In 1981 I was born in Oak Ridge, TN. In 1943 Oak Ridge became home to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The ORNL was home to the X-10 Graphite Reactor, the world's first production nuclear reactor, to demonstrate the production of plutonium. This reactor was part of the Manhattan Project, which was a top secret program to develop the world's first atomic weapon. Oak Ridge was deemed the "secret city" and within two years ballooned to over 75,000 workers involved in the project. The X-10 reactor was a plutonium production pilot that was later expanded to a much larger scale production facility at Hanford. In the 50's and 60's the X-10 graphite reactor was switched to peacetime research and was used to produce the world's first medical radioisotopes for treating cancer.
In 1997 my family moved from Oak Ridge, TN to Seattle, WA. In 1943 the US government created a 586 square mile nuclear production complex on the Columbia river called Hanford. The site is located near the Tri-Cites in Eastern WA approx 220 miles from Seattle. Hanford is home to the B Reactor, the first full-scale plutonium production reactor in the world. Plutonium manufactured at the site was used in the first nuclear bomb, tested at the Trinity site, and in Fat Man, the bomb detonated over Nagasaki, Japan. During the Cold War, the project was expanded to include nine nuclear reactors and five massive plutonium processing complexes, which produced plutonium for most of the 60,000 weapons in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
As you can see, by some weird fate my life has been around the history of this nation's nuclear technology development. This combined with my interest in anything history and technology leads to me being an "Atomic Tourist". Someone that studies atomic history and visits historical atomic sites in the US.
Here is a short list of historical atomic sites I hope to visit in the future.
Hanford B-Reactor - Tri-Cites, WA
Titan Missle Silo - Tucson AZ
Trinity Site - Socorro, New Mexico
Tinian Airfield - Tinian Island, Mariana Islands
Hiroshima - Japan
Mar 2, 2009
Welcome to my personal blog, where I write about random stuff in my daily life. My top 3 interests as you could guess are technology, food, and traveling. Well you could replace food with hobbies which also includes radio control planes and helicopters along with photography. Don't worry, you will get a dose of those along the way as well. So, enjoy the ride!