The Manhattan Project

X-10 Plant

Milton Levenson's Interview

Cindy Kelly:  Okay. I’m Cindy Kelly, I’m in Alexandria, Virginia. It is January 9th, 2017. I have with me Milton Levenson. My first question to him is to please say his name and then spell it.

Levenson: My name is Milton Levenson. No middle name. M-i-l-t-o-n, and Levenson is L-e-v-e-n-s-o-n.

Kelly:  Terrific. At any rate, let’s begin with the beginning. Tell us, if you would, when you were born and where, and something about your childhood.

Milton Levenson

Milton Levenson is an American chemical engineer and former president of the American Nuclear Society who has worked in the nuclear energy field for more than 60 years. During the Manhattan Project, he worked at Decatur, IL, and Oak Ridge, TN, where he was a supervisor at the X-10 plant.

Ernest Wende

Ernest Wende was transferred into the Manhattan District, the branch of the United States Army Corps of Engineers tasked with overseeing the construction of critical Manhattan Project sites, shortly after its formation in 1942. He lived and worked at Oak Ridge during the war and was closely involved in the design and construction of the site’s thousands of residential units and cafeterias and recreational facilities, as well as the Y-12 and X-25 Plants and the X-10 Graphite Reactor.

Leroy Jackson

Leroy Jackson was transferred into the Manhattan District, the branch of the United States Army Corps of Engineers tasked with overseeing the construction of critical Manhattan Project sites, shortly after its formation in 1942. He lived and worked at Oak Ridge during the war and was closely involved in the design and construction of the site’s thousands of residential units and cafeterias and recreational facilities, as well as the Y-12 and X-25 Plants and the X-10 Graphite Reactor.

Louis Turner

Louis Turner, a metallurgical engineer, first became involved with the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago in 1943. Turner worked at the “Dairy,” a codename for the place at the University where scientists researched methods to effectively can fuel elements for the nuclear reaction. After a brief stint at Oak Ridge working around the X-10 Graphite Reactor as a health-instrument scientist, Turner was transferred to Hanford where he spent much of his career conducting site surveys to monitor radiation levels in the surrounding area.

Lawrence S. Myers, Jr.'s Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and it is Wednesday, July 22, 2014. Today I’m with Lawrence S. Myers, Jr. to talk about his Manhattan Project experience. I would like to start by asking Larry to tell me his full name and spell it please. 

Lawrence Myers: My full name, Lawrence Stanley Myers, Jr. L-A-W-R-E-N-C-E, S-T-A-N-L-E-Y, M-Y-E-R-S. I’m not sure I know how to spell “Junior.” It’s just J-R. 

Lawrence S. Myers, Jr.

Lawrence Myers was a chemist who worked at the Oak Ridge during the Manhattan Project. In his interview, he discusses attending the University of Chicago, where he was invited to begin working on the Manhattan Project conducting experiments on uranium. He later moved to Oak Ridge along with a group of Chicago scientists. His wife joined him thanks to some chemistry coursework she had completed while in Chicago. Following the Project, Myers worked at Argonne National Laboratory before taking a position at the new medical school at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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