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Made in Hanford: The Bomb that Changed the World
Author: Hill Williams
Copyright/published Year: 2012 by WSU Press
On the eve of World War II, news of an astonishing
breakthrough filtered out of Germany Scientists there had split
uranium atoms. Researchers in the United States scrambled to
verify results and further investigate this new science.
Ominously, they soon recognized its potential to fuel the
ultimate weapon-one able to release the energy of an uncontrolled
chain reaction. By 1941, experiments led to the identification of
plutonium, but laboratory work generated the new element in
amounts far too small to be useful. Fearing the Nazis were on the
verge of harnessing nuclear power, President Franklin D.
Roosevelt gambled on an ambitious project to research and
manufacture uranium and plutonium for military use.
As research continued, engineers began to construct massive
buildings in an isolated eastern Washington farming community
Within two years, Hanford became the world's first plutonium
factory. The amazingly complex operation was accomplished with a
speed and secrecy unheard of today; few involved knew what they
were building. But on August 9, 1945, when the "Fat Man" fell on
Nagasaki, the workers understood their part in changing the
Hanford's role did not end there. The facility produced
plutonium throughout the Cold War. Some was used in tests
conducted halfway around the world. Nuclear bombs were dropped on
the Bikini and Enewetak Atolls, profoundly impacting the Marshall
Islands people and forever altering their way of life.
Through clear scientific explanations and personal
reminiscences, Hill Williams traces Hanford's role in the story
of the plutonium bomb.
About the author:
Hill Williams was reared in Pasco, Washington. He is a former
Seattle Times science writer and the award-winning author of the
WSU Press bestseller, The Restless Northwest.
This book is new.
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