The B Reactor at Hanford was built and operated by DuPont and was the world's first production-scale nuclear reactor. B Reactor was the first of three plutonium reactors constructed in the 100 area during the Manhattan Project.
Corporate Involvement in the Manhattan Project
Located at 3280 Broadway, the Nash Garage Building was originally an automobile dealership which was purchased by Columbia University and converted into a pilot plant to create the barrier material for Oak Ridge, TN’s K-25 gaseous diffusion plant.
Dayton, Ohio was another site of the secret Manhattan Project work. In July 1943, Oppenheimer assigned Charles A. Thomas the task of separating polonium for use as the initiator of the bombs.
Cynthia Kelly: Why don’t you start, George, by telling us your name and spelling it.
George Mahfouz: I’m George Mahfouz, last name is spelled M-A-H-F-, as in Frank, -O-U-Z, as in zebra.
Kelly: Is that Egyptian?
Mahfouz: It’s Middle Eastern. The name is Syrian.
Kelly: Anyways, sorry, next question—tell us about your background, you know, where you went to college...
Cindy Kelly: Give me your name and spell it.
Graydon Whitman: My name is Graydon Whitman, G-R-A-Y-D-O-N W-H-I-T-M-A-N.
Kelly: Great. Okay, can you tell us a little bit about your background: where you’re from and how you happened to become part of the Manhattan Project?
Hanford, Washington, on the beautiful Columbia River, was the site selected for the full-scale plutonium production plant, the B Reactor. Today a popular tourist desination, the Hanford Site proved crucial to the success of the Manhattan Project.