George Watt was an American chemist.
[Many thanks to Claude Lyneis for donating this footage to the Atomic Heritage Foundation.]
Narrator: About seventy-five miles northwest of Walla Walla, Washington, in an isolated expanse of open desert, civilization entered into a new age, an age from which it would never emerge the same. Here, in the home of the Wanapum Indians, the terrain is mostly scrubland, laced here and there by cheatgrass, greasewood, and Russian thistle.
L. M. Richards was President of the Atlantic Richfield Hanford Company, which took over chemical processing operations at Hanford in 1967.
Stephane Groueff: Hello. Colonel Matthias, if you can tell me the story of how the plutonium was shipped.
Colonel Franklin Matthias: Is this good enough.
Groueff: Yeah, it is good enough. The plutonium was shipped from Hanford to—?
Matthias: To Los Alamos.
Groueff: To Los Alamos.
Gilbert Church: During the construction period there were several fellows that I could suggest you see. One of them would be Phil Gardner, for example. He was a recruiter on the road, and that was one of the biggest problems that we had, was getting manpower. He would know all the detail of that. So would Buster Harris, Bill Taylor—they were associated with the operation of the camp on Burton on a day-in day-out basis.
Stephane Groueff: Is there a movie about Hanford?
Stephane Groueff: So Mr. Friel, you were with the optical side in Chicago project?
Dan Friel: Yes. My interest and activity was in the optical end. The job was to make it possible to see through walls and to see into equipment where otherwise the radioactive level was too high to operator or to work. We knew, of course, that we had to be able to see behind these walls, and we knew in many cases that we would not know what we would be looking at, because there were new and strange phenomena going on. This indeed turned out to be the case.
Daniel D. Friel was a chemical engineer for the DuPont Company who joined the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago in 1943.
Friel was assigned to design the optics for remote operations in Hanford's T-Plant, a state-of-the-art chemical separations facility. Under Charles M. Cooper and George Monk, Friel invented equipment based on preexisting military technology to see behind walls at the separation plant and the B Reactor.
[At top is the edited version of the interview published by S. L. Sanger in Working on the Bomb: An Oral History of WWII Hanford, Portland State University, 1995.
For the full transcript that matches the audio of the interview, please scroll down.]
W.K. MacCready: One of the challenging things we had, when we started up the separations plant and were running a reasonably complex chemical process, was that we were not able to inform our operators of the identity of any of the chemicals that they used, including the additives that they pumped out of the storage tanks and into the weigh tanks. They were Chemical Y, Chemical A and so on.
S. L. Sanger: So they wouldn’t even know that?