Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Life AtomicA History of Radioisotopes in Science and Medicine$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Angela N. H. Creager

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226017808

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226017945.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021



(p.60) Chapter Three Reactors
Life Atomic

Angela N. H. Creager

University of Chicago Press

Leaders in the Manhattan Project laid the groundwork for the government’s mass-production of radioisotopes during the war. The U.S. Army constructed the Oak Ridge reactor as a pilot plant for the Hanford plutonium-producing reactors, and its postwar fate was uncertain. Scientists wanted to dedicate it to radioisotope production for external users with the dual aims of to benefiting civilian science and justifying a national laboratory in Tennessee. This chapter covers the establishment of the civilian agency (the AEC), the launching of radioisotope distribution—still under the auspices of the Manhattan Project until Jan. 1, 1947—and the U.S. government’s public relations efforts that were staged around the early shipments. It tracks isotope production at Oak Ridge through early postwar period, which supplied stable and radioactive isotopes, as well as irradiation services, to civilian scientists and physicians. The same reactor was producing radioisotopes for sale and materials for radiological warfare experiments and other classified research projects, showing the overlap between the AEC’s civilian and military activities.

Keywords:   Manhattan Project, Manhattan Engineer District, Reactor, Oak Ridge

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.