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.
K-25 North Building, Gaseous Diffusion Plant for Hiroshima-Bomb Uranium Enrichment, Oak Ridge, TN 1945
Emergency Air Sphere, K-31 and K-33 Gaseous Diffusion Uranium Enrichment Plants, Oak Ridge, TN 1951 & 1954
Railroad Tracks and B Reactor, Source of Nagasaki Bomb Plutonium, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA1944
B Plant for Chemically Separating Plutonium from Reactor Products, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA 1945
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