Nuclear reactor

Nuclear reactor

1942

The world’s first nuclear reactor was the Chicago Pile-1 (pictured), which was constructed as part of the USA’s Manhattan Project in WWII. Built under the western stands of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago, the reactor was fairly crude, comprising a pile of uranium pellets and graphite blocks. Regardless of its rustic build, the reactor initiated the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction on 2 December 1942 and kick-started the age of nuclear power.