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Located in the Bear Creek Valley of East Tennessee, the Y-12 National Security Complex had its beginnings in the earliest days of the Manhattan Project.
Just over Pine Ridge from Oak Ridge, a city built during the project by the Army Corps of Engineers to house thousands of workers, Y-12 would eventually come out from under its secret cloak to become known worldwide for its role in creating the world’s first atomic bomb used in warfare.
In the East Tennessee PBS series “A Nuclear Family: Y-12 National Security Complex,” East Tennesseans will get first-hand perspective on the reasons Y-12 workers want to do their jobs well and how they view their work to support the nation’s continued freedom.
The first 30-minute episode will be shown at 9 p.m. Jan. 26.
It will detail the communities that were to become Oak Ridge, shown through the eyes of those who moved out to make room for the Manhattan Project.
The Y-12 story is both one of technological challenges being met and people serving their nation by working on nuclear weapons to help win World War II, the Cold War and now fighting the War on Terror.
Y-12 is more than just a place where people come to work; they are an integral part of national security.
The series will give viewers never-before-seen glimpses into the world-changing work done in Oak Ridge by East Tennesseans — some natives, some transplants, but all proud to work at Y-12.
The remaining three episodes will be shown monthly in February, March and April.
The series also will be available after being shown on East Tennessee PBS at the Y-12 History Center public website, www.y12.doe.gov/about/history/video.php.
“East Tennessee PBS is proud to showcase Y-12, as this gives us an opportunity to highlight a great entity in our viewing area,” said Vickie Lawson, the station’s president and general manager.
East Tennessee PBS, a nonprofit viewer-supported public television station. As a PBS affiliate, it offers East Tennesseans the opportunity to explore new worlds and new ideas.
The organization is driven by its public service mission to help viewers discover more about the world, both on and off the air.
The station broadcasts nonviolent, commercial-free children’s series; instructional programs to K-12 classrooms and home schooled students; basic skill and adult education series; and national and area programs that entertain, enlighten and educate to an estimated 925,000 households in East Tennessee, southern Kentucky and western North Carolina.