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Oak Ridge: A look into the Superfund site's environmental cleanup

Seventy-five years ago, the Secret City emerged in the quiet hills of East Tennessee. Now, the government is still cleaning up hazardous waste generated from that historic role.

Stephanie Haines

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Seventy-five years ago, the Secret City emerged in the quiet hills of East Tennessee.

Charged by the Manhattan Project, its role was to enrich uranium for the world’s first atomic bomb and demonstrate pilot-scale production of plutonium in a nuclear reactor.

During the Cold War years, the program’s research and missions evolved.

Now, Oak Ridge is home to the Department of Energy’s largest multi-program science and technology laboratory as well as a premier national security manufacturing facility.

At the same time, the government is still cleaning up from the sites’ historic roles.