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

2015 DOE Public Bus Tour


The 2015 DOE Public Bus Tour season is over.  Please check back for information on the 2016 season.

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.

  • March – Every Monday and Friday
  • April & May – Every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday (except Friday, April 3 & Monday May 25)
  • June, July, & August – Monday through Friday (except Thursday, July 2 & Friday, July 3)
  • September & October – Every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday (except Monday, September 7)
  • November – Every Monday & Friday*  (except Friday, Nov 27)   *We will be running Wednesday, Nov 25 as a substitute for Friday, Nov 27.
Tour Registration: Begins at 9:00 am in-person on the day of your tour, or you can register online below. (Directions to AMSE)
Online Registration (future months become available approximately 30 days prior to the 1st of the month): Select the month you’d like to reserve seats for DOE Public Bus Tour.  A window will pop-up, from which you can select the date you are interested in. Additional information will be collected by  AMSE’s cashier when you arrive on the day of your served tour.  Please ensure that you arrive by 11:30 am on the date you have selected and have a photo identification upon arrival.

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • Must be U.S. citizen
  • 10 years of age or older
  • Must have photo identification (18 or older)
  • Seating is limited on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Some restrictions apply
    This tour is accessible for slow walker or wheelchair users who can get up a few steps. If you plan to use a wheelchair, we encourage 48 hours of notice. The Graphite Reactor portion of the tour is accessible for wheelchairs or walkers but requires participants to traverse a 456-foot path with a 4.8% slope to get from the tour bus to the reactor. You are welcome to remain on the bus as needed during this portion of the tour.
 Cost: AMSE admission includes Bus Tour (upon registration): Adults $5, Seniors(65+) $4, Students (10 –  17) $3
Bus Tour Time: Bus boards at 11:45 am, leaves promptly at 12 noon and returns at 3:00 pm. Guide commentary provided throughout tour.
Bus Tour Itinerary
  • Y-12 New Hope Visitor Center (bus stop): 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 (bus stop):  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 (bus stop): 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 world’s oldest nuclear reactor.
  • Spallation Neutron Source (drive by): The Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) is an accelerator-based neutron source facility that provides the most intense pulsed neutron beams in the world of scientific research and industrial development.
  • East Tennessee Technology Park: Heritage Center, formerly K-25 (drive by): Tour visitors learn about the gaseous diffusion process that enriched uranium (later sent to Y-12 for further enrichment) to power the first atomic bomb. A stop at the K-25 Overlook will be made if time allows.
The tour program is sponsored by the ORNL, Y-12, ETTP, Dept. of Energy, and AMSE. For more information, please call Glenda Bingham, AMSE, at (865) 576-3200.


300 S Tulane,
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Phone: (865) 576-3200


Monday-Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm
Sunday: 1 - 5 pm

AMSE is open daily except, New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, & Christmas.