See What's Left Of The Manhattan Project

Manhattan Project

Photo: Martin Miller

As World War II raged overseas, the United States tapped its best talent and resources for The Manhattan Project, a program to create the first nuclear weapons.  

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Research and development took place at more than 30 sites across the United States. In 2008, photographer Martin Miller visited two production complexes that served vital roles in the construction of the atomic bomb in the early 1940s.  

The top-secret site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee was home to three huge manufacturing plants, X-10, Y-12 and K-25, involved in separating Uranium 235 (used in the Atomic Bomb) from Uranium 238. The Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington is where plutonium was manufactured. 

Radioactive materials were then sent to the national laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico where the atomic bomb was assembled and tested. 

The collection of photographs are both haunting and mesmerizing. Miller has been kind enough to share some photos with us. You can view the whole Manhattan Project series here or check out more of Miller’s work on his website.   

Alpha Calutrons, 1st-Stage Source of Hiroshima Bomb Uranium, Oak Ridge, TN 1943

X-10 Reactor, Pilot Plant for Production of Nagasaki Bomb Plutonium, Oak Ridge, TN 1943

Control Console, X-10 Pilot Plant for Production of Nagasaki Bomb Plutonium, Oak Ridge, TN 1943

Lead Shield for X-10 Reactor-Irradiated Materials, Oak Ridge, TN 1943

K-25 North Building, Gaseous Diffusion Plant for Hiroshima-Bomb Uranium Enrichment, Oak Ridge, TN 1945

K-25 West Leg, Gaseous Diffusion Plant for Hiroshima-Bomb Uranium Enrichment, Oak Ridge, TN 1945

Switchyard and K-27 Gaseous Diffusion Plant for Uranium Enrichment, Oak Ridge, TN 1946

Emergency Air Sphere, K-31 and K-33 Gaseous Diffusion Uranium Enrichment Plants, Oak Ridge, TN 1951 & 1954

Electrical Substation and B Reactor, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA

B Reactor, Source of Nagasaki Bomb Plutonium, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA 1945

B Reactor Control Console, Source of Nagasaki Bomb Plutonium, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA 1944

B-Reactor Pressure Monitor Panel, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA 1945

B Reactor Front Face, Source of Nagasaki Bomb Plutonium, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA 1944

B Reactor Valve Pit Controlling Cooling Water, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA 1945

Control Panel, River Pump House, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA 1945

River Pump House Pumps and Motors, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA 1945

Railroad Tracks and B Reactor, Source of Nagasaki Bomb Plutonium, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA1944

Hot Reactor-Product Rail Cars and Storage Bldg, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA 1945

B Plant for Chemically Separating Plutonium from Reactor Products, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA 1945

Gable Mountain Plutonium Vaults, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA 1945

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