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(Major General Leslie R. Groves, in charge of the Manhattan Project.) - NARA - 535931.tif
Operation Peppermint was the codename given during World War II to preparations by the Manhattan Project and the European Theater of Operations United States Army (ETOUSA) to counter the danger that the Germans might disrupt the June 1944 Normandy landings with radioactive poisons.

In response, the Metallurgical Laboratory in Chicago and the Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland developed portable radiation detection devices suitable for use in the field. In 1944, Major General Leslie R. Groves, Jr., director of the Manhattan Project, sent Major Arthur V. Peterson to brief General Dwight D. Eisenhower and his senior staff officers at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF).

In response, ETOUSA initiated Operation Peppermint. Special equipment was prepared. Eleven survey meters and a Geiger counter were shipped to England in early 1944, along with 1,500 film packets, which were used to measure radiation exposure. Another 25 survey meters, 5 Geiger counters and 1,500 film packets were held in storage in the United States, but in readiness to be shipped by air with the highest priority. Chemical Warfare Service teams were trained in its use, and Signal Corps personnel in its maintenance. The equipment was held in readiness, but the preparations were not needed, because the Germans had not developed such weapons. (Full article...)

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NTS - Krakatau subcritical experiment 001.jpg
Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory
The Krakatau subcritical experiment is being prepared to be lowered into the floor of the tunnel of the U1a Complex at the Nevada Test Site.

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Norris Bradbury.JPG
Norris Edwin Bradbury (May 30, 1909 – August 20, 1997), was an American physicist who served as director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory for 25 years from 1945 to 1970. He succeeded Robert Oppenheimer, who personally chose Bradbury for the position of director after working closely with him on the Manhattan Project during World War II. Bradbury was in charge of the final assembly of "the Gadget", detonated in July 1945 for the Trinity test.

Bradbury took charge at Los Alamos at a difficult time. Staff were leaving in droves, living conditions were poor and there was a possibility that the laboratory would close. He managed to persuade enough staff to stay, and got the University of California to renew the contract to manage the laboratory. He pushed continued development of nuclear weapons, transforming them from laboratory devices to production models. Numerous improvements made them safer, more reliable and easier to store and handle, and made more efficient use of scarce fissionable materiel.

In the 1950s Bradbury oversaw the development of thermonuclear weapons, although a falling-out with Edward Teller over the priority given to their development led to the creation of a rival nuclear weapons laboratory, the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. In later years, he branched out, constructing the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility to develop the laboratory's role in nuclear science, and during the Space Race of the 1960s, the laboratory developed the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA). The Bradbury Science Museum is named in his honor. (Full article...)

Nuclear technology news

17 June 2022 – Russo-Ukrainian War
Russian President Vladimir Putin says that Russia would only use nuclear weapons if the sovereignty of the country is threatened. (Ukrinform)
17 June 2022 – Fukushima nuclear disaster
The Japanese Supreme Court acquits the state of any responsibility to compensate around 3,700 people affected by the nuclear disaster. (Reuters)

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