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The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is one of six production facilities in the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA's) Nuclear Security Enterprise (NSE). Y-12’s unique emphasis is the processing and storage of uranium and development of technologies associated with those activities. Decades of precision machining experience make Y-12 a production facility with capabilities unequaled nationwide.
Y-12 helps ensure a safe and effective U.S. nuclear weapons deterrent. We also retrieve and store nuclear materials, fuel the nation’s naval reactors, and perform complementary work for other government and private-sector entities.
Since 1943, Y-12 has played a key role in strengthening our country’s national security and reducing the global threat from weapons of mass destruction. Y-12 has evolved to become the complex the nation looks to for support in protecting America's future, developing innovative solutions in manufacturing technologies, prototyping, safeguards and security, technical computing and environmental stewardship.
In meeting the country’s evolving nuclear security needs, Y-12 has developed unique skills and acquired a wealth of experience that benefit the nation and world. Expertise in science-based product evaluation, materials science, precision manufacturing, applied manufacturing technology, nuclear nonproliferation, data-driven operations management, and the handling of nuclear materials has spurred scientific research and sparked innovation.
Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC manages and operates the facility along with the Pantex Plant in Texas under a single contract from the U.S. Department of Energy/NNSA.
John W. Freiderich is an applied technology scientist at the Y-12 National Security Complex. He specializes in the advanced processing of non-radiological and nuclear materials. His scientific areas of expertise include electrochemistry, ionic liquids/molten salts, aqueous solution chemistry, and various spectroscopic methods. Freiderich has developed and patented technologies related to the improvement of consumer-relevant materials and processes during his tenure. These technologies include rare earth extractive metallurgy, mineral electrowinning, high-throughput molten salt reactor material production, advanced sensor development, and electroplating methods. He holds a Ph.D. in radiochemistry from Washington State University and a B.S. in chemistry from Minnesota State University.
- Basic science: seeks to understand how nature works. This research includes experimental and theoretical work in materials science, physics, chemistry, biology, high-energy physics, and mathematics and computer science, including high performance computing.
- Applied science and engineering helps to find practical solutions to society’s problems. These programs focus primarily on energy resources, environmental management and national security.