th, of January, 1944. Groves, ruled in favor of the Johnson, barrier. Johnson. Built a pilot plant for the new process, at the Nash building, Taylor. Analyzed, the sample, barriers, produced, and pronounced, only 5%, of them to be of acceptable quality. Edward. Mack jr. created. His own pilot, plant at Schermerhorn, Hall at Columbia, and groves obtained, 80 short tons 73. T of nickel, from the International, nickel company, with. Plenty of nickel to work with by April, 1944. Both pilot, plants were producing, barriers of acceptable, quality 45. Percent of the time. Topic. Construction, the site chosen was at the Clinton engineer, works in Tennessee, the. Area was inspected, by representatives. Of the Manhattan, district, kelex and Union Carbide on, the 18th of January, 1943. Consideration. Was also given to sites near the Shasta Dam in California. And the Big Bend of the Columbia, River in Washington State the lower, humidity of these areas, made them more suitable for a gaseous diffusion plant. But the Clinton engineer, worksite was immediately, available and otherwise suitable.
Groves. Decided, on the site in April 1943. Under, the contract, kelex, had responsibility. Not just for the design and engineering of the k-25, plant but for its construction as well the. Prime construction. Contractor, was Jay a Jones, construction. From Charlotte North Carolina it, had. Impressed, groves with its work on several major army construction, projects, such as Camp, Shelby Mississippi. There. Were over 60, subcontractors. Kelex. Engaged, another construction, company, ford bacon, and davis to build the fluorine and nitrogen, facilities, and the conditioning, plant. Construction. Work was initially the responsibility. Of leftenant, Colonel, Warren George the chief of the construction, division of the Clinton engineer works, major. WP. Cornelius, became the construction, officer, responsible, for K 25, works on the 31st, of July 1943. He. Was answerable, to stoas back in Manhattan, he, became chief of the construction, division on the 1st of March 1946. JJ. Allison, was the resident engineer, from kelex and Edwin, L Jones the general manager, of Jay a Jones. You. Topic. Powerplant. Construction. Began before completion, of the design for the gaseous diffusion process. Due. To the large amount of electric, power that the k-25, plant was expected, to consume it was decided, to provide it with its own electric, power plant, while. The Tennessee, Valley Authority TVA. Believed, that it could supply, the clinton engineer works needs, there was unease about relying, on a single supplier when a power failure could cost the gaseous diffusion plant. Weeks of work and the lines to TVA could be sabotage a local. Plant was more secure, the, kelex engineers, were also attracted, to the idea of being able to generate the variable, frequency current, required by the gaseous, diffusion process. Without complicated. Transformers. A site was chosen for, this on the western edge of the Clinton engineer, worksite where it could draw cold water from the Clinch River and discharge warm water into Poplar Creek without affecting, the inflow, groves. Approved, this location. On the 3rd of May 1943. Surveying. Began on the power plant site on the 31st, of May 1943. And Jo Jones started, construction, work the following day, because. The bedrock was 35, to 40 feet 11, to 12 meters below the surface the, power plant was supported, on 40 concrete, filled caisson.
Installation. Of the first boiler, commenced, in October 1943. Construction. Work was complete, by late September to. Prevent sabotage, the power plant was connected, to the gaseous diffusion plant. By an underground, conduit. Despite. This there was one act of sabotage, in which a nail was driven through the electric, cable, the. Culprit, was never found but was considered, more likely, to be a disgruntled, employee than, an axis spy electric, power in the United, States was generated, at 60 Hertz the, power house was able to generate variable. Frequencies, between 45. And 60, Hertz and constant, frequencies, of 60, and 120, Hertz. This. Capability, was not ultimately required, and all but one of the K 25, systems, ran on a constant, 60 Hertz the exception, using a constant, 120. Hertz, the. First coal-fired, boiler, was started, on the 7th of April 1944. Followed by the second, on the 14th, of July, 1944. And the third on the 2nd of November, 1944. Each. Produced. 750,000. Pounds. 340, thousand, kilograms of, steam an hour at a pressure of. 1325. Pounds, per square inch nine thousand, one hundred and forty kilo Pascal's, and a temperature, of nine hundred and thirty five degrees Fahrenheit. 502, degrees Celsius, to. Obtain the 14 turbine, generators, needed, groves had to use the Manhattan, Project priority. Two overruled, Julius Albert croup the director, of the office of war utilities. The. Turbine, generators, had a combined, output of two hundred and thirty-eight, thousand, kilowatts, the. Power plant could also receive, power from TVA, it, was decommissioned in the 1960s. And demolished, in 1995. Topic. Gaseous, diffusion plant. They cite for the K 25, facility, was chosen near the high school of the now abandoned, town of wheat as the. Dimensions, of the K 25, facility, became more apparent it was decided, to move it to a larger, site near poplar Creek closer to the power plant, this. Site was approved on the 24th, of June 1943. Considerable. Work was required to prepare the site existing. Roads in the area were improved, to take heavy traffic a new, five point one mile eight point two kilometres, road was built to connect the site to u.s. route 70, and another five, miles 8.0. Kilometers, long to connect with Tennessee, state route 61, an old. Ferry over the Clinch River was upgraded, and then replaced, with a 360. Foot 110. Metres bridge in December, 1943. A ten. Point seven mile, 17.2. Km/h. 110. Se to the K 25, site, some. Twelve point nine miles, twenty, point eight kilometers. Called--, of freight traversed, the line on the 18th of September, 1943. It. Was initially intended, that the construction, workers should live off-site but the poor condition, of the roads and a shortage, of accommodations. In the area made commuting, long and difficult and in turn made it difficult to find and retain workers. Construction. Workers, therefore, came to be housed in large hutment, and trailer camps, the. J a Jones camp for K 25, workers known, as Happy Valley held, 15,000. People this. Required, eight dormitories, seventeen, barracks. 1590. Hutments. 1153. Trailers, and 100 victory houses, a pumping. Station was, built to supply drinking water from the Clinch River along, with a water treatment plant. Amenities. Included, a school eight cafeterias. A bakery, theatre three recreation, halls a warehouse in a cold storage plant, Ford. Bacon, and Davis established a smaller camp for, 2,100. People. Responsibility. For the camp's was to, the rhone anderson company, on the 25th, of january, 1946. And the school was transferred, to district, control, in march 1946. Work began on the, 130-acre. Fifty-three. Hectares, main facility, area on the 20th, of october, 1943. Although. Generally flat some, three million five hundred thousand. Cubic yards two, million seven hundred thousand, cubic meters of soil and rock had to be excavated from, areas, up to 46, feet 14, meters high and six major areas, had to be filled in to a maximum, depth of 23.5. Feet, 7.2, meters. Normally. Buildings, containing complicated. Heavy machinery, would rest on concrete, columns down to the bedrock but this would have required thousands. Of columns of different lengths to. Save time soil, compaction, was used instead layers. Were laid down and compacted, with sheepsfoot, rollers, in the areas that had to be filled in and the footings were laid over compacted, soil in the low-lying areas. In the undisturbed, soil in the areas that had been excavated. Activities. Overlapped, so concrete, pouring began while grading was still going on crane.
Started Lifting the steel frames into place on the 19th of January, 1944. Kelex. Is designed for the main process, building of k-25, called for a four-story. U-shaped, structure, 0.5. Miles, 0.8. O kilometers. Long containing 50 one main process, buildings, and three purge cascade, buildings, these. Were divided, into nine sections within. These were cells of six stages the. Cells could be operated, independently or. Consecutively. Within a section, similarly. The sections, could be operated, separately or as part of a single cascade. When. Completed. There were two thousand, eight hundred and ninety two stages, the. Basement, housed the auxilary equipment, such as the transformers, switch gears and air-conditioning. Systems, the. Ground floor contained, the cells the. Third level contained, the piping, the fourth floor was the operating, floor which contained, the control, room and the hundreds of instrument, panels, from. Here the operators, monitored, the process. The first section was ready for test runs on the 17th, of April, 1944. Although the barriers were not yet ready to be installed the main process, building surpassed, the Pentagon is the largest building in the world with, a floor area of five million two hundred and sixty-four thousand, square feet four hundred and eighty nine thousand, square meters, and an enclosed volume of 97, million five hundred thousand. Cubic feet two, million seven hundred and sixty, thousand, cubic meters construction. Required two hundred thousand, cubic yards, 150, thousand, cubic meters of concrete and 100. Miles 160. Kilometers. Of gas pipes. Because. Uranium hexafluoride, corrodes. Steel and steel piping, had to be coated in nickel smaller pipes were made of copper or monal the. Equipment, operated, under vacuum pressures, so plumbing had to be airtight. Special. Efforts were made to create as clean and environment, as possible to areas where piping, or fixtures, were being installed.
J, A Jones, established, a special, cleanliness unit, on the 18th of April, 1944. Buildings. Were completely, sealed off air was filtered and all cleaning was with vacuum cleaners and mopping, workers. Wore white lint list gloves at, the peak of construction activity in, May 1945. Twenty, five thousand, two hundred and sixty-six people, were employed on the site. You. Topic. Other buildings. Although. By far the largest the main process, building, play 300. Was but one of many that made up the facility, there. Was a conditioning, building k1, 401. Where piping, and equipment would, clean prior to installation a feed. Purification. Building, K 101. Was built to remove impurities from the uranium hexafluoride but, never operated, as such because the suppliers provided, feed good enough to be fed into the gaseous diffusion process. The. Three-story, surge in waste removal building, K 601. Process, the tail, stream. Of depleted, uranium hexafluoride. The. Air-conditioning, building k-1 401. Provided. Not cool air but 70. 6500. To bequeath. 2,170. Cubic meters per minute of clean dry air the. Compressed, air plant k-1, 201. Contained, compressors. The. Nitrogen, plant k-1, 408, provided. Nitrogen, gas that was used as a pump sealant, and to protect equipment from moist air, the. Fluorine generating, plant k1, 300, generated. Bottled and stored fluorine, it. Had not been in great demand before, the war and kelex, in the Manhattan district, considered, four different processes for large-scale production, a process. Developed by the hooker, Chemical Company was chosen due, to the hazardous nature of fluorine, it was decided, that shipping it across the United, States was inadvisable. And that it should be manufactured. On-site at the Clinton engineer, works, to. Pump houses, K 801. And K 802. And two cooling towers, H 801. And H 802. Provided. 135. Million u.s., gallons 510. Mega litres of cooling, water per, day for the motors and compressors, the administration. Building K 100, one provided. Two acres. 0.81. Hectares, of office space a laboratory. Building, K 1 401. Contained, facilities, for testing and analyzing, feed and product, 5. Drum warehouses, K 102 5, a - 'i had. 4,300. Square feet 400. Square meters of floor space to store drums of uranium. It's a fluoride. Originally. This was on the k-27. Site the, buildings were moved on a truck to make way for k-27. There. Were also warehouses. For general stores que 103. Five spare, parts que 103. Six and equipment, que 103. Seven a cafeteria. K100. Two provided. Meal facilities, including, a segregated, lunch room for african americans there. Were three changing, houses que 100 ate a B, and C a dispensary. K100, 3, an instrument, repair building, que 102, 4 and a fire station que 102, one in mid January, 1945. Kelex, proposed an extension, to K 25, to allow product, enrichment, of up to 85 percent, Grove. Initially, approved this but later cancelled, it in favor of a 540. Stage side feed unit which became known as K 27. That could process a slightly, enriched product, this. Could then be fed into K 25. Or the Kalu Tron's at the y-12. Kelex. Estimated. That using the enriched feed from k-27. Could lift the output from K 25, from 35. To 60, percent uranium. 235. Construction. Started, at K 27. On the 3rd of April 1945, and, was completed, in December 1945. The. Construction, work was expedited. By making, it virtually, a, Chinese, copy of, a section of K 25. By. The 31st, of December, 1946. When, the manhattan, project ended. 110. Million 48, thousand, nine hundred and sixty one man-hours of construction, work had been performed, at the K 25, site, the. Total, cost including that of K 27. Was four hundred and seventy nine million five hundred and eighty nine thousand. Nine hundred and ninety nine dollars. Topic. Operations, the preliminary, specification. For the K 25, plant, in march 1943. Called, for it to produce 1 kilogram 2.2, pounds. A day of product, that was 90 percent uranium. 235. As the. Practical difficulties. Were realized this target, was reduced to 36%, on the. Other hand the cascade design meant that construction, did not need to be complete, before the plant started, operating in, August. 1943. Kelex submitted, a schedule, that called for a capability, to produce material. Enriched to 5% uranium. 235. By the 1st of June 1945. 15%. By the 1st of July 1945. And 36%. By, the 23rd, of August 1945. This. Schedule was revised in August 1944. To 0.9%. By the 1st of January, 1945. 5%. By the 10th of June 1945. 15%. By the 1st of August 1945. 23%. By the 13th, of September, 1945. And 36, percent as, soon as possible, after that a meeting between the Manhattan, district, and Kellogg on the 12th of December, 1942. Recommended. That the K 25, plant be operated, by Union, Carbide, this. Would be through a wholly owned subsidiary, carbon. And carbide, chemicals, a cost. Plus fixed fee contract, was signed on the 18th of January, 1943.
Setting. The fee at. $75,000. Per month this. Was later increased, to 96, thousand, dollars a month to operate, both K 25, in K 27. Union. Carbide did, not wish to be the sole operator of the facility. Union. Carbide suggested. That the conditioning, plant be built and operated by Ford bacon, and Davis, the. Manhattan, district, found this acceptable, and the cost plus fixed fee contract, was negotiated with. A fee of two hundred and sixteen, thousand, dollars for services up to the end of June 1945. The. Contract, was terminated early, on the 1st of May 1945. When Union Carbide took, over the plant, Ford. Bacon, and Davis was therefore paid 202. Thousand, dollars the. Other exception. Was the fluorine plant hooker. Chemical, was asked to supervise, its construction, of the flowering plant and initially, to operate it for a fixed fee of twenty four thousand, five hundred dollars, the. Plant was turned over to Union Carbide on, the 1st of February, 1945. Part. Of the k300, complex, was taken over by Union, Carbide in, August 1944. And was run as a pilot plant training, operators, and developing, procedures, using, nitrogen, instead of uranium, hexafluoride until. October 1944. And then per furrow heptane, until April 1945. The. Design of the gaseous diffusion plant. Allowed for it to be completed, in sections, and for these to be put into operation while. Work continued, on the others, J. A Jones, completed. The first sixty stages, by the end of 1944. Before. Each stage was accepted, it underwent, tests, by J a Jones, carbide. And carbon and Sam laboratories, technicians, to verify, that the equipment, was working and that there were no leaks, between. Four, and six hundred people devoted, eight months to this testing, the. Fluoro heptane, was used as a test fluid until February 1945. When it was decided, to use uranium hexafluoride, despite. Its corrosive nature the, Manhattan, district, engineer, Colonel, Kenneth Nichols, placed major John J Moran in charge of production at K 25. Production. Commenced, in February, 1945. And the first product was shipped to the Kalu Tron's in March by. April, the gaseous diffusion plant. Was producing, 1.1. Percent product, it. Was then decided that instead of processing, uranium, hexafluoride feed. From the harsh or chemical, company, the gaseous diffusion plant. Would take the product of the s50, thermal diffusion plant with an average enrichment. Of about 0.85. Percent. Product. Enrichment, continued, to improve as more stages came online and perform, better than anticipated, in. Dune product, was being enriched to 7%. By September, it was 23%. The. S50, plant ceased operation, on the 9th of September, and kelex transferred, the last unit to Union Carbide, on the 11th of September, 1945. Highly. Enriched uranium was, used in the little boy atomic, bomb used in the bombing of Hiroshima on the 6th of August 1945. With. The end of the war in August, 1945. The Manhattan, Project priority. Shifted from speed to economy, and efficiency the Cascades. Were configurable. So they could produce a large amount of slightly enriched product, by running him in parallel, or a small, amount of highly enriched product, through running him in series, by. Early 1946. With, k-27. In operation, the facility, was producing, 3.6. Kilograms. 7.9. Pounds, per day enriched, to 30%. The next. Step was to increase the enrichment further, to 60%. This. Was achieved on the 20th, of July, 1946. This. Presented, a problem because y12, was not equipped to handle feed, that was so highly enriched but the Los Alamos laboratory required. 95%. For. A time product, was mixed with feed to reduce the enrichment to 30%. Taking. The concentration. Up to 95%, raised, safety concerns, as there was the risk of a criticality, accident. After some deliberation with.
Opinions Sought and obtained from Percival, Keith Norris, Bradbury, Darryl Froman Elmarie Kirkpatrick. Kenneth Nichols and Edward Teller it was decided, that this could be done safely if appropriate precautions, were taken on the. 28th, of November, 1946. The, k-25 plant began producing, 94%. Product, at. This point they ran into a serious, flaw in the gaseous diffusion concept. Enrichment. In uranium. 235. Also, enriched the product in the unwanted, and fairly useless uranium. 234. Making, it difficult to raise the enrichment to 95%, on, the. 6th of December, 1946. Production. Was dropped back to a steady 2.5. 6 kilograms. 5.6. Pounds per, day enriched to, 93.7%. Uranium. 235. Along with 1.9. Percent uranium. 234. This. Was regarded as a satisfactory, product, by the Los Alamos, laboratory. So on the 26th, of December, 1946. Enrichment, activity, at y12 was curtailed, the. Manhattan, Project ended. A few days later. Responsibility. For the k-25 facility, then passed to the new Atomic Energy Commission on, the 1st of January, 1947. Topic. Closure, and demolition. K-25. Became, a prototype, for other gaseous diffusion facilities. Established, in the early post-war, years, the. First of these was the, 374. Thousand, square-foot 34. Thousand, seven hundred square, meters k-27. Completed, in September, 1945. It. Was followed by the 15, acre 6.1. Hectares, K 29, in 1951. The 20 acre 8.1. Hectares, K 31, in 1951. And the 32, acre, 13, hectares, K 33 in 1950, for further. Gaseous, diffusion facilities. Were built at Paducah, Kentucky in, 1952. And Portsmouth, Ohio in. 1954. The. K 25, plant, was renamed the Oakridge, gaseous, diffusion plant. In 1955. Today. Uranium. Isotope, separation is, usually done by the more energy-efficient. Ultracentrifuge. Process, developed, in the Soviet Union. Centrifuge. Cascades, began operating, at Oak Ridge in, 1961. A gas, centrifuge, test facility, K 1 to 100 p'n Din 1975. Followed, by a larger, centrifuge, plant demonstration. Facility K, 1 to 200 in, 1982. In. Response. To an order from president, lyndon b johnson to, cut production of enriched uranium by, 25, percent k, 25, and k 27. Ceased production in, 1964. But in 1969. K, 25, began producing uranium enriched, to 3 to 5 percent for use in nuclear reactors. Martin. Marietta energy, replaced Union Carbide as the operator, in 1980, for, gaseous. Diffusion finally. Ceased on the 27th. Of August 1985. The. Oakridge, gaseous, diffusion plant. Was renamed the Oakridge, K 25, site in 1989. And the East Tennessee Technology. Park in 1996. Production. Of enriched uranium ceased. In Portsmouth, in 2001. And at Paducah, in 2013. The. United States Department of, Energy DOE contracted. With British nuclear fuels limited, bnfl, in 1997. To decontaminate and, decommission, the Sylla teased its. Subsidiary. Reactor, sites management, company, limited our SMC, was acquired by Energy Solutions in June 2007. Initially. K 29, K 31, and K 33, were to be retained for other uses but it was subsequently, decided to demolish them, Bechtel. Jacobs the environmental. Management contractor. Assumed responsibility. For the facility, in July 2005. Demolition. Of K 29, began, in January, 2006. And was completed, in August. Demolition. Of K 33, began, in January, 2011, and, was completed, ahead of schedule in, September, 2011, it. Was followed by the demolition, of K 31, which began on the 8th of October, 2014, and was completed, on the 26th. Of June 2015. Bechtel Jacobs was contracted, to dismantle and demolish the K 25, facility, in September, 2008. The, contract. Valued, at one point four eight billion dollars, was made retrospective. 2 October 2007. And ended in August 2011.
Since. Then demolition, work has been carried out by dough's current, environmental, management contractor. Urs. Ch2m. Hill Oak, Ridge you cor. Demolition. Of the K 25, facility, was expected, to be completed by July 2014. By. The 23rd. Of January, 2013, demolition. Of the north and west wings, was complete, with only a small portion of the East Wing remaining, six units out of 24, on the East Wing the. Final, section of the East Wing was brought down on the 19th, of December, 2013. The. Last debris, was removed in 2014. Demolition. Of K 27. The last of the five gaseous, diffusion facilities. At Oak Ridge commenced. In February, 2016. Dignitaries. Including u.s., senator Lamar Alexander in. The US Congressman, Chuck Fleischman joined. 1,500. Workers to watch its final, wall come down on the 30th, of August 2016. It's. Demolition was completed, on the 28th, of February, 2017. Equals, equals notes.