NNSA Release: National Park Service Sign Unveiled at Y-12 Building 9731
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – A ceremony was held today at the Y-12 National Security Complex to unveil a National Park Service (NPS) sign at Building 9731 which is part of the NPS Manhattan Project National Historical Park (Manhattan Project NHP).
Building 9731 was the first building constructed at Y-12 in 1943 during the World War II Manhattan Project and served as the Pilot Plant for nine large electromagnetic separation facilities used to separate enriched uranium for the war effort. Building 9731 is the first facility in the Manhattan Project NHP to install official NPS signage.
Representatives of the NPS, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Production Office (NPO), and Consolidated National Security, LLC., and area stakeholders participated in the event.
“This historic facility is an important resource to help tell the story about Y-12 and its role in the Manhattan Project,” said Mary Helen Hitson, Deputy NPO Manager. “We are very pleased to have the first National Park Service sign among the Manhattan Project National Historical Park facilities.”
“It’s great to see the collaboration that went into making these new signs and to know that the signs will enrich visitors’ understanding of Building 9731 and the important role it played during the Manhattan Project,” said Peter O'Konski, Deputy Director, Office of Legacy Management.
Manhattan Project NHP is part of the National Park System and is run jointly by the NPS and DOE. Along with the unit in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, home of Building 9731, the park has two other units located in Hanford (Richland), Washington; and Los Alamos, New Mexico. It was established on November 10, 2015 when Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz signed the memorandum of agreement that defined the two agencies’ roles when managing the park.
In addition to being part of the historical park, Building 9731 will be used in the future as a training facility for Y-12 employees, echoing one of its primary roles during the Manhattan Project. The building is being renovated for this purpose while maintaining the historical character of the facility.
“This will bring the Pilot Plant full circle, once again serving as a training hub while telling the story of those who came before us,” said Bill Tindal, Chief Operating Officer for Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, the managing and operating contractor for Y-12.
The mission of the NNSA Production Office is to ensure the safe, secure and cost-effective operation of the Pantex Plant, Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. Visit http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/ for more information.
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