70 Years of Evolution: Special Anniversary Issue

Posted: February 7, 2013 - 6:01pm | Y-12 Report | Volume 9, Issue 2 | 2013

Y‑12 has been a symbol of national strength and global security for 70 years. Though missions have evolved and facilities have been transformed, the site's purpose remains clear: make the world safer.

In war and peace, Y‑12 has responded to the nation's needs. During the decades-long Cold War, the site ramped up weapons production to support national defense. At the same time, the site explored the potential of the atom for peaceful purposes. Today Y‑12's missions are to ensure a safe and effective U.S. nuclear weapons deterrent, supply feedstock to fuel the U.S. Navy's nuclear fleet, and reduce global dangers from vulnerable nuclear materials — all while advancing U.S. competitiveness in science and technology.

Y‑12 accomplishes its missions with great pride. In all of its endeavors, the work force has embodied a can-do spirit and history of unwavering commitment to America's safety, security and global responsibilities.

In meeting the country's changing security needs, Y‑12 has acquired a wealth of experience and know-how that benefits the nation and the world. Y‑12's expertise in precision manufacturing, prototype construction, applied technology and the handling of nuclear materials has spurred scientific research and sparked technical innovation. The site has transferred many of its inventions and unique processes to other government agencies, to the private sector and to the nation's allies to solve knotty problems.

No crystal ball is needed to see Y‑12's future. The planned Uranium Processing Facility, to be located at the site, is a key piece of the National Nuclear Security Administration's 21st century Nuclear Security Enterprise. Other transformation efforts will help Y‑12 adapt to changing national security priorities and ensure the site maintains its specialized skills and vast knowledge.

Looking back, Y‑12's significance cannot be overstated; moving forward, its value cannot be underestimated. Like worn, durable leather, the site has stood the test of time. The Y‑12 National Security Complex remains an enduring national asset.