Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Caution . . . the Graphite Reactor

A few weeks ago, Charlie-Dog took us to where he works: the Graphite Reactor at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It's a very famous building where they made plutonium during the Manhattan Project. And I got to see the original document stating that the Graphite Reactor had reached critical. (Right now as I write this blog, I'm wearing the same shirt I wore on that day). He showed us his job site, his office, and the museum for the reactor. It was really fun and educational. Charlie-Dog has a very important job.

The world's first continuous operational reactor.

Enrico Fermi passed through these doors.

The platform that the manikins are standing on is actually an elevator which allowed the workers to push uranium slugs into the upper part of the loading face.

"I'm the operator with my pocket calculator . . . "

In addition to its role in the Manhattan Project, the graphite reactor was also first to generate electricity from nuclear energy.

"Critical reached" . . . November 4, 1943 at 5:00am.

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