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Jane Heydorn

Jane Heydorn was a Manhattan Project WAC and electronics technician, who helped to develop bomb-testing equipment at Los Alamos.

During World War II, Heydorn enlisted in the Women’s Army Corp and arrived in Los Alamos in 1944. Her first job there was as a telephone operator, monitoring telegram and teletype messages from Army intelligence. She was discharged in 1946 but remained in Los Alamos working as a civilian.

Heydorn holds the distinction of being the first and last operator of “Clementine”, the world’s first fast neutron nuclear reactor used primarily between 1946 and 1950. Before that, she had operated “Water Boiler”, a code name for the world’s third reactor designed by Enrico Fermi.

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