Y-12 National Security Complex
(formerly the Y-12 Plant)

The Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant was built for the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project under the name Clinton Engineer Works. Tennessee Eastman, a subsidiary of the Eastman Kodak Company, was the original Y-12 site contractor under the agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers. The oversight of the operations was turned over to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and Carbide and Carbon Chemical Corporation replaced the Tennessee Eastman Company as the primary contractor. Union Carbide took over in 1957 and Martin Marietta Energy Systems (MMES) and Lockheed Martin took over from 1984 until 1999. The current contractor, B&W Technologies, took over in 1999.

The Y-12 Plant had five major responsibilities: 

  1. Development of the electromagnetic separation process for uranium
  2. Production of nuclear weapon components
  3. Fabrication support to nuclear weapon design agencies
  4. Support for the ORNL
  5. Support to other government agencies and facilities

The plant is now known as the Y-12 National Security Complex under the National Nuclear Security Administration. Its programs include: manufacturing and reworking nuclear weapons components returned from the national arsenal; serving as the nation’s safe, secure storehouse of special nuclear materials; reducing the global threat from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction; and providing the U. S. Navy with safe, military effective nuclear propulsion systems.

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