Jamie's Blog

Monday, June 04, 2007

Secret Nuclear plans from 1940 revealed

It seems that James Chadwick, the discoverer of the neutron, sent detailed plans for building a nuclear reactor to the royal archives for safekeeping in 1940. Those plans were lost, and have remained sealed until recently when they were opened to mark the 75th anniversary of the discovery of the neutron. James sent them to royal archives because he felt that it would be irresponsible to publish them during WW2. There they remained until their rediscovery during a cataloging effort currently underway.
The most interesting thing about this news, is that the first nuclear reactor was built in 1951. A full 11 years after the work done by James in the UK. Makes you wonder what might have happened if his work hadn't been lost.

Check out the story at BBC News: Nuclear reactor secrets revealed

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