The world’s first nuclear reactor – buried in a Chicago suburb

A photographer describes going to the suburbs to find the world’s first nuclear reactor:

“I was working at Fermilab, and that research led me to this space. It’s in a forest preserve near Palos Heights, in an area called Red Gate Woods, and in those woods is Site A, where the first nuclear reactor ever created was buried in 1955. There’s also a site called Plot M, where all the waste from that experiment was buried while it was actually happening. Six stones designate where the waste is buried. The stones in the photo mark that area…

Note: According to information from the U.S. Department of Energy provided by Cook County, “the area surrounding Site A and Plot M continues to undergo annual monitoring and remains safe by all measurements.” The DOE did not respond to inquiries by presstime.

Read more about the site here. It’s interesting that this combines two key markers of post-World War II American life: the Atomic Age and suburban sprawl.

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