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First nuclear reactor CP-1, 1942

First nuclear reactor CP-1, 1942

T162/0120

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Credit

GARY SHEAHAN / US NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARY SHEAHAN / US NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

First nuclear reactor. Artwork showing the moment when the world's first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1 (CP-1), became self-sustaining. This historic event took place at 15:22 local time on 2nd December 1942, in a racquets court at the University of Chicago, USA. The reactor, using uranium fuel with graphite control rods, was built under the supervision of Italian physicist Enrico Fermi. The final control rod was operated by George Weil (lower centre), while Fermi (upper left) monitored the nuclear activity. This work led to the production of the fuel for the first atom bombs, as part of the Manhattan Project.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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