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First nuclear reactor CP-1, 1942

First nuclear reactor CP-1, 1942

T162/0121

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Credit

MELVIN A. MILLER / US NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MELVIN A. MILLER / US NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

First nuclear reactor. Artwork of the world's first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1 (CP-1), in a racquets court at the University of Chicago, USA. The reactor, which used uranium fuel with graphite control rods, was built under the supervision of Italian physicist Enrico Fermi. The main control rod (lower centre, next to ladder) was used to initiate and stop nuclear reactions. The world's first self-sustaining nuclear reaction was initiated here on 2nd December 1942, with people observing from the balcony (top left). 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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