Birthplace of Nuclear Energy
Nuclear energy provides electricity for hundreds of millions of people across the globe. But its beginnings lie very close to home. In 1942 at the University of Chicago, scientists were able to produce the first controlled nuclear reaction beneath the stands of the school’s football stadium. While the research most immediately led to the development of atomic weapons that helped end the Second World War, it was also the birth of an industry that continues to grow and help bring progress to many parts of the world.
And today, National Laboratories at Argonne and Fermilab continue to be on the cutting edge of research in nuclear physics and other disciplines and they have contributed significantly to the development of clean and safe power generation.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the event, the United States Department of Energy produced The First Reactor telling the story of Enrico Fermi and the team that achieved this milestone.