Friday, January 08, 2010

Nuke Geek Request

I have a small piece of graphite from the first nuclear reactor, CP-1, which was built under the Stagg Field spectator stands at the University of Chicago as part of the Manhattan Project in 1942. It's encased in clear plastic, and I was given it as a memento of some meeting or other.

I've always wanted a piece of diffusion barrier to go with it. Diffusion barrier is the material used in Oak Ridge's gaseous diffusion plants, which separated uranium isotopes in the Manhattan Project.

They've got a surplus of that stuff. It can't be all that radioactive; clear plastic should take care of any hazard. And I need a piece for my desk. I'll bet there are a lot of other geeks out here that would want one, too. That's how they could get rid of it.

But I suppose it's still classified. Sigh.


Peter said...

I've got a few pieces of Trinitite in a little box on my book shelf. I think it's really neat to think about how it formed. It's something unique in human history.

Anonymous said...

It sure is still classified Cheryl. You're right though. It would make a nice conversation piece and a great historical item. Maybe you could go ahead and put in a request in case they de-classify it in the near future. I worked at K-25 and watched the tubes being made and later being inserted into the converters. Fascinating material!