In 1942, nearly 60,000 acres of East Tennessee landscape became part of the most significant defense strategy in the history of the United States – the Manhattan Project. At the western-most boundary of the military’s new reservation, the war effort engulfed the tiny Wheat Community (population 1,000) replacing farmhouses and fruit trees with massive concrete and steel structures that would produce the world’s first enriched uranium. By September 1943, construction had begun on a two-million-square-foot plant known as K-25. The plant would enrich uranium using the gaseous diffusion process. Ultimately, its product would fuel one of two atomic bombs that would end World War II. After the war, the K-25 plant continued to serve the nation. The K-25 History Center tells that incredible story. Our operating hours, address and phone number are listed below. We hope you will visit us soon and often.
Please also visit the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge, our sister institution. Opened in 1949, AMSE is the nation’s oldest museum of science and energy, dedicated to telling not just the history of the Manhattan Project, but the ongoing story of the amazing advances in science and engineering being made at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex, as well as the commitment of the Department of Energy to environmental management. AMSE uses that rich history and that ongoing science to teach and engage visitors about a wide range of exciting STEM-related topics through interactive exhibits and educational programming. You can visit AMSE’s website below.