Nuclear reactor graphite block

Graphite-block base of the world's first nuclear reactor assembled in a racquets court under the West Stands of Stagg Field at The University of Chicago during October and November, 1942. Visible in the photograph are graphite layers 2 and 3. Starting with layer 6, alternate courses of graphite, containing uranium-metal and/or uraniumoxidefuel, were separated by layers of solid graphite blocks. The completed structure was 57 layers high. On December 2, 1942, the pile (reactor) reached criticality and the chain reaction became self sustaining, thereby initiating the controlled release of nuclear energy. The experiment was conducted by a group of scientists led by the late Enrico Fermi., Credit Line: Argonne National Laboratory, courtesy of AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives
Abstract/Description: Graphite-block base of the world's first nuclear reactor assembled in a racquets court under the West Stands of Stagg Field at The University of Chicago during October and November, 1942. Visible in the photograph are graphite layers 2 and 3. Starting with layer 6, alternate courses of graphite, containing uranium-metal and/or uraniumoxidefuel, were separated by layers of solid graphite blocks. The completed structure was 57 layers high. On December 2, 1942, the pile (reactor) reached criticality and the chain reaction became self sustaining, thereby initiating the controlled release of nuclear energy. The experiment was conducted by a group of scientists led by the late Enrico Fermi.
Subject(s): Nuclear reactors
College campuses
Credit Line: Argonne National Laboratory, courtesy of AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives
Catalog ID: University of Chicago H7