Clinton Engineer Works
The Clinton Engineer Works was the production installation of the Manhattan Project. It produced the enriched uranium used in the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima, as well as the first examples of reactor-produced plutonium. It was in East Tennessee, about 18 miles west of Knoxville, and was named after the town of Clinton.
About Clinton Engineer Works in brief
The Clinton Engineer Works was the production installation of the Manhattan Project. It produced the enriched uranium used in the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima, as well as the first examples of reactor-produced plutonium. It was in East Tennessee, about 18 miles west of Knoxville, and was named after the town of Clinton, eight miles to the north. The production facilities were mainly in Roane County, and the northern part of the site was in Anderson County. The township of Oak Ridge was established to house the production staff. The operating force peaked at 50,000 workers just after the end of the war. The construction labor force peak at 75,000 and the combined employment peak was 80,000. The town was developed by the federal government as a segregated community; black residents lived only in an area known as Gamble Valley, on the south side of what is now Tuskegee Drive. The Manhattan Project was attempting to construct the first atomic bombs. This would require production facilities, and by June 1942 the project had reached the stage where their construction could be contemplated. Several sites were considered in the Tennessee Valley, two in the Chicago area, one near the Shasta Dam in California, and some in Washington state, where the Hanford site was eventually established. The electromagnetic separation plant in California remained under consideration for the plant until September, by which time the design of the plant was a long way off. At the time, the proposed nuclear reactor, a gaseous gas centrifuge, was still in the design stage, and work on the reactor would commence by October 1942, which called for construction on the 1A reactor to commence by the October 1, 1942, deadline.
No perfectly suitable site was found, and another survey of the Spokane, Washington, area was ordered even though the proposed reactor, the Spokane 1A, was not yet under construction. The only voice of dissent at a meeting 25 June was Ernest O. Lawrence, who wanted the electromagnetic separation Plant located much nearer to the Radiation Laboratory in California. He dropped his objection by the time the survey was completed in July, and his deputy, Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Nichols, was designated the designated construction contractor for the nuclear reactor. The reactor was completed by October 1 and the construction work began by October 2, 1942. The nuclear reactor was the first in the world to produce fissionable material, which was used to make the atomic bomb, the Trinity bomb, and a variety of other weapons, including the V-2 detonator, the neutron bomb and theium bomb. The plant was the only one of its kind to be built in the U.S., and it was located in the East Tennessee area. The site was chosen because it was near sources of labor, and accessible by road and rail transportation. A War Department policy held that, as a rule, munitions facilities should not be located west of the Sierra or Cascade Ranges, east of the Appalachian Mountains, or within 200 miles of the Canadian or Mexican borders. The proposed plants would need access to 150,000 kW of electrical power and 370,000 US gallons of water per minute.