March 2011
Hanford's Nike Site
Saving K-25
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The Atomic Heritage Foundation is pleased to present our new and improved website.  Explore the Atomic Heritage Foundation's new site and see what is happening at Los Alamos, Hanford, Oak Ridge and elsewhere.   

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Welcome to AHF's New Website @! 

The Manhattan Project sites are featured in a picture slide show and articles that highlight preservation efforts. Please encourage your friends to subscribe to our newsletter and enjoy the many new features of the website including audiovisual materials on our YouTube channel.


The Atomic Heritage Foundation owes a special thank you to Clay and Dorothy Perkins of Rancho Santa Fe, CA who helped fund our website's makeover. Please check back often as we add more audiovisual materials and updates on our efforts and events.


group at bunker

Nike Site a Cold War Time Capsule

L to R: Pam Larsen, Colleen French, Maynard Plahuta, Cindy Kelly, Mark Donaldson and Riley Newman (UC-Irvine)

AHF representatives Cindy Kelly and Mark Donaldson (above) visited Hanford's only remaining Nike Missile bunker and underground facility used for anti-aircraft missiles during the early years of the Cold War (1955-1958). Walking down the bunker stairs, you enter a Cold War time capsule. Bunk beds remain from its bomb shelter days and whiteboards are on the wall from when it was an emergency management center after the 1986 Chernobyl accident  until 1993.  


Currently, the site is being used for gravitational experiments by physicists from the University of Washington and University of California Irvine funded by the National Science Foundation. 


However, all that may end September 30, 2011 as the site is on the Department of Energy's list for demolition. The Atomic Heritage Foundation will work with local officials and nonprofit groups to determine whether that deadline can be postponed. For more information on this and other sites including photographs, see our website.


Cindy Kelly is member of a Presidential Advisory Committee for the Cold War Theme Study that is meeting in Washington, DC on May 23, 2011 to discuss Cold War properties that ought to be preserved such as the Nike Site.


North Tower of K-25 Plant


The Atomic Heritage Foundation has joined local, State and national organizations in fighting for the preservation of a portion of the K-25 plant in Oak Ridge, TN. Degenkolb Engineers reported to Oak Ridge officials that a portion of the North Tower could be preserved (K-303-10). 


The Degenkolb study's first option proposes preserving one of the original 54 buildings (K-303-10) that made up the mile-long plant, at a cost lower than what would be required for demolition. The second option proposes to preserve less than 1/4 of that building.  The third and fourth options propose razing the entire K-25 plant and creating an open air shed for visitors.


The first option as critical to representing the mammoth K-25 plant, once an icon of Manhattan Project. The second option would not convey a sense of the grand scale of K-25 and would limit visitors to 15 at a time on the operating floor. Tearing down this historic site on the eve of the creation of a Manhattan Project Historical National Park would be a tremendous and unacceptable loss for the American public and future generations. 


In 2001, the Department of Energy recognized the K-25 plant as a Signature Facility of the Manhattan Project along with the X-10 Graphite Reactor and Y-12 Beta-3 Calutrons at Oak Ridge. Saving a representative portion of the K-25 plant is essential to tell the full story of the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge. It will be the "jewel in the crown" of a new Manhattan Project National Historical Park.


For more information, see the Degenkolb and  Informal Learning Experience, Inc.'s reports to DOE. The first focuses on options for the preservation of the K-25 plant and the second on the interpretation of Oak Ridge's Manhattan Project history. You can also read the Atomic Heritage Foundation's comments on the proposal. Feel free to contact us if you're interested in supporting the preservation of the K-25.


Preserving the sites where history happened allows visitors to feel a deeper personal connection to our common past.  We are doing our best to ensure that key sites representing the Manhattan Project and the Atomic Age are preserved. Your support helps us work with our partners at the national, State and local levels to save important remnants of our history, society and culture for the American public and future generations.

Atomic Heritage Foundation