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Chicago Pile-1: A Brick History

07/12/2017 -
Argonne National Laboratory

The US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory has marked the 75th anniversary of the world's first self-sustaining, controlled nuclear chain reaction with a film depicting the achievements of Enrico Fermi's team - using Lego. ANL published the 'brick' video on its YouTube channel on 1 December. Chicago Pile 1 - a lattice of graphite bricks and uranium built in a converted squash court at the University of Chicago's football stadium - first achieved a self-sustaining fission chain reaction on 2 December 1942. The University of Chicago marked the anniversary with a specially commissioned pyrotechnic artwork by internationally acclaimed artist Cai Guo-Qiang.