THE WALLS ARE COMING DOWN … K-25 (MANHATTAN PROJECT)
WHEN THE TRUMPETS SOUND
THE WALLS FALL DOWN
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the kings horses and all the kings men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again
– by Mother Goose
Of Oak Ridge
Building comes down
National, state and local officials joined U.S. Dept. of Energy representatives in a send-off to the last of five main buildings slated for demolition at the former K-25 site, which produced the enriched uranium for the atomic bomb in Hiroshima.
OAK RIDGE — The official end came at 10:33 a.m. on Tuesday.
Demolition workers took down the final wall of the old Building K-27, signaling the milestone last gasp of the massive gaseous diffusion complex, built more than 70 years ago as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project.
National, state and local officials joined U.S. Department of Energy representatives and 1,500 project employees in a send-off to the last of five main buildings slated for demolition at the former K-25 site.
Many cheered as a mammoth High-Reach machine pulled over the last remnant of the iconic building, which employed 25,266 people at its peak.
“We had an opportunity today to watch history in the making,” said Sue Cange, manager of DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management.
“This is such a rewarding moment, not just for Oak Ridge, but for DOE and the country as a whole.”
The U-shaped complex, once the world’s largest building housed under one roof, was built at a cost of $512 million in the early 1940s to produce weapons-grade enriched uranium.
K-25 produced the enriched uranium for the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima that helped end World War II.
It continued to produce enriched uranium during the Cold War, and later supplied low-enrichment uranium for civilian power reactors.
The final gaseous diffusion equipment at Oak Ridge was shuttered in 1985.
Tuesday’s celebratory event at the East Tennessee Technology Park, formerly known as K-25, was titled “Enriching our Future: A Historic Moment.”
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said Tuesday’s symbolic tearing down of the final piece of K-27 bridges the past and the future.