Where Science & History Come Alive
Call Us: (865) 576-3200

2012 DOE Public Bus Tour

Dates: June 4 – August 31,, 2012  Monday – Friday
(except July 4th & 5th)
Tour Registration: Begins at 9:00 am at the AMSE Admission Counter. Each participant must register on the day they want to take the tour.  No advance registrations.  (Directions to AMSE)
Participants: *Must be U.S. citizen 10 years of age and older.
*Seating is limited on a first come, first served basis.
*Must have photo identification.
*Some restrictions apply
 Cost: AMSE admission includes Bus Tour (upon registration):
Adults $5, Seniors(65+) $4, Students (10 -  17) $3
Bus Tour Time: Bus leaves promptly at 12 noon and returns at 3:00 pm. Guide commentary provided throughout tour.
Bus Stops Participants will be allowed off the bus at the following locations:

  • Y-12 New Hope Visitor Center: The visitor facility houses the spacious History Center featuring displays about the Manhattan Project, the Cold War, and other Y-12 missions.
  • Bethel Valley Church:  New Bethel Baptist Church and Cemetery, founded in 1851, was officially closed by former church members as a house of worship in 1949 following the area’s Manhattan Project incorporation into the Oak Ridge Reservation. The cemetery features covered grave houses that are unique to the region. The church is still used for special events and homecoming celebrations.
  • Graphite Reactor at ORNL: A national historic landmark, the Graphite Reactor located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory served as the pilot project that led to the first production of plutonium.  Visitors will view the exterior of the world’s oldest nuclear reactor.
  • K-25 Overlook: Tour visitors will see the refurbished Visitor’s Center at ETTP and learn about the gaseous diffusion process that enriched uranium powering the first atomic bomb.

The guided bus tour includes highlights of the history of Oak Ridge and the history of science and technology at the three U.S. Department of Energy/Oak Ridge facilities.

The tour program is sponsored by the DOE Oak Ridge Office and the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Y-12 Site Office.  Tour partners include UT-Battelle, which operates the Oak Ridge National Laboratory; B&W Y-12, contractor for the Y-12 National Security Complex; UCOR (URS/CH2M Oak Ridge, LLC), the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation Environmental Management contractor; and, the AMSE.

For more information, please call Lissa Clarke, AMSE, at (865) 576-3218 or DiAnn Fields, DOE, at (865) 576-0885, or visit www.amse.org.

DOE’s press release

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20 Comments
  1. I’m interested in doing a tour for 4 of us on 7/5. Is there any way we can prepay to be assured a seat on the bus? our son is going to be interning at ORNL, and we are very much interested in seeing the area.

    Please advise or if you have any suggestions, we would greatly appreciate them.

    Thanks

  2. I am sorry to report that the tour will not be running on the July 4th & 5th. In addition, there is no prepay/preregistration available. We generally recommend that visitors show up at 9 am, when the museum opens, to register for the tour. There are rarely enough people here at opening to fill the bus.

  3. Hi! Just moved to Tennessee and would love to take this tour. I see registration is @ 9 and the bus doesn’t depart until noon. Is there enough to see and do there to keep us occupied for the 3 hours in between?

  4. We recommend that people register at 9 to ensure they get a seat as seating is limited and on a first come, first serve basis. With that being said, depending on how in depth you like to read the exhibit information, it could take you 3 hours or more to get through all of the exhibits. But we also suggest to visitors taking the bus tour to step out around 11 to get lunch and come back for the tour. You are even welcome to come in at 9 register and leave until it’s time for the tour and then visit the museum after the tour. Let us know if you have anymore questions. – Ken

  5. this sounds like it would be nice for our girl scout troop,but i think 1 of the girls is still 9 (they range from 9-11)and i’m not sure if they all have id’s.are id’s required for those ages as well?

  6. Alice,
    The bus tour is restricted to 10 year olds and IDs are not required for kids this age. Before bringing a group for the tour, please contact Lissa Clarke, lclarke@amse.org or (865)576-3218. She will be able to answer any further questions you may have and talk you through chaperone requirements, etc.

    -Ken

  7. I don’t see anything about photos. Can we take our cameras?

  8. Wyleen,

    Cameras are permitted but no case. No video taping is allowed. There are some restrictions as to areas/buildings that you can’t take picture of. The tour guide will provide guidance in those areas.
    -Ken

  9. My husband and 3 sons are all U.S. Citizens but I have maintained my British citizenship. I do have a Permanent Resident Card and of course Soc. Sec. card. Is there no way I can go along with my family?
    Thanks for any info you can give – best wishes, H.

  10. Helen,

    We have checked with security and U.S. citizenship is a requirement, since Sept. 11, 2001, for the DOE Facilities Public Bus Tour. The Permanent Resident card is not acceptable identification. You and your family can visit the Y-12 Visitor Center and the K-25 Overlook, two stops we have on the Public Tour, on your own. Please take note that these facilities (Y-12 Visitor Center & K-25 Overlook) are not open July 4 & 5.

    Apologize for the inconvenience and let us know if you have any further questions,
    Ken

  11. Ken, I believe you have an error on the “DoE Public Bus Tour” page. The portion describing the K-25 Overlook reads, “…learn about the gaseous diffusion process that enriched uranium powering the first atomic bomb.” But K-25 didn’t start operations until the day AFTER “FAT MAN” was dropped on Nagasaki, and Y-12′s electromagnetic CalUTrons produced the fuel for “LITTLE BOY”.

  12. Shane,

    I had to do a little research to ensure that I answered your comments correctly, so I called upon Oak Ridge’s Historian and fellow K-25er, Bill Wilcox. Let me sum up his answer the best I can. Uranium processing began at K-25 in Jan 1945, even though the plant was not completely finished. By mid-March enough uranium had been enriched to roughly 1% and was shipped to Y-12 for further enrichment. (That was roughly the level the S-50 plant was able to turn out after a full year of production.) By mid-June enrichment levels had increased and K-25 continued to furnish “enriched” uranium to Y-12 for further enrichment. So while Y-12 furnished the end product, K-25 did some of the enrichment for the bomb. The statement may be a little embellished but it’s not a false statement.

    Bill went on the say that once fully operational, K-25 was able to provide enriched uranium at the same level as Y-12 and eventually replaced the electromagnetic process used at Y-12 because it was a cheaper process. -Ken

  13. Could you please tell me how much walking/standing is involved in the bus tour? My parents (who are in their 80′s) are interested in taking the tour, but my mother occasionally has to use a walker to get around. Thanks.

  14. what guided tours are avail sept 6 – 7 ? what is open to the public without a guided tour?

    THANKS

  15. My family and I were hoping to take the tour this year, but school has started, and you do not offer Saturday tours. Are there plans to offer a similar tour next year?
    Thanks,
    Kathy

  16. Lenny,

    The guided tours will be over by Sept 6 & 7. You can visit the Y-12 History Center Monday – Thursday and the K-25 overlook is open everyday during daylight hours. And of course, the museum is open 7 days a week as well.

    Ken

  17. At this time there are plans to have the DOE Facilities Bus Tour next year.

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Phone: (865) 576-3200
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American Museum of Science & Energy

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