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Wednesday
Nov302005

Home of the A-Bomb

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Blow up the world!
Wednesday November 30
Paris

Now here's an interesting thing. Ella/Natalie has always said she's in "Bumfuck, Tennessee" and I thought she was making a joke. Turns out she's not. She now tells us she hails from Oak Ridge, Tennessee - "Home of the Atom Bomb". Yes folks - home of the Manhattan Project, the top-secret facility that developed the Atomic Bomb in the '40's. It's about to be turned into a tourist attraction. The Manhattan Project was one of the biggest secrets of World War II. For three years up to 130,000 workers carved out factories in three rural areas - Los Alamos, where the bombs were designed and built; Oak Ridge, where the first uranium enrichment facility and pilot nuclear reactor were built; and Hanford, where the first large-scale reactor for producing plutonium was built.

The two bombs they produced, Little Boy, using uranium, and Fat Man, using plutonium, devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki forcing Japan to surrender.

Lately there have been "New Plans for a Manhattan Project Plant" with a "Lunch on the Lawn" imagining a Bright Future for K-25 (the plant)" according to a recent Press Release.

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Home of the Atom Bomb
Oak Ridge, TN - The grounds of the K-25 gaseous diffusion plant were once again filled with life last Friday, June 17th, as Manhattan Project veterans returned with their family members for a barbeque and discussion of the plant's future. The event was organized by the Atomic Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C. which is dedicated to preserving the history and important properties of the Manhattan Project.

Built by 25,000 employees during World War II as the world's first full-scale uranium enrichment facility, K-25 produced many of the ingredients for the first atomic bomb, "Fat Man," and continued producing for weapons during the Cold War. The plant now sits idle, less than an hour west of Knoxville, Tennessee. After sharing memories and enjoying generous portions of Southern pulled pork, almost 200 individuals listened as Cindy Kelly, president of the Atomic Heritage Foundation, introduced representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, Bechtel Jacobs and former employees of the K-25 plant who shared visions for preserving a portion of the half-mile long facility.

Most of the sprawling plant will be torn down by 2008, but the U.S. Department of Energy and Bechtel Jacobs have tentatively agreed to leave K-25's North End, the connecting portion of its U-shaped structure. "There are tremendous assets here at the K-25 site in terms of valuable land and a lot of facilities in addition to the historic K-25 gaseous diffusion plant," noted Gerald Boyd, manager of Oak Ridge Operations for the Department of Energy. The entire K-25 site occupies close to 2,000 acres, land which the Department hopes will attract investment and revitalize the economy in East Tennessee.

....K-25 presents "a potentially valuable and very attractive heritage tourism site."

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Blow yourself up

One idea for the museum would capitalize on the plant's secret history by making the original security checkpoints the ticket areas. Guards clothed in uniforms from the 1940s will issue 'passes' to enter the K-25 plant and its exhibits. Visitors will learn about the three uranium enrichment processes at Oak Ridge that were pursued in parallel and the mammoth effort that went into constructing and operating the K-25 plant during the war.

Designers plan to maintain the footprint of the plant, once the largest roofed industrial plant in the world, by preserving the ten-foot high concrete walls on the inside of the U. These walls could be covered with murals.....the site will honor the ingenuity of the 75,000 employees who worked at Oak Ridge during World War II and remind visitors "how people can turn patriotism into action".

Go HERE for the Secret City

Jesus! Are the two connected? Is Ella/Natalie in fact some Boffin blogging from a bunker? Nah...she's too sweet for that. Although some of her delusions have me worried. Fallout? did somebody say Fallout? I'm going back for more of that Southern Nuked Pork.

Remember kids...altogether now...Natalie says

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click for the truth

...but if you get in the way, you're dead. Sorry about that...couldn't be helped...it's all for the greater good...you understand...say hello to Jesus for us.

A great book on the history of the Manhattan Project is "Brighter than a Thousand Suns: a personal history of the Atomic Scientists" by Robert Jungk. If you order it through Amazon using the button on the Nav. Bar I might be able to feed Charlie next week. It's a truly fascinating account of the race to make the A Bomb before the bad guys did.

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