Chicago Pile 1 (CP-1) 70th Anniversary
December 2, 1942 - December 2, 2012
Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the world's first self-sustaining, controlled nuclear chain reaction
70 years ago an experiment in a converted squash court at the University of Chicago's abandoned Stagg Field wrote nuclear science history
49 scientists, led by Enrico Fermi, were present on Dec. 2, 1942, when Chicago Pile 1, the world's first nuclear reactor went critical.
Who was there?
Listen to CP-1 Pioneer Harold Agnew telling how that remarkable day went.
...and Warren Nyer
CP-1 Pioneer Warren Nyer recalls a silent celebration after the successful experiment.
The Dawn of the Nuclear Age
A Director’s Special Symposium was held as one of the events to commemorate the 70th anniversary year of CP-1 achieving criticality.
On December 2, 1942, 49 scientists, led by Enrico Fermi, made history when Chicago Pile 1 (CP-1) went critical and produced the world's first self-sustaining, controlled nuclear chain reaction.
Did you know?
The knowledge gained from CP-1, combined with data and analysis from many Argonne physics experiments conducted in the 1940's and early 1950's, informed the development of early naval and commercial nuclear power reactors and made it possible, fifteen years to the day after CP-1 first went critical, for the Shippingport
Atomic Power Station to go critical on Dec.
2, 1957 and become America's first full-scale commercial atomic
electric power plant.
- Atoms forge a Scientific Revolution: Promethean Boldness - A chronicle of the Chicago Pile 1 experiment
- Chicago Pile 1 Pioneers — Forty-nine scientists, led by Enrico Fermi, were present in a converted squash court at the University of Chicago's abandoned Stagg Field on Dec. 2, 1942, when Chicago Pile 1, the world's first nuclear reactor went critical…
- Reactors Designed by Argonne National Laboratory: Early Exploration - Early exploration nuclear reactors designed by the Manhattan Project's Metallurgical Laboratory, the direct predecessor to Argonne National Laboratory, began the development of nuclear technology.
- Fermi facts, fables: Colleagues and friends share memories - Reprinted from Argonne Logos, Winter 2002
“Almanac: The 1st self-sustained nuclear reaction” — from CBS News (Dec. 2, 2012)
- The Dawn of the Nuclear Age - June 28, 2012 marked a special day at Argonne National Laboratory, when nearly 600 Argonne staff members had the privilege of hearing two of the pioneers in the nuclear energy field discuss the early days of their careers and their roles in Argonne’s nuclear energy legacy. The video of the symposium and a summary are now available…
- Argonne nuclear pioneers: Chicago Pile 1 on YouTube (by Argonne National Laboratory) On December 2, 1942, 49 scientists, led by Enrico Fermi, made history when Chicago Pile 1 (CP-1) went critical and produced the world's first self-sustaining, controlled nuclear chain reaction. Seventy years later, two of the last surviving CP-1 pioneers, Harold Agnew and Warren Nyer, recall that historic day.
- CP-1 Flickr Gallery (by Argonne National Laboratory)
Last Modified: Tue, December 4, 2012 10:45 AM