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Splitting the Atom

December 2, 2014

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Profile America — Tuesday, December 2nd. One of the most important technological breakthroughs was made on this date in 1942, one that would change the course of world history. At the University of Chicago, a group of scientists led by physicist Enrico Fermi succeeded in producing the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. This first simple reactor, built in great secrecy under the stands of the university's football stadium, helped provide the knowledge that led to the development of the first atomic bombs less than three years later. Today, there are 140 nuclear power generating establishments with 50,000 employees. Nearly 800 billion kilowatt hours, or about one-fifth of the electricity consumed in the U.S. comes from nuclear power. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <http://www.census.gov>.

Sources:
Enrico Fermi and the First Self-Sustaining Nuclear Chain Reaction
Nuclear power establishments and employees NAICS 221113
Power generation


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: November 21, 2014