Kamis, 01 Agustus 2013

SPECIAL ALERT...!!! >>> ..The Oak Ridge project is a vital part of the nation’s effort to upgrade its nuclear weapons production infrastructure. The UPF would replace a complex of buildings — some of them dating to the Manhattan Project — that are inefficient, deteriorating and pose safety risks for workers. The NNSA has done the cause no favors by fumbling through the design phase of a project that was green-lighted nine years ago. ..>>>.......A rendering of the Uranium Processing Facility, the multibillion-dollar production facility to be constructed at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge. The UPF, which would replace several old production facilities at Y-12, has a phase-one completion date of 2025. For now, the UPF team has had to lease office space to alleviate staff overcrowding including up to four people sharing the same cubicle. ..>>> ...Part of the Uranium Processing Facility team, including top management, has moved into a new facility on Union Valley Road not far from the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant — where the new production facility is to be built between now and 2025 at a cost that’s currently estimated somewhere between $4.2 billion and $6.5 billion....>>> According to spokeswoman Bridget Correll Waller, the total number of UPF employees grew from 620 in June 2012 to 770 in June 2013. Most of those are contractors and subcontractors who work under the umbrella of B&W Y-12, the government’s managing contractor at Y-12. It also includes the federal staff — notably Federal Project Director John Eschenberg — of the National Nuclear Security Administration. More hiring is expected, Waller said, especially as site preparation gets underway in earnest on the west side of the Y-12 installation.....>>> The most complicated issue to be addressed in making of an atomic bomb was the production of ample amounts of "enriched" uranium to sustain a chain reaction. At the time, uranium-235 was very hard to extract. In fact, the ratio of conversion from uranium ore to uranium metal is 500:1. Compounding this, the one part of uranium that is finally refined from the ore is over 99% uranium-238, which is practically useless for an atomic bomb. To make the task even more difficult, the useful U-235 and nearly useless U-238 are isotopes, nearly identical in their chemical makeup. No ordinary chemical extraction method could separate them; only mechanical methods could work....>>> ..On August 2, 1939, just before the beginning of World War II, Albert Einstein wrote to then President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Einstein and several other scientists told Roosevelt of efforts in Nazi Germany to purify uranium-235, which could be used to build an atomic bomb. It was shortly thereafter that the United States Government began the serious undertaking known then only as "The Manhattan Project." Simply put, the Manhattan Project was committed to expediting research that would produce a viable atomic bomb....>> The DOE says it needs a new bomb plant because it needs to maintain a stockpile of 6,000 nuclear weapons for the US arsenal. This is said during a time in which Russia has ratified the START2 Treaty committing them to reduce their stockpile and President Vladimir Putin has called for deep arsenal reductions. ...>>> ...The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to spend $4 billion to rebuild the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This will enable Y-12 to create 10 times as much nuclear weapons work with a 60 percent broader range than current levels. ..>>> The protesters -- Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed -- were convicted in May of two felony charges associated with damaging the government property and injuring the national defense activities at the site, and they are jailed in Georgia while awaiting Sept. 30 sentencing hearings. They face up to 30 years in prison for breaking into Y-12 and defacing structures, including spray-painted messages on the walls of the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility...>>

Y-12 nuke plant attempts to recover reputation following security breach





OAK RIDGE Tenn. — http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/y12-anniversary/y12-anniversary
For decades, the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant relished its nickname, the Fort Knox of Uranium. The self-applied moniker helped define the type of work that takes place in the government facility and underscored its top-security image.
Overnight, however, Fort Knox became a laughingstock.
On July 28, 2012, three intruders cut through fences, avoided detection and managed to reach the plant's Protected Area, where nuclear warhead parts are manufactured and where the nation's stockpile of bomb-grade uranium is stored.
The intruders weren't terrorists or armed adversaries. They were Bible-quoting pacifists who walked unimpeded into the plant's inner sanctum.
That made the security failures seem all the worse.
A year later, Y-12 is still making amends and searching for its lost reputation.
Then-Secretary of Energy Steven Chu called the breach "unacceptable." Congress held hearings to demand an explanation. Inspector General Greg Friedman said his team found "troubling displays of ineptitude" and much more. Within a matter of weeks, the number of investigations reached double digits, and yet there are still open questions about whether the security problems have been fixed -- or even properly identified.
Within the past month, DOE launched yet another review of security issues, not just at Y-12 but at agency sites around the nation.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., visited the plant immediately after the security breach and received a classified briefing.
According to Laura Herzog, the senator's communications director, Corker was told Y-12 officials understood the seriousness of the matter and were taking appropriate corrective actions.
"Since then, another incident has occurred, suggesting that the Department of Energy still does not have proper security measures in place at our nuclear weapons facilities," she said.
Herzog was making reference to a June 6 security breakdown in which a driver was waved into the plant at the main entrance, even though she had no security credentials and no business at the weapons plant. Two months before that, a bike rider was arrested on a Y-12 patrol road -- not far from where the Plowshares protesters initially broke into the plant -- after traversing most of the plant's north side boundary.
And at the end of July, a year after the initial break-in, two security police officers were wounded by the accidental discharge of a firearm.
Despite these lapses, Y-12 supporters cite the many improvements made and claim the Oak Ridge plant is perhaps more secure than it's ever been.
That statement isn't convincing because security relies on bluster, as well as barricades, and Y-12 appears to have lost its swagger.
"The aura of impregnability is gone. Probably forever," Howard Hall, director of the University of Tennessee's Institute for Nuclear Security, said. "This might encourage others to think that similar acts of 'aggressive dissent' might succeed, and so we may see more of these intrusions in the future."
Sister Megan Rice, now 83, Greg Boertje-Obed, 58, and Michael Walli, 64, are incarcerated in Georgia. The three await sentencing hearings scheduled for Sept. 30.
The activists, known collectively as the Transform Now Plowshares, were convicted in May on two felony counts for breaking into Y-12 and damaging government property. The most serious charge was attempting to injure or interfere with the national defense. That conviction legally categorized them as terrorists and made them ineligible for pre-sentencing release.
They face up to 30 years in prison, which could effectively become a life sentence.
It seems surprising now, but in the months before the break-in, Y-12 was developing plans to scale down its security force. The National Nuclear Security Administration had ordered its security contractor to cut costs to help address tight budgets. Layoffs were in the offing.
The layoffs were scrapped, of course, after the activists infiltrated the national security site, tossed blood against the walls of the uranium storehouse, spray-painted messages and made a mockery of the plant's protection.
The government acknowledged spending about $15 million to repair damages and to shore up or replace the sensors, cameras and other security equipment found to be faulty.
That dollar figure doesn't come close to the total amount of money the government spent as a result of the incident, including personnel costs, investigations and training.
The government hasn't given an official price tag, but a couple of observers with detailed knowledge of the situation said the overall tab from the break-in will probably exceed $100 million.
Stephen Young, a senior analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C., said there already is "exasperation" with the National Nuclear Security Administration's governance and cost controls.
"Depending on how the deck plays out, change is in the cards for the NNSA, and the break-in plays a substantial role in how likely and how significant that change will be," Young said. "It may be the break-in was the straw that broke the camel's back."
(Contact Frank Munger of The Knoxville News Sentinel in Tennessee at MungerF(at)knoxnews.com.)
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Y-12 nuke plant guards wounded in accident on anniversary of Oak Ridge security breach






On the anniversary of the worst security breach in the plant's history, there was yet another security incident at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tenn. — A federal spokesman confirmed that two Y-12 security police officers were wounded on Sunday by the accidental discharge of a firearm.

The guards received first-aid at Y-12 shortly after the 12:15 a.m. incident and then were taken to the Oak Ridge Methodist Medical Center, where they were treated and released, Steven Wyatt of the National Nuclear Security Administration said via email.

Their injuries were described as minor.
The gun incident is under investigation, and the federal agency refused to release details.
Wyatt would not say what type of weapon was involved.
According to information contained last year in a contract procurement document, these are the weapons used by Y-12 guards: M249 squad automatic weapon 5.56 mm; Bushmaster M4 5.56 mm with EOTech holographic sight; M240B medium machine gun 7.62 mm; M134D Dillon Aero minigun 7.62 mm; M67 fragmentation grenade; Remington 870 12-gauge breaching shotgun; M-4 w/M203; and Sig Sauer P226 9 mm.
The news of the latest security incident came on the anniversary of the July 28, 2102, break-in at Y-12 by three Plowshares protesters, including an 82-year-old Catholic nun.

The protesters -- Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed -- were convicted in May of two felony charges associated with damaging the government property and injuring the national defense activities at the site, and they are jailed in Georgia while awaiting Sept. 30 sentencing hearings. They face up to 30 years in prison for breaking into Y-12 and defacing structures, including spray-painted messages on the walls of the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility.

(Contact reporter Frank Munger of The Knoxville News Sentinel in Tennessee at MungerF@knoxnews.com. Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.shns.com.)


Frank Munger: Uranium Processing Facility team's growth leads to leased space

Frank Munger

A rendering of the Uranium Processing Facility, the multibillion-dollar production facility to be constructed at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge. 

The UPF, which would replace several old production facilities at Y-12, has a phase-one completion date of 2025. For now, the UPF team has had to lease office space to alleviate staff overcrowding including up to four people sharing the same cubicle. 

The last time the Uranium Processing Facility got too big for its britches, the problem cost the government about $500 million. I’m referring, of course, to the design failure that forced the big project’s design team to redo things — raising the roof by 13 feet and modifying other features — to make sure that the UPF, once constructed, could accommodate all of the needed equipment and operations.

This time around the space problem isn’t so complex or nearly so costly. The UPF team grew significantly over the past year, and simply ran out of room (four people, in some instances, shared the same cubicle) and so they had to look for more leased space.

Part of the Uranium Processing Facility team, including top management, has moved into a new facility on Union Valley Road not far from the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant — where the new production facility is to be built between now and 2025 at a cost that’s currently estimated somewhere between $4.2 billion and $6.5 billion.

According to spokeswoman Bridget Correll Waller, the total number of UPF employees grew from 620 in June 2012 to 770 in June 2013. Most of those are contractors and subcontractors who work under the umbrella of B&W Y-12, the government’s managing contractor at Y-12. It also includes the federal staff — notably Federal Project Director John Eschenberg — of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

More hiring is expected, Waller said, especially as site preparation gets underway in earnest on the west side of the Y-12 installation.

“The federal project director is hiring 10 new employees and is continuing to hire industry and subject-matter experts to supplement the project teams’ technical and project management capabilities,” Waller said.
The UPF, which will provide modernized processing and manufacturing capabilities at Y-12, is being billed as the largest construction project in Tennessee history. It is to be constructed adjacent to the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, which is the hardened storehouse for the nation’s inventory of bomb-grade uranium.

The UPF team had been spread out at multiple facilities, and that will continue to be the case. The employees now located at the Union Valley Road facility were previously split between offices at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information on the east side of Oak Ridge and another facility in Commerce Park. The new site will consolidate the project’s federal staff and project managers, as well as folks working on environmental and safety issues, security and project controls, Waller said.

“It also provides the space needed for the growth of the project,” she said.
“The UPF engineering team has been consolidated into 1099 Commerce Park and Cherahala (an office complex off Hardin Valley Road in Knox County), and the construction team is on site at Y-12 as we proceed with site readiness work and in preparation for construction,” Waller said.

Additional people will be moved to Union Valley Road in the near future to help ease the overcrowding at the other sites, she said.

Total cost of the leased sites, covering 145,000 square feet, is about $2.2 million per year.
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Editorial: NNSA must take control of UPF project at Y-12


Seemingly inevitable cost increases, design flaws and extended completion dates have combined to undermine confidence in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s management of the Uranium Processing Facility project at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant.

The Oak Ridge project is a vital part of the nation’s effort to upgrade its nuclear weapons production infrastructure. The UPF would replace a complex of buildings — some of them dating to the Manhattan Project — that are inefficient, deteriorating and pose safety risks for workers.

The NNSA has done the cause no favors by fumbling through the design phase of a project that was green-lighted nine years ago.

The UPF is to be built next to the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility — the nation’s storehouse for enriched uranium and the building defaced last year by peace protesters who infiltrated the highly secure section of the plant. The two facilities are to be joined together.

According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report released July 12, the initial cost estimates were based on the construction costs for the materials storage facility. The UPF, however, is to house manufacturing, machining and disassembly operations. That accounts for the rise in the upper cost range estimate from $1.1 billion in 2004 to the current estimate of $6.5 billion.

That number is all but certain to rise even higher. Last year NNSA announced that the UPF would have to be redesigned because the building could not contain all the equipment necessary to its operations. The roof would have to be raised 13 feet and other design elements revised accordingly.

David Wilfert, a retired U.S. Department of Energy official who helped guide the construction of the $1.4 billion Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, told the News Sentinel’s Frank Munger that the UPF management team was “out of control.”

“I cannot imagine how any set of engineers beyond kindergarten could have gotten that far without discovering that mistake,” Wilfert said.

The GAO blamed the plant’s managing contractor, B&W Y-12, for inadequately coordinating its work with four subcontractors. The additional design work will add about $540 million to the cost of the project. The GAO concluded that “it is not clear if the ($4.2 billion to $6.5 billion) cost estimate range remains valid.” 

NNSA spokesman Steven Wyatt said the redesign is responsible for extending the construction time line. Originally slated to begin operations in 2020, the UPF now is expected to begin operations in 2025, but it will not be fully equipped until 2038. A revised, official cost estimate should be released next year when the design is expected to be 90 percent complete.

The UPF is necessary to maintain America’s nuclear arsenal, dismantle warheads and provide fuel for the U.S. Navy’s nuclear vessels. The current complex of shops continues to deteriorate, resulting in workflow interruptions and increased safety risks. 

The NNSA must gain control of this important national security project and set it on a course for completion.
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DOE To Rebuild Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee
by Paloma Galindo 
http://yeoldeconsciousnessshoppe.com/art47.html

The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to spend $4 billion to rebuild the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This will enable Y-12 to create 10 times as much nuclear weapons work with a 60 percent broader range than current levels. 

The bogus draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which has just been commented upon, would recreate Y-12 with the ability to not only continue the work of upgrading the US nuclear stockpile, but also to be able to manufacture parts for new bombs. DOE documents indicate the national labs are already chomping at the bit to develop a new generation of "mini-nukes." The DOE calculates that a mini-nuke would be less offensive than a multi-megaton bomb to the world community, despite the fact that a mini-nuke would still spread death and contamination over broad areas, subjecting the world to radiation poisoning. 

Y-12 is the last remaining full-scale nuclear weapons production plant in the United States. Starting with the Little Boy bomb that destroyed Hiroshima and continuing today, Y-12 has manufactured parts for every nuclear weapon in the US arsenal. Y-12 is responsible for the actual thermonuclear bomb that fits into the carrier vehicle (missile). Y-12 also contains the world's largest storage of highly enriched uranium. 

The Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Component Plant spreads over 811 acres with an additional 4,800 acres used as a fenced security buffer. The lush and fertile valley that was confiscated during the Manhattan Project is home to many species that travel across the fence-line. 

For years, hunters given permits on the nuclear reservation have been required to bring all deer killed to an assay station, where inspections regularly reveal contaminated body parts requiring confiscation. In a 1990 environmental survey, grass growing at the Y-12 plant was discovered to contain radiation. 

In 1983, DOE admitted that more than two-million pounds of mercury had previously been "lost to the environment." 

Efforts to determine where the mercury went, led the DOE to estimate that 440,000 pounds of mercury were lost to land, 51,000 pounds to air, 1.3 million pounds are unaccounted for and 240,000 pounds traveled off site through East Fork Poplar Creek. 

East Fork Poplar Creek was long used as an industrial drainage ditch by Y12. It originates inside the complex and travels off-site and through the city of Oak Ridge. It flows into the Clinch River then into the Watts Bar Reservoir followed by the Tennessee River, Ohio River, the Mississippi and finally into the gulf. When talking to a Y-12 employee, individuals were told that mercury was the least of the problems. To this day, mercury continues to leach into the creek. 

Y-12 reported the release of 20.9 kilograms of uranium, including 1.2 kilograms of enriched uranium into the air, this is just what was reported

The predominately African-American Scarboro community sits less than one-half mile from the Y-12 plant. (It is the closest residential area to a nuclear facility in the country.) The Scarboro community's soil, tested in 1998 (after the plant was on stand down for four years) showed elevated levels of highly enriched uranium in the surface of people's yards! This showed that Y-12 was illegally burning radioactive materials in the incinerator, and the volitized materials were released into the air. 

Although Y-12 sits on an aquifer and studies have shown that yes, indeed, waste does filter through limestone and soil into the water, the DOE is still unable to tell how far the contamination has spread. Folks who drink the groundwater are not warned, and in fact, one woman in Scarboro had her spring tested by the DOE and was told the water was "pure." 

The EIS notes that groundwater to the west has been contaminated by hazardous chemicals and radionuclides, and the aquifers below Y-12 are contaminated with nitrates, solvents (tricholoroethene and others), radionuclides (uranium and technetium99) and heavy metals (uranium, cadmium, strontium). Wells to the east of Y-12 contain volatile organics like benzene and toluene and a murderer's row of metals: boron, beryllium, cobalt, copper, chromium, lead, lithium, mercury, manganese, nickel and uranium. 

One member of the Scarboro community counted over 500 cancer related deaths within the community since 1945. Yet the DOE claims that there are no environmental justice issues. If Y-12 is allowed to rebuild and increase production, the Earth and neighboring communities will suffer that much more contaminated waste that will never be able to be dealt with. 

The DOE says it needs a new bomb plant because it needs to maintain a stockpile of 6,000 nuclear weapons for the US arsenal. This is said during a time in which Russia has ratified the START2 Treaty committing them to reduce their stockpile and President Vladimir Putin has called for deep arsenal reductions. 

The US military has petitioned Congress for authority to reduce its nuclear stockpile, estimating that we can save $9 billion a year if we retire unusable and unneeded missiles. 

Meanwhile, the United States continues its search for a boogie-man to justify larger budgets and increased production while the window of opportunity for disarmament closes. We need your help. 

You are invited to the April 7-8 action at the gates of Y-12. Saturday will include nonviolence training for those committing to an act of civil conscience (arrest scenario) and Sunday is the march, rally and action, with plenty of non-arrest and equally important activities. If you can't make it, send us a postcard and let the DOE know why it shouldn't rebuild. We will put them on the 50-foot inflatable missile that will be at the rally and then give them to the media and Y-12. The cards will help illustrate that people from all over the world don't want Y-12 to be rebuilt! Please help spread the word, tell folks about Y-12 and come to the gates. 

We are in a pivotal time. A time that will either be remembered as the turning point when we stood for peace or a time recorded by some future species hypothesizing about the cause of our disappearance. 

I remember a phrase, "love is not an abstract emotion, but a call to action." This is our choice: to give in or to rise to the occasion, seize the moment and build the world we want to live in.
For more information, contact Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, POB 5743, Oak Ridge, TN 37831; (865) 483-8202; palomagal@earthlink.net.
© Earth First! Journal, March-April 2001




Oakridge_Y-12_VFR.jpg Oak Ridge Y-12 Map


pict306.jpg Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tenn



oakridge_y-12_3_s.jpg Oak Ridge Y-12 National Security Complex

y12_image1.jpg Y-12 National Security Complex
http://www.nukeworker.com/pictures/thumbnails-60.html

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History of the Atomic Bomb & The Manhattan Project

My God, what have we done?" - Robert Lewis co-pilot of the Enola Gay

Atomic Bomb Explosion
Atomic Bomb Explosion
Courtesy Outlawlab
 
Atomic Bomb Explosion

 

By , About.com Guide

On August 2, 1939, just before the beginning of World War II, Albert Einstein wrote to then President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Einstein and several other scientists told Roosevelt of efforts in Nazi Germany to purify uranium-235, which could be used to build an atomic bomb. It was shortly thereafter that the United States Government began the serious undertaking known then only as "The Manhattan Project." Simply put, the Manhattan Project was committed to expediting research that would produce a viable atomic bomb.

Making Enriched Uranium

The most complicated issue to be addressed in making of an atomic bomb was the production of ample amounts of "enriched" uranium to sustain a chain reaction. At the time, uranium-235 was very hard to extract. In fact, the ratio of conversion from uranium ore to uranium metal is 500:1. Compounding this, the one part of uranium that is finally refined from the ore is over 99% uranium-238, which is practically useless for an atomic bomb. To make the task even more difficult, the useful U-235 and nearly useless U-238 are isotopes, nearly identical in their chemical makeup. No ordinary chemical extraction method could separate them; only mechanical methods could work.
 
A massive enrichment laboratory/plant was constructed at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Harold Urey and his colleagues at Columbia University devised an extraction system that worked on the principle of gaseous diffusion, and Ernest Lawrence (inventor of the Cyclotron) at the University of California in Berkeley implemented a process involving magnetic separation of the two isotopes.
Next, a gas centrifuge was used to further separate the lighter U-235 from the heavier, non-fissionable U-238. Once all of these procedures had been completed, all that needed to be done was to put to the test the entire concept behind atomic fission ("splitting the atom," in layman's terms).

Robert Oppenheimer - Manhattan Project

Over the course of six years, from 1939 to 1945, more than $2 billion was spent during the history of the Manhattan Project. The formulas for refining uranium and putting together a working atomic bomb were created and seen to their logical ends by some of the greatest minds of our time. Chief among the people who unleashed the power of the atom was Robert Oppenheimer, who oversaw the project from conception to completion.

Testing The Gadget aka Atomic Bomb

Finally, the day came when all at Los Alamos would find out if "The Gadget" (code-named as such during its development) was going to be the colossal dud of the century or perhaps an end to the war. It all came down to a fateful morning in midsummer, 1945.

At 5:29:45 (Mountain War Time) on July 16, 1945, in a white blaze that stretched from the basin of the Jemez Mountains in northern New Mexico to the still-dark skies, "The Gadget" ushered in the Atomic Age. The light of the explosion then turned orange as the atomic fireball began shooting upwards at 360 feet per second, reddening and pulsing as it cooled. The characteristic mushroom cloud of radioactive vapor materialized at 30,000 feet. Beneath the cloud, all that remained of the soil at the blast site were fragments of jade green radioactive glass created by the heat of the reaction.

The brilliant light from the detonation pierced the early morning skies with such intensity that residents from a faraway neighboring community would swear that the sun came up twice that day. Even more astonishing is that a blind girl saw the flash 120 miles away.

Upon witnessing the explosion, its creators had mixed reactions. Isidor Rabi felt that the equilibrium in nature had been upset as if humankind had become a threat to the world it inhabited. Robert Oppenheimer, though ecstatic about the success of the project, quoted a remembered fragment from the Bhagavad Gita. "I am become Death," he said, "the destroyer of worlds." Ken Bainbridge, the test director, told Oppenheimer, "Now we're all sons of bitches."

After viewing the results several participants signed petitions against loosing the monster they had created, but their protests fell on deaf ears. The Jornada del Muerto of New Mexico would not be the last site on planet Earth to experience an atomic explosion.

Key Staff - Manhattan Project

Scientists Who Invented the Atomic Bomb under the Manhattan Project: Robert Oppenheimer, David Bohm, Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, Otto Frisch, Rudolf Peierls, Felix Bloch, Niels Bohr, Emilio Segre, James Franck, Enrico Fermi, Klaus Fuchs and Edward Teller. View a copy of the letter Einstein wrote Roosevelt that prompted the Manhattan Project.
 

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