Where was K-25 located?
Oak Ridge reservation
The K-25 plant, located on the southwestern end of the Oak Ridge reservation, used the gaseous diffusion method to separate uranium-235 from uranium-238.
What is K-25 compound?
The codename “K-25” was a combination of the “K” from Kellex, and “25”, a World War II-era code designation for uranium-235 (an isotope of element 92, mass number 235). The term was first used in Kellex internal reports for the end product, enriched uranium, in March 1943.
How big was K-25?
Constructed in 1943 by the New York-based Kellex corporation, the K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant was the largest building in the world at the time. It covered a 44-acre tract (178,062 sq. meters) over one-half mile long (0.8 km) and 1,000 yards wide (914 meters).
How does a Calutron work?
The calutron is a type of sector mass spectrometer, an instrument in which a sample is ionized and then accelerated by electric fields and deflected by magnetic fields. The ions ultimately collide with a plate and produce a measurable electric current.
How does a gas centrifuge work?
A gas centrifuge is a device that performs isotope separation of gases. A centrifuge relies on the principles of centripetal force accelerating molecules so that particles of different masses are physically separated in a gradient along the radius of a rotating container.
How does gaseous diffusion work?
Gaseous diffusion is a technology used to produce enriched uranium by forcing gaseous uranium hexafluoride (UF6) through semipermeable membranes. This produces a slight separation between the molecules containing uranium-235 (235U) and uranium-238 (238U).
What did the Calutron girls do?
“Calutron Girls” were young women hired to work at Y-12 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Many were just out of high school, and were tasked with monitoring the Calutron, which was the machine that separated enriched uranium isotopes.
Who ran the Calutrons?
At its peak, the plants at Y-12 had 22,000 workers who ran the “calutrons,” machines designed after the cyclotron or “atom smasher” invented by Ernest O. Lawrence at the University of California. The Y-12 “calutrons” were used to separate the two nearly identical isotopes of uranium.
Why is U 235 better than u 238?
Gaseous diffusion process As U-235 molecules are lighter than the U-238 molecules they move faster and have a slightly better chance of passing through the pores in the membrane. The UF6 which diffuses through the membrane is thus slightly enriched, while the gas which did not pass through is depleted in U-235.
Where is uranium found?
Uranium is found in small amounts in most rocks, and even in seawater. Uranium mines operate in many countries, but more than 85% of uranium is produced in six countries: Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia, Namibia, Niger, and Russia.
How do gas centrifuges work?
What happened to the K-25 building?
The K-25 building of the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant aerial view, looking southeast. The mile-long building, in the shape of a “U”, was completely demolished in 2013. K-25 was the codename given by the Manhattan Project to the program to produce enriched uranium for atomic bombs using the gaseous diffusion method.
What is the K-25 History Center?
Located near the footprint of the K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant, the newly-opened K-25 History Center provides visitors with a deeper understanding of K-25’s role in enriching uranium during the Manhattan Project and the Cold War.
How much did it cost to build the K 25 plant?
Begun in June 1943 and completed in early 1945 at a cost of $500 million, the K-25 plant employed 12,000 workers. The U-shaped K-25 building measured half a mile by 1,000 feet and is larger than the Pentagon.
What happened to the K-25 site in Oak Ridge?
The Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant was renamed the Oak Ridge K-25 Site in 1989, and the East Tennessee Technology Park in 1996. Demolition of all five gaseous diffusion plants was completed in February 2017. As of March 2021, the K-25 site is being redeveloped into a public airport for the city of Oak Ridge.