Seventy years since historic nuclear chain reaction via World Nuclear News

Seventy years have passed since a team of 49 scientists, led by Italian-born Enrico Fermi, succeeded in creating the world’s first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.


The Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) published a video in July to commemorate the scientific landmark. Two of the scientists present at the experiment recalled how the discovery of a then entirely new energy source was celebrated with a bottle of Chianti wine, drunk in silence from paper cups.

Warren Nyer reflected “nobody said anything which I thought was a fairly remarkable thing. There was no big hullabaloo of doing something that was truly momentous – given what had taken place there and the implications of what might follow.”

There are presently 437 operating nuclear power reactors in the world today. These are located in over 31 countries and supply about 13.5% of world electricity.

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