Rating 4.6

Oak Ridge, TN: The Secret City

Oak Ridge is known as The Secret City, established by the US government in 1942 to serve as production site to the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project was an American, British, and Canadian operation that developed the atomic bomb. Although this was long ago, Oak Ridge movers state that the economy and culture in Oak Ridge still depends on scientific development at the Department of Energy National Security Complex.

Oak Ridge, Tennessee was a remote location off the maps, and an entire city was built essentially from scratch to begin this establishment. The employees building this establishment had no idea they were working to both build and operate the world’s first successful uranium separation facilities. The workers were sworn into secrecy and were only told what they needed to do and how they needed to do it, instead of why they were doing it. The city of Oak Ridge continually grew, and within a matter of months it was one of the largest cities in Tennessee, but it was the Secret City. Oak Ridge movers claim that this entire town and city was fenced in, with maximum security. Most workers in Oak Ridge, a heavy amount of them being women, were unaware of the purpose for their duties until nuclear bombs were dropped on Japan in the year 1945.

Facts About the Secret City:

  • Lie detection tests were administered as a part of the security screening.
  • In 1943, a billboard was posted in Oak Ridge that read: What You See Here What You Do Here What You Hear Here When You Leave Here LET IT STAY HERE
  • Another billboard, posted outside of the Y-12 uranium enrichment facility read: Make CEW Count Continue to Protect Project Information
  • CEW stood for Clinton Engineer Works, which was the Army name for the production facility in the Secret City
  • Calutrons were used to refine uranium ore into fissile material in the Y-12 plant at Oak Ridge.
  • The head operator of the secret weapons laboratory of the Manhattan Project, Physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, was called the “father of the atomic bomb”.
  • Nearly 100,000 workers were employed by the government in the Secret City in the beginning of 1945.
  • News reports revealed what the people of the Secret City had been working on after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan in August of 1945.