This Atom Bomb in Me by Lindsey A. FreemanThis Atom Bomb in Me traces what it felt like to grow up suffused with American nuclear culture in and around the atomic city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. As a secret city during the Manhattan Project, Oak Ridge enriched the uranium that powered Little Boy, the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. The city was a major nuclear production site throughout the Cold War, adding something to each and every bomb in the United States arsenal. Even today, Oak Ridge contains the worlds largest supply of fissionable uranium.
The granddaughter of an atomic courier, Lindsey A. Freeman turns a critical yet nostalgic eye to the place where her family was sent as part of a covert government plan. Theirs was a city devoted to nuclear science within a larger America obsessed with its nuclear prowess. Through memories, mysterious photographs, and uncanny childhood toys, she shows how Reagan-era politics and nuclear culture irradiated the late twentieth century. Alternately tender and alarming, her book takes a Geiger counter to recent history, reading the half-life of the atomic past as it resonates in our tense nuclear present.
History in Five: The Manhattan Project’s Secret City
Starting in , the U. The government needed land to build massive facilities to refine and develop nuclear materials for these new weapons, without attracting the attention of enemy spies. The result was a secret town named Oak Ridge that housed tens of thousands of workers and their families.
Lindsey A. Freeman
The Secret City That Birthed the Atomic Bomb
Oak Ridge is a suburban city in Anderson and Roane counties in the eastern part of the U. Oak Ridge's population was 29, at the census. Oak Ridge was established in as a production site for the Manhattan Project —the massive American, British, and Canadian operation that developed the atomic bomb. As it is still the site of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y National Security Complex , scientific development still plays a crucial role in the city's economy and culture in general. The earliest substantial occupation of the Oak Ridge area occurred during the Woodland period c. Both sites were located just southeast of the former Scarboro community. The Oak Ridge area was largely uninhabited by the time Euro-American explorers and settlers arrived in the late 18th century, although the Cherokee claimed the land as part of their hunting grounds.
In September , U. Army Lt. - Oak Ridge was the home of the uranium enrichment plants K and Y , the liquid thermal diffusion plant S , and the pilot plutonium production reactor X Graphite Reactor. In , General Leslie Groves approved Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as the site for the pilot plutonium plant and the uranium enrichment plant.
Over at TheAtlantic. He explains:. Starting in , the U. The government needed land to build massive facilities to refine and develop nuclear materials for these new weapons, without attracting the attention of enemy spies. The result was a secret town named Oak Ridge that housed tens of thousands of workers and their families.