Written by Bliss Kuntz, science teacher
On January 25, ten members of the HA Science Club headed to Oak Ridge, Tennessee to visit the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), a.k.a the Secret City. The structures that make up the ORNL (the Secret City) were first built during WWII for the purpose of enriching Uranium for use in atomic weapons. After WWII, the scientists at the ORNL switched their focus to nuclear energy production and ORNL is still a hotspot of scientific discovery today. The reason it was called the Secret City is because no one knew it existed during WWII. It was top secret.
On Sunday, the students visited the National Museum of Science and Energy where they gathered a greater understanding of nuclear energy and the history of Oak Ridge. On Monday, the club visited the sites on the ORNL campus such as the Titan Super Computer, Graphite Reactor (first nuclear reactor), High Flux Isotope Reactor, and the Spallatial Neutron Source (most powerful neutron beam in the world). The highlight of the trip was at the end when the Science Club was given a special tour of Y-12, a high security clearance area that still houses the nations uranium stores. It was a wonderful blessing, as most visitors including school tours are not welcome or allowed to visit Y-12. A rare exception was made for HA.