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Occupational Energy Research Program

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.


Oak Ridge Facilities (K-25, Y-12, X-10)

K-25 plant, inside X-10, Y-12 plant

In 1943, the Oak Ridge facilities were constructed near Knoxville, Tennessee. As was the purpose of the majority of nuclear facilities during this time, Oak Ridge was tasked with developing an atomic bomb. Three facilities were built:

• K-25, also referred to as the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, enriched uranium. Today, it is the Eastern Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP).

• Y-12 separated uranium using an electromagnetic process.

• X-10, also referred to as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, converted uranium into plutonium.

Fact sheets

Nuclear workers from the Oak Ridge facilities have been included in many NIOSH studies. Below are fact sheets that summarize some of the study findings for workers.

Multiple myeloma: A study of K-25 workers (ETTP) (2009)

A cohort mortality study of chemical laboratory workers in Department of Energy nuclear plants (2008)

Multi-site leukemia worker notification presented at worker briefing September 2008 (March 2008)

Publications from NIOSH studies done at Oak Ridge

A nested case-control study of multiple myeloma risk and uranium exposure among workers at the oak ridge gaseous diffusion plant. (2009)

A cohort mortality study of chemical laboratory workers at Department of Energy Nuclear Plants. (2008)

Characterization of internal exposure to enriched uranium at a former gaseous diffusion plant. (2007).

Estimating active bone marrow dose from occupational exposure to uranium at a former gaseous diffusion plant. (2007).

Task- and time-dependent weighting factors in a retrospective exposure assessment of chemical laboratory workers. (2007)

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and radiation: findings among workers at five US nuclear facilities and a review of the recent literature (2007)

Risk of chronic myeloid and acute leukemia mortality following exposure to ionizing radiation among workers at four U.S. nuclear weapons facilities and a nuclear naval shipyard. (2007)

Bone marrow dose estimates from work-related medical x-ray examinations given between 1943 and 1966 for personnel from five U.S. nuclear facilities. (2006)

Assessment of plutonium exposures for an epidemiological study of US nuclear workers. (2005)

Bias and uncertainty of penetrating photon dose measured by film dosimeters in an epidemiologic study of US nuclear workers. (2005)

Risk of cancer after low doses of ionising radiation: retrospective cohort study in 15 countries. (2005)

Leukemia mortality among radiation-exposed workers. (2001

Epidemiologic evaluation of childhood leukemia and paternal exposure to ionizing radiation (2001) Final Report.
pdf identifier icon(PDF document) 2.97B (51pages)

Evaluation of data for DOE site remediation workers. (2001) Final Report.
pdf identifier icon(PDF document) 167.36KB (47pages)

A case control study of multiple myeloma at four nuclear facilities (2000) PDF version of report: pages 1-50 (6566KB); pages 51-100 (3416KB); pages 101-150 (5744KB); pages 151-202 (4283KB). pdf identifier icon(PDF document)

Study of mortality among female nuclear weapons workers. (2000) Final Report, 447 pg.
pdf identifier icon(PDF document) 1.03MB (447pages)

The health effects of downsizing in the nuclear industry: findings at the Y-12 Plant, Oak Ridge Reservation. (2000) Final Report; 146 pg

A study of the health effects of exposure to elemental mercury: a followup of mercury exposed workers at the Y-12 plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. [Undated] Final Technical Report; 132 pg.

Dose estimation from daily and weekly dosimetry data. (2000) 44 pg.
pdf identifier icon(PDF document) 224KB (44 pages)
External link:

Methods for investigating age differences in the effects of prolonged exposures. (1998)

Publications from grant-funded studies done at Oak Ridge facilities

The K-25 plant Collection, validation, and treatment of data for mortality study of nuclear industry workers. (1997)

Frome EL, Cragle DL, Watkins JP, Wing S, Shy CM, Tankersley WG, West CM (1997)]. A mortality study of employees of the nuclear industry in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Radiation Res 148:64-80.

Loomis D, Wolf S (1996). Mortality of workers at a nuclear materials production plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1947-1990. Am J Ind Med, 29:131-141.

Gilbert ES, Cragle DL, Wiggs LD (1993). Update analyses of combined mortality data on workers at the Hanford Site, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant. Radiation Res 136:408-421.

Wing S, Shy CM, Wood JL, Wolf S, Cragle DL, Frome EL (1991). Mortality among workers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. JAMA 265(11): 1397-1402.
Site-specific studies conducted at Oak Ridge include:

Related websites

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
External link:

Medical screening programs available to workers

Building Trades National Medical Screening Program
External link:
To learn more, call 1-800-866-9663

Worker Health Protection Program (WHPP)
External link:
To learn more, call 513-367-1333

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Study Sites

Related Information

Other related NIOSH websites:

Office of Compensation Analysis and Support (OCAS)

Page last updated: March 31, 2011
Page last reviewed: March 31, 2011
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies