*Abbreviations under the "Available" column: A = Available // NA = Not Available // R = Previously Registered // WL = Currently on the Wait List

A Trip Through the US Nuclear Weapons Complex

This course provides an overview of the science and technology, the scientists and engineers, and the facilities that contributed to the present-day US nuclear complex. It describes the steps involved in converting uranium ore from Canada, the Belgian Congo, and the Rocky Mountains into uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons. From 1943 to 1946, the Manhattan Project that produced the first three atomic bombs employed 625,000 people, cost $32 billion (in 2015 dollars), and consumed over 10% of the nation’s electricity. Post-war nuclear weapons production expanded under the management of the Atomic Energy Commission to the current control of the nation’s nuclear stockpile by the Department of Energy.

Instructor Bio:

Dr. Settle, professor emeritus of chemistry, Washington and Lee University, also taught at the Virginia Military Institute. Before coming to W&L in 1998 he was a visiting professor at the US Air Force Academy, a consultant to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and a program officer at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Settle developed and taught interdisciplinary courses on nuclear history, weapons of mass destruction, and nuclear power at VMI, The US Air Force Academy, and Washington and Lee University. He currently directs the ALSOS Digital Library for Nuclear Issues (http://wlu.edu) at  Washington and Lee. The library is a vetted, indexed collection of annotations for a broad range of materials on nuclear related topics.

Recommended Reading:

Settle, Frank A. General George C. Marshall and the Atomic Bomb, 2016. Preston, Diana. Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima, 2006. Rhodes, Richard. The Making of the Atomic Bomb, 1995. Gosling, F. G., and the U. S. Department of Energy. The Manhattan Project: Making the Atomic Bomb, 2012.

Course Number Instructor Dates Day Time Location Available
B32 Frank Settle Nov 3, 10, 17 Fr 1:00-2:30 p.m. Unity of Charlottesville A

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