1942 to 1943: Early Manhattan Project

1942 to 1943: Early Manhattan Project

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Chicago Pile Argonne

1942 Sept 29

J. Robert Oppenheimer proposes that a "fast-neutron lab" to study fast neutron physics and develop designs for an atomic bomb be created. The idea at this point is for the lab to be a small research institution that would not be involved in the engineering and production of nuclear weapons.

1942 Sept 19

At Col. Leslie Groves' insistence the Manhattan Project is granted approval by the War Production Board to use the highest emergency procurement priority in existence (AAA) when needed.

1942 Sept 19

Col. Leslie Groves selects Oak Ridge, TN as the site for the pilot plant. He buys Site X, 52,000 acres of land on the Clinch River. Preliminary construction work begins soon after.

1942 Sept 17

Col. Leslie Groves is notified at 10:30 a.m. by Gen. Brehon Somervell that his assignment overseas has been cancelled and that he will take another assignment - command of the Manhattan Engineer District. Groves' previous assignment had required overseeing ten billion dollars’ worth of construction projects, including the construction of the Pentagon.

1942 Sept 15

Starting on this date, and continuing until November 15, Enrico Fermi's group receives shipments of uranium and graphite for CP-1 and prepares them for assembly.