oak ridge reservation (usdoe)


The Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) site, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) facility, covers nearly 35,000 acres and is located within and adjacent to the corporate limits of the City of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The site contains hundreds contaminated areas on the ORR and contaminated surface water and sediment outside the ORR boundary,including the Poplar Creek, the Clinch River, and lower Watts Bar Reservoir of the Tennessee River. The site consists of three large industrial production facilities constructed as part of the World War II-era Manhattan Project: the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (formerly known as the X-10 Site), a research facility that includes nuclear reactors and ongoing energy, chemical, and biological programs; the former K-25 Site, now known as the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), a former production facility that enriched uranium-235 by gaseous diffusion; and the Y-12 Plant, a production facility that formerly enriched uranium-235 by an electromagnetic process, and currently disassembles nuclear weapon components, processes nuclear materials, and performs other functions related to energy and national defense programs. Many cleanup activities at the site have been grouped according to watersheds. ETTP is not a well defined watershed and is treated as a single watershed for administrative purposes. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is divided into the Bethel Valley Watershed and the Melton Valley Watershed, both of which are drained by White Oak Creek. Y-12 is divided into the Bear Creek Valley Watershed and the Upper East Fork Poplar Creek (UEFPC) Watershed. Site operations generated a variety of radioactive, non-radioactive, and mixed (radioactive and non-radioactive) hazardous wastes, most of which were containerized and buried below ground or stored in buildings on site. An estimated 43,200 people obtain water from surface water intakes on the Tennessee River along a 118-mile stretch downstream from the site.

Hazardous Ranking Score

51 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 4
Phone: (404) 562-9900
Fax: (404) 562-8174

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


        African American
        American Indian and Alaska Native
        Native Hawaiian


        People living
        within a 1 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

        Potentially Responsible Parties

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