Also Known As: Oak Ridge Area, Oak Ridge Reservation
Location: Oak Ridge
Time Period: 1943-1949
Facility Type: Department of Energy
Facility Description: In 1943, as part of the Manhattan Engineer District, the US. Government purchased 59,000 acres 12 miles west of Knoxville, Tennessee because it needed a remote location to build production plants and laboratories to produce plutonium and enriched uranium for the atomic bomb project. This facility was known as the Clinton Engineer Works (CEW) and was referred to generally as Oak Ridge. The entire CEW was bounded by security fences from February 1943 through March 1949. Within the CEW were the processing plants, known as Y-12, K-25 and X-10 (now ORNL) each of which had its own security fence (a fence within a fence) and has been designated separately for purposes of the EEOIPCA. During this time, Roane Anderson Company managed, operated and maintained residences, apartment, dormitories, guest houses, barracks, hutments, trailers, restaurants, cafeterias, buses, roads, streets, sidewalks, garbage and sewage disposal, heating plants and more for the CEW. Roane did not, however, operate the processing plants and laboratories. The CEW gates came down in March 1949. This meant that people no longer needed a security clearance to enter the CEW, though clearances were still required to enter the plants and laboratories. The fences surrounding the processing plants also remained. It was also in 1949 that the privatization of what is today known as the City of Oak Ridge began.
CONTRACTOR: Roane Anderson
One of the first production facilities built for the Manhattan Project was located west of Knoxville, Tennessee on a military reservation called the Clinton Engineer Works. All three production sites at Clinton Engineer Works were built to extract plutonium and were located in valleys to contain potential explosions and for security reasons. Plans originally called for the construction of housing for about 13,000 workers, however by 1943, this estimate was tripled and by the end of WWII, the facility was the fifth largest town in Tennessee and consumed 1/7 of all the power produced in the United States. Following WWII, the facility was renamed Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Today, ORNL carries out a wide variety of research and development in several scientific areas.
Clinton Engineer Works is listed as a Department of Energy (DOE) site under the EEOICPA.
Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) Classes:
The SEC classes for Clinton Engineer Works include all employees of the Tennessee Eastman Corporation (1943–1947) and the Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Corporation (1947–1949) who were employed at the Clinton Engineer Works in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, from January 1, 1943 through December 31, 1949 for a number of work days aggregating at least 250 work days, occurring either solely under this employment or in combination with work days within the parameters established for one or more classes of employees included in the Special Exposure Cohort.
(Note: This class was established from Petition 178)
As of 08/30/2015, the total compensation paid under Parts B and E of the EEOICPA, including medical compensation, for workers suffering from the effects of having worked at the Clinton Engineer Works is $5,400,274.
Clinton Engineer Works Workers:
If you or your parent worked at this or any other DOE or AWE facility and became ill, you may be entitled to compensation of up to $400K plus medical benefits from the US Department of Labor. Call EEOICPA Counsel Hugh Stephens at 1-855-EEOICPA (336-4272) or fill out the form to the right, whether your claim has been accepted or denied.
We can help with all OWCP (Federal Workers Compensation) claims, impairments, wage loss and health care. 2495 Main Street, Suite 442 Buffalo, NY 14214.
* Clinton Engineer Works Plant and Storage Descriptions:
Clinton Engineer Works was located in both Roane and Anderson Counties, Tennessee. The facility was a 59,000-acre federal government area which hosted three main operating units concerned with atomic energy work (two U-235 production plants and a nuclear research center) as well as the community of Oak Ridge (see Figure 5-1). The population of CEW, concentrated chiefly in Oak Ridge, reached a peak of about 75,000 in the summer of’ 1945. The employment peak of 82,000 was reached in May 1945. Thereafter, population and employment declined steadily; at the end of 1946, population was 42,465 and employment was 28,737. The primary contractor (Roane-Anderson Company) had a peak employment of nearly 10,000 in September 1945, declining to about 2,400 by September 1947 (Manhattan, 1947a, pdf p. 20).
The operating units within Clinton Engineer Works were the gaseous diffusion plant for the production of U-235 (K-25), operated for the Atomic Energy Commission by the Carbide & Carbon Chemicals Corporation; the electromagnetic plant for the production of U-235 (Y-12), operated from 1943-1947 by the Tennessee Eastman Corporation and after 1947 by the Carbide & Carbon Chemicals Corporation (also known as the Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation); and the Clinton Laboratories, now a nuclear research center (X-10), which served during the war as a pilot plant for the construction of the huge plutonium process buildings at Hanford Engineer Works in the State of Washington. Near the gaseous diffusion plant, there was also a high-temperature, high-pressure, variable-frequency steam power plant, which has generating equipment with a capacity of 238,000 kilowatts (equal to the capacity of Norris Dam of the TVA). Each of these facilities was fenced separately from the fence that surrounded the larger body of the Clinton Engineer Works (Bowman, 1949).
The site for Clinton Engineer Works was selected on Sept. 19, 1942, by representatives of the Manhattan Engineer District (MED) (established August 13, 1942) and the Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation of’ Boston, which later had the contract for the construction of’ the town of Oak Ridge and the electromagnetic plant (Manhattan, 1947a, pdf p. 28). The site was selected for these reasons: (1) it had to be isolated from large centers of population; (2) it had to be large enough to accommodate several huge plants to be built in flat building areas separated by natural barriers; (3) it had to have dependable electrical power in large quantities; (4) it had to be near a large body of’ water; and (5) it had to be accessible to rail and motor transport.
The Clinton Engineer Works footprint was about 17 miles long at its greatest length, and about nine miles wide at its greatest width. The area is approximately eight miles from the town of Clinton, the town for which CEW was originally named, about 18 miles from the city of Knoxville, and about 20 miles from Norris Dam. The area runs generally in the northeast and southwest direction and is bounded on the east, southeast, and southwest by the Clinch River which provides a meandering 35-mile boundary.
The city of Oak Ridge was constructed by the U.S. Government to provide living accommodations for CEW personnel. In general, the city is laid out on the long sloping side of a ridge that extends slightly to the northeast and southwest. The city occupied approximate1y eight square miles in the northeast corner of the CEW site. The city site is a hilly, wooded section 1.25 mi1es wide and 6.75 miles long bounded on the north by the ridge and on the south by the Oak Ridge Turnpike, the main artery through CEW. The turnpike was part of U.S. Highway 61 before the CEW project started (CEW Facts, 1947, pdf p. 18).
CEW reservation security was initially provided by forces from Stone and Webster. On October 11, 1943, responsibility for Y-12 plant security as well as the reservation guard houses, was transferred to Tennessee Eastman Corporation (Covington, 1943).
The Atomic Energy Commission took over jurisdiction of the Clinton Engineer Works from the Manhattan Engineer District on Jan. 1, 1947. The Manhattan Engineer District was abolished by the Corps of Engineers of the War Department on Aug. 15, 1947.
NIOSH SEC Evaluation Report:
Petition 178 (Jan 1, 1943 to May 18, 1947)
SEC Petition Evaluation Report – Petition SEC-00178 – Report Rev #: 0
Report Submittal Date: February 6, 2012