National Park Service Sign unveiled at Y-12

A ceremony was held last month to unveil a National Park Service sign at Building 9731 of the Y-12 National Security Complex. The historic building is part of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

Building 9731 was the first building constructed at Y-12 in 1943 during the World War II Manhattan Project, according to a news release. The building served as a pilot plant for nine large electromagnetic separation facilities used to separate enriched uranium for the war effort.

Building 9731 is the first Manhattan Project park facility to install official NPS signage, according to the release.

Representatives from the NPS, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Legacy Management, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NPO) Production Office, and Consolidated National Security LLC., as well as stakeholders from the region participated in the event.

“This historic facility is an important resource to help tell the story of Y-12 and its role in the Manhattan Project,” NPO Deputy Director Mary Helen Hitson said in the statement. “We are very pleased to have the first National Park Service sign among the Manhattan Project National Historical Park facilities.”

“It’s great to see the collaboration that went into creating these new signs and to know that the signs will enrich visitors’ understanding of Building 9731 and the important role it played during the Manhattan Project,” said Peter O ‘Konski, Deputy Director of the Office of Legacy Management.

The Manhattan Project park is part of the national park system and is jointly managed by the National Park Service and the DOE. In addition to the Oak Ridge Unit, which houses Building 9731, the park has two other units located in Hanford (Richland), Washington; and Los Alamos, NM It was created on November 10, 2015 when Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and then Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz signed the Memorandum of Understanding defining the roles of the two agencies in managing the park .

In addition to being part of the historic park, Building 9731 will be used in the future as a training center for Y-12 employees, echoing one of its main roles during the Manhattan Project. The building is being renovated for this purpose while retaining the historic character of the establishment.

“It will come full circle from the pilot plant, serving again as a training center while telling the stories of those who came before us,” said Bill Tindal, chief operating officer of CNS, the contractor for management and operation of Y-12.

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