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Longing for the BombOak Ridge and Atomic Nostalgia$
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Lindsey A. Freeman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622378

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622378.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Longing for the Bomb

Lindsey A. Freeman

University of North Carolina Press

This introductory chapter examines three clandestine nuclear sites in the U.S.—Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Los Alamos, New Mexico; and Hanford, Washington. Oak Ridge pioneered the first large-scale plutonium reactor, while Hanford concentrated on producing the fissionable plutonium-239. Simultaneously, in Los Alamos, J. Robert Oppenheimer and his team of scientists worked nonstop designing and assembling bombs. The chapter also highlights the difference between Oak Ridge and the other sites, stating that the place was a community closely resembling a typical American neighborhood, with more opportunity for social interaction between different types of people, in which class and racial biases intervened.

Keywords:   Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, Hanford, J. Robert Oppenheimer, American neighborhood, social interaction

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