Saturday, April 03, 2004

Case Closed: Apex Bankruptcy One Big Black Hole 

The first fishing expedition as a newly annointed "staff" writer for the Riverfront Times was to go down to the U.S. Banruptcy Court downtown and check out the court docket on the Apex Oil case. I found the report filed by the attorney appointed by the court to look into Apex Oil's off-shore dealings, which are explained below. The clerks hem-hawed around and traded places. They dodged and weaved and put it off on the next person in the pecking order. I never got the report. The clerks couldn't find it. So I called up the court's specially appointed attorney whose name was on the docket sheet, Lloyd Palans. I told him I was interested in seeing the report. I thought maybe he had a copy I could peruse or could help me get one. The lawyer acted like I asking to look in his wife' s underwear drawer. He started screaming at me. The anger seemed to be masking fear. Later I found out from an in-law, who worked for the bankruptcy court, as an attorney, tha,t she told firmly not to discuss the Apex case with me in any way. I didn't even know that she worked there.

Here's the letter I wrote requesting the report, which never was handed over:

Ms. Dana McWay
Chief Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Missouri
1 Metropolitan Square
211 N. Broadway Blvd.
7th floor
St. Louis, Mo. 63102

Jan. 3, 1999

Dear Ms. McWay:

On the advise of bankruptcy employee Steve Cruse, I am writing to request a copy of a 1989 report filed by Lloyd Palans, a special court-appointed examiner in the Apex Oil Co. case.

The 263-page report was released to the public in June 1989. Mr. Palans, a St. Louis attorney, confirmed to me by phone on Dec. 30, 1998 that the report was unsealed by order (of) Judge Hungate at that time. The United Press International wire service detailed the contents of the report in a story on June 29, 1989.

Page 236 of the Apex docket sheet (87-3804-3) lists motions that refer to the report without any indication that the report was sealed. There is a handwritten annotation indicating that (the) appendix to the report was sealed. There is also a handwritten annotation stating that the debtoes response to the report was sealed. But I don't see anything showing that the report itself was ordered sealed.

I refer to docket numbers 4330, 3540, 4331, 3541, 3542, 4334, 3544.

Because the Apex case is sonn to be transferred to archives, I am requesting that you expedite a search for Mr. Palans' 263-page report. I am asking as a member of the press that the cost of searching and copying ther report be waived because it is in the public's interest for the contents to be published.

If you have any further questions regarding this request, please contact me at 314/615-6709. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


C.D. Stelzer
Riverfront Times staff writer

attachments: UPI report, June 29, 1989, Docket number 87-03804(3), page 236.›

The Junkman With Balls  

Back in the spring of 1999, Riverfront Times reporter Melinda Roth and I were investigating Fred Weber's land dealings out in West County in advance of the Page Avenue Extension. Weber, the road builder with the contract to build the bridge, also was doubly profitting from the project because it owned land in the right of way. And the company was doing some sweetheart land swaps with St. Louis County on top of it. It's was a complicated mess and about drove Melinda bonkers trying to untangle the property records.

Weber is headed by Thomas Dunne, a close friend of Apex Oil honcho Tony Novelly.

Down the road from the Page Avenue right of way, Weber also owns a golf course out on Creve Coeur Mills Road , Crystal Springs Quarry Golf Club, which in 1999 wanted to expand from nine to 18 holes.

So I attended a Maryland Heights zoning meeting to check out Dunne. He showed up in an tailored suit made of a bolt of cloth to fit his wide girth. He sat in the back of the room, but nobody would have ever mistaken him as being an impartial observer.

When the meeting got underway, the zoning board was berated by a little old Jewish man who owned Continental Auto Parts, a junkyard next to golf course. Dunne would have liked nothing better than to get rid of this guy, of course. A junkyard next to his country club, jeez, what's that do for property values and the self esteem of a zillionaire road building tycoon?

But the junkman had his own complaints. He brought a grocery bag full of golf balls to the meeting, evidence that golfers were breaking windshields of cars in his junk yard. He offered the zoning commissioners each a golf ball. Then he turned around and offered one to Dunne. Dunne shifted his fat ass in the folding chair a little and declined the offer. After the meeting, he drove away in his Licoln Navigator.

The golf club expanded to 18 holes, the Page Avenue Extension now spans Creve Coeur Lake, and Dunne is richer than ever. Next exit Winghaven.

Altogether Now: Oil Across the Water, Oil Across the Sea ... 

Boating is not the only off-shore activity in which Tony Novelly of Apex Oil is engaged.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 29, 1989 (no byline. I wonder why?):

A court ordered examination of the financial dealings of the top executives of the
bankrupt Apex Oil Co. concluded they moved more than $125 million in assets out of reach of the creditors.

The 263-page report made public Wednesday was prepared by the court examiner, bankruptcy lawyer Lloyd Palans, as a part of the bankruptcy proceedings begun by Apex and 51 subsidiaries in 1987. Apex once was the largest privately held company in Missouri.

The report charges two of the company's top executives, Paul "Tony" Novelly and Samuel Goldstein, with systematically moving Apex assets outside the reach of the company's creditors between 1983 and 1987. The report said the owners did this through the creation of an "offshore" version of the company, AIC Ltd., which owned a terminal in the Bahamas, oil tankers and three tugs.

The two men issue d a statement saying Palan's report contained numerous factual errors and unfounded allegations. ....

Ahoy, Adm. Novelly, I Presume 

Zillionaire oil tycoon Tony Novelly appears to also own a couple of yachts down there in Vero Beach, too. The Apex Navy includes a 33-footer, and 35-footer. Tony is strictly a power-boat buff. Sails would involve too much work.

Tony Novelly's Hideway 

The mysterious Paul Anthony "Tony" Novelly, owner of the privately held Apex Oil Co. of St. Louis and high school chum of Fred Weber exec Tommie Dunne, has cozy $2 million vacation home at 638 Ocean Rd., Vero Beach, Fl. Come to think of it, maybe it's not a vacation home. Novelly has a Florida driver's license. One advantage to keeping a residence in Florida is you don't have to pay any Missouri income tax.

Friday, April 02, 2004

For the Record: Lacey Is Stupider Than Most of You Think  

Mike Lacey, the "visionary" who destroyed the Riverfront Times, in his own words,
from Lacey and Larkin by Laura Greenberg, Phoenix magazine, 1990:

... "I didn't think about it," (Lacey) says of the early days. "I just wanted to punch a few people in the fuckin' head. And I haven't thought about it a lot since. We're very successful, but I still want to punch a few fucking' people in the head." He says the F-word a lot. ...

Bush's Intelligence Advisors: "Big Jim" Thompson and Billie DeWitt Jr.  

"Big Jim" Thompson, the former three-term Illinois governor and William Dewitt Jr., majority owner in the St. Louis Cardinals, were both appointed by George W. to serve on his intelligence oversight board. Were Thompson and DeWitt named to the "top secret" posts because of what they know or what they don't know?⁄

Stadium Profiteer Bob Castellini 

A bunch of the 17 St. Louis Cardinal owners live in Indian Hills, a rich suburb of Cincinnati. The Indian Hill club includes William DeWitt Jr., Mercer Reynolds, and Robert Castellini, a produce dealer. Castellini made $35 million when he sold riverfront property used to build the new Bengals stadium in Cincy.

Down at Mercer's Old Plantation 

Ambassador Mercer Reynolds is hosting a party for George W. this week down at his 8,000 acre golf resort in Georgia, aptly called "The Plantation." Bush will be on hand to thank contributors to his re-election who have donated $200,000 or more. That the Bush Bund would refer to these well-heeled donors as "Rangers" is appropriate.

Reynolds, the host of the party, was a co-owner of the Texas Rangers back in the 1980s, along with William DeWitt Jr. The two business partners asked George W. to join the cl ub. The move made George W. a millionaire, after the Ranger's organization built a publicly-subsidized stadium and then sold the team for a profit. Reynolds and DeWitt are now majority holders in the St. Louis Cardinals, where they're doing the same thing -- building a private stadium with public support. George W. is scheduled to throw out the first ball at the opener on Monday.

JM/Wave Redux?  

... Terrorists, strippers and mysterious German associates mingling together in wild booze and drug fueled party weekends in Key West...

The mysterious‚ money man behind the purchase of Huffman Aviation in Venice had his Lear jet seized at gunpoint by DEA agents, with 43 lbs. of heroin onboard... the same month Mohamed Atta arrived at his school.

Far from merely being negligent or asleep at the switch, the available evidence indicates the CIA was not just aware that hundreds of Arab flight students‚ b egan pouring into Southwest Florida in 1999, but was running the operation. ... [read more]

What's the Frequency, Frank? 

Is there a pattern here or is it just my vivid imagination?:

2000 FBI agent interviews St. Louis career criminal at Franklin County jail. The prisoner talks about his knowledge of the shakedown of topless club owners by mobsters Nando Bartolotta, Matthew Trupiano and Art Berne in the 1980s.

January 2003 Same FBI agent asks Surprise, Ariz. police department to forward police reports on the alleged suicide of FBI informant Jesse Stoneking, aka, Jesse McBride. Stoneking helped put away Bartolotta, Berne and other St. Louis mobsters. Bartolotta's defense attorney in the 1980s was Andrew Leonard, general counsel of the Riverfront Times.

2003 East St. Louis federal grand jury investigates Eastside prostitution rackets. Pimp Dennis Sonnenschein is the only one indicted. Sonnenschein pleads guilty to an obstruction of justice charge for not providing evidence of illegal activities. He receives a one-year sentence and hefty fine. In the 1980s, Sonnenschein was a "partner" of Bartolotta in a topless club, Golden Girls, and was allegedly the subject of an extortion scheme by the Mafia.

The 2003 investigation centers on Eastside prostitution rackets between 1996-2000 that solicited customers to cross state lines by advertising in Missouri publications. The Riverfront Times advertises Eastside massage parlors and strip joints.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Ahmed in His Own Words 

excerpted from No Longer Just Sex, Drugs and Rock `n' Roll by Kevin McAuliffe, Columbia Journalism Review, March 1999

... (Editor Safir) Ahmed in St. Louis has one lingering apprehension about the sale of Riverfront Times. "This town will be a test for New Times. Most of the papers they bought were much smaller and they made them bigger and better. We're already big" -- 100,000 circulation and a 120-page average. ...

Check the page count out, folks.

Media Mayhem Scoop: Card's Owners Donate $25,000 to Prop P 

Thursday owners of the St. Louis Cardinals contributed $25,000 to the campaign to raise the sales tax in St. Louis County, according the St. Louis County Election Board records. Cardinal LLC made the donation to Citizens for Quality Parks, an ad hoc committee set up to support the proposal, which is on next Tuesday's ballot in St. Louis County.

One day after George W. throws out the ball at the Cardinals opening game, voters will decide whether to up the county sales tax by an eighth of a cent to add an estimated $16 million to the County Park Department's coffers.

Opponents of the regressive sales tax hike have argued that the County parks system wouldn't be dire financial straits had the County Council not "loaned" $45 million to the Cardinal owners to help build the their private baseball stadium downtown. Foes of the Proposition P, as the ballot proposal is called, say that revenue from the County's hotel and tourism tax would have been better spent shoring up the declining park system instead of forking it over to the wealthy baseball owners. If the funds from the tourism and hotel tax would have been allocated to parks, there would be no need to raise the sales tax, critics say.

Robber Barons of the New Millennium: The Anti-Trust Suit Against the Owner of the Riverfront Times 

You probably never heard of this case. Back in Oct. 2002, New Times Inc., the owner of the Riverfront Times, and Village Voice Media cut a deal in which they both closed newspapers in competing markets so they could have a monopoly. The overtly illegal deal caused the U.S. Justice Department and the state Attorneys General in California and Ohio to begin investigating.

Here's how the robber barons conspired: New Times agreed to shut down its paper in Los Angeles in return for the Village Voice closing up its paper in Cleveland. Because New Times was stuck with the paper in the smaller market Village Voice paid New Times $9 million. Without any competition the two companies stood to gain considerably more advertising revenue. They not only could pick up more ads, they could charge more, too.

The Justice Department promptly filed an anti-trust suit against the two competing alternative chains. Village Voice and New Times then worked out an out-of-court settlement with the feds in which they each sold their newspapers in Cleveland and Los Angeles to competitors. They also split state fines of $400,000. New Times had an income in 2001 of over $100 million, and it received $9 million in the original deal -- so the threatened anti-trust suit was nothing more than a slap on the hand. Michael Lacey, co-owner of New Times, publicly boasted about how he profited from the deal despite the Justice Department's intervention.

Crystal Palace:Voted Best Strip Joint, 2003 RFT Critics Choice  

RFT Advertiser of the Week: Robert Romanik

On paper, the Crystal Palace in Centreville, Ill. is owned by Katrina Sanders. That's because her significant other Robert Romanik has a felony conviction.

Romanik is a private investigator, who had his license suspeneded after being found guilty of obstruction of justice and bank fraud in the federal cases involving attorney Amiel Cueto and Eastside rackets boss Thomas Venezia.

You never see these guys mentioned in the RFT, but the Crystal Palace takes out a big ad every week.

Cueto and Venezia both had an interest in the Crystal Palace, too. That was before they went to federal prison. Maybe they still do. But, again, don't look for that information in the whacky RFT.

Venezia and Cueto had other mutual business interests, including Laclede cab over on this side of the river, which used to be owned by the late Mayor A.J. Cervantes. Cervantes business partner was Anthony Sansone, who was identified as being an associate of St. Louis organized crime figures in Life magazine in 1970. Isn't it curious that Venezia and Cueto end up owning a stake in Cervantes' old cab company? How's that happen? It's just one big coincidence after another, ain't it?

And then there's B&H Vending, which was owned by Venezia up until the feds confiscated it after his conviction less then ten years ago. Going back all the way to 1958 or thereabouts, B&H was owned by Edward Wortman. Ed was the brother of Frank "Buster" Wortman, who was the Eastside rackets boss until his death in 1968.

Wortman was replaced by his leiutenant Art Berne, who died in 1994. Berne and Matt Trupiano, leader of the St. Louis mafia, were indicted for trying to extort topless club owners on the Eastside in the 1980s.

Both Berne and Wortman paid their dues to the Chicago Outfit, that's who the FBI says has overall control of the Eastside. Are you following this?

Topless clubs, extortion, money-laundering, prostitution. ... It's all in a day's work among the Eastside racket boys. And federal court records attest to it, year after year after year. But don't look to find out about it in the RFT, which fires reporters at the mere suggestion of taking a look at the corruption.

Who are these convicted felons' main advertising vehicle? -- Well, of course, the RFT. But that no longer influences its news coverage, because there is no news in the RFT.

How did Crystal Palace owner Robert Romanik start his career? -- as a cop.

St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Sept. 7, 1972.
Then East St. Louis patrolman Robert Romanik files a complaint alleging that street commissioner Robert Mays cursed and struck him because of the erratic mannner way in which he was driving his police car. Romanik allegedly threatened to "bash the commissioner's head in."

Feb. 11, 1981
Romanik, now an East St. Louis detective, is free on bond in Granite City, after being charged with two counts of theft under $150. Romanik was charged with taking money, clothes and jewelry from the home of Sharon Parker. Romanik was alleged to have kicked in Parker's door at her home in the 3100 block of Nameoki Road. Romanik said Parker was a former employee at a flower shop he operated. Romanik a florist. That's rich.

April 8, 1982
A Monroe County, Ill. grand jury dropped charges against Romanik, who had been fired in the fall of 1981, after being indicted on two counts of forgery in connection with filing false claims for overtime. Since this took place in Monroe County, I'm assuming it relates to when Romanik served as police chief of Valmeyer, Ill.

June 11, 1986
Washington Park board member Sylvester Jackson is alleged by Romanik of orchestrating his firing as police chief. Romanik was fired for harrassing three men by making obscene remarks and gestures toward them.

The RFT Awards Scam 

So with all this wackiness at the RFT, how does New Times win all those awards? Let's take Shelley Smithson's lame profile of the Roberts brothers. A little birdie has told Media Mayhem that Smithson was provided critical information on the Roberts brothers minority hiring practices. What's that? The Roberts brothers are black. Yeah, that would have made a juicy story -- a civil suit against the Roberts brothers for not hiring enough black contractors for some project or another. But readers of the RFT never saw that story. Instead, Smithson wrote a glowing tribute to the brothers Roberts, which was further enhanced in the editing.

Since this is the only cover story in the last month or so that hasn't been totally concocted, the RFT has to enter it into some journalism contest to make it look like the newspaper is still a newspaper. In this case, the obvious target is the local chapter the Association of Black Journalists, which will almost certainly give an award to Smithson and the RFT. There's no news in the Roberts story, of course. But that doesn't matter.

So basically this story wasn't written to provide readers with any news. It was written for two or three reasons. First, Smithson has to write an impossible number of cover stories so she can keep her job. To reach the New Times quota, you have to either make stuff up, which is Mike Seely's specialty, or you can do an easy profile on some prominent figures. But you have to figure an angle. Why is it worth writing about the Roberts brother now besides the fact that they were lauded by the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce magazine last year? Oh, they're African Americans. That'll work.

If these guys were white, they never would have made the cover unless they did something newsworthy. What's the story? Two businessmen make a bunch of money. Yeah, that's a hell of story. So the Roberts cover is implicitly racist. But it's dressed up to look like it's "progressive." Better to get your news from the Whirl.

The other reason that the story was written was to win an award. Smithson gets a feather in her cap. New Times can claim that it wins more awards than daily newspapers -- and also it covers the black community. The Roberts brothers get lots of good ink.

What's the problem? No problemo. Everybody's getting paid but me.

RFT Reaches Milestone: Totally Whacky at Last 

The word came down from Denver by way of Phoenix in early 2001. The corporate muckety-mucks, at New Times Inc., wanted the Riverfront Times to change editorial directions. At a staff meeting, editor Safir Ahmed told all the reporters that henceworth we would be writing primarily "whacky" stories. No more than a handful of serious news stories on public policy issues would be published in any given calendar year. This was a difficult goal to achieve. To reach the depths of "whackiness, the newspaper had to rid itself of most of its reporters, fire two editors and a managing editor. The transition took three years. But look at the results. In the last five weeks, there has been one news-related puff piece and the rest has been "whacky" to the max. Whacky cover stories included:

1. A reporter gets drunk at bars that advertise in the RFT and lives to write about it. Ha.

2. A comic strip on a school board member. Ha.

3. A "satire" about Al Sharpton running for mayor. Ha

4. A "satire" about a secret Cardinal's training camp in Kansas. Ha

Barf Digest: A summary of this Week's RFT News 

There is a mayoral race in Breckenridge Hills. -- Smithson
Restaurant owners struggle with changes in their menus. -- Westoff.

That's it. -

Onion Hires Mike Seely 

Mike Seely, the Riverfront Times prankster, has been hired by the Onion, Media Mayhem has learned. Seely helped turn the RFT into a quasi-humor weekly during his tenure. His last effort at the RFT was a fictional cover story about a secrect Cardinal's training camp in Kansas, which appeared on April Fool's Day. He will be sorely missed by his handful of readers in St. Louis. Good luck, Mike, don't let the door hit you in the ass.

This Week's Street Talk Q: What Was Your Most Drunken Experience? 

A. Obviously, I don't remember.

Unsolved Brinks Job 

Before Oct. 23, 1992, the biggest bank job pulled off in St. Louis dated back to the Grand National, which was sometime during the Depression. The bank was just about to move into its new digs around the corner at the Continental Building, when burglars raided the vault over the weekend.

But the United Missouri Bank robbery twelve years ago was bigger. The robbers got away with at least $900,000. First accounts of the take were estimated at as much as $1.4 million. Later reports reduced the amount to $900,000. The crime has never been solved.

It went down this way: On Friday Oct. 23, 1992, at 3:50 p.m., two armed men dressed in coveralls accosted a Brink's armored car guard in the basement of the United Missouri Bank in downtown St. Louis.

One of the robbers stuck a gun to the guard's head. The robbers then forced the guard into a storage room, duct-taped his mouth and tied him up.

While the robbery was being carried out, the guard's partner sat in the armored car.

The robbers then took the elevator to the 13th floor of the adjoining Equitable Building, where they took off their coveralls in a restroom.

The robbers were'nt too greedy. They only took five bags of cash, leaving more than $200,000 behind. It took the guard more than a half hour to free himself. His partner, the driver of the armored car, wasn't alarmed because it sometimes takes that long for the courier to return. The police reached the scene at 4:40 p.m.; the FBI arrived fifteen minutes later.

The FBI guessed that after changing clothes in the upstairs restroom, the robbers could have exited by the front door or by a fourth floor pedestrian skywalk to a parking garage south of the building.

The bank heist was obviously well planned and could have been an inside job, but no was ever charged. An anonymous law enforcement source told the Post-Dispatch that an informant had provided a "promising lead," but nothing came from it even though Brinks offered a $100,000 reward.

By the time the FBI and cops got to the bank most of the office workers had already left for the weekend. Twenty FBI agents and 15 police officers searched the bank and the Equitable Building and came up empty handed.

sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Oct. 24, 1992, 1 $ Million Taken from Brinks Guard, by Donald E. Franklin; Tuesday Oct. 27, 1992, pg 4 A, Authorities Pursue `Promising Lead' on $900,000 Robbery by Bill Bryan.

No Joke: Harken Engergy Partners -- DeWitt and Bin Laden 

Among those who invested in Harken Engery/Spectrum 7, George W.'s failed oil biz, were Cards owners Billy "Boy" Dewitt Jr., sidekick Mercer Reynolds and Salem Bin Laden -- Osama Bin Laden's half brother.

Hold it! Radio Rich Dalton's April Fool's Day Prank 

On Radio Rich Dalton's oldie's show, on K-Hits 96 this morning, he read an alleged email from the St. Louis Cardinals, which advised fans to arrive early to the opening game because of delays anticipated due to Geore W. Bush's appearance. The email message advised all fans that bathrooms at Busch Stadium will be closed for security reasons.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Notes From the Cyclotron 

When I went to Washington University Olin Library Special Collections Department to do research on the nuke waste story in 1998, I couldn't find some of the documents I was looking for. The librarian said she thought they might still be over at the cyclo tron building and she went and got them for me. Special collections wouldn't allow me to Xerox the documents. So I started typing the text directly into my laptop. It was late in the afternoon and the librarian kept hovering over me, saying the library wa s about to close. I think once she gave me the documents she realized she had made a mistake. The documents support the fact that radioactive waste was buried on the South 40 near where the near dorms were built in 1998.

To: R.C. Simmons
From: J.B/.Reynolds
Subject: Cyclotron waste disposal on WU prop

summary of findings to date
waste between Forsythe and Wydown east of Big Bend

info via A.B. (Bradbury) Phillips

Q submitted in writing to Phillips 7/17/58

1. were records kept? If so where are they.
2. How many times was material disposed of this way?
Over what interval? Could you mark locations on the enclosed map?

3. Was the waste burned in all cases. Was the waste ever buried in closed containers?

4. What is the radioactivity of th e materials that were buried? Could it presence in the earth be detected with a survey meter after burial? What was the unusual depth of burial?
5.Estimate the half-lives of the materials buried. Were large quantities of Na-22 or other materials with half lives greater than one year likely to have been buried?

answers from Phillips

“That’s a rough set of questions -- I should say, a set of rough questions! I’ve been racking my brain all day trying to recall the answers.It must be close to ten years since our first burial.”

1. Dates will be found in the log book --an entry was made every time there was a burial. That’s a big job, looking through several years entries for not much more than “buried radioactive waste.” As an initial date, somew here in 1949 or 1950 sticks in my head --I think during the time Lee Rogers was there. I don’t think any burial were made later than early 1955. After that we shipped the stuff out in the 50 gallon paperboard barrels.

I remember that Al Schulke had a pla n drawing of that area, about twice the scale of the one you sent on which were marked in red ink crosses the exact locations of all burials. The map came from, I thought , Fred St.Clair’s office; and I thought it went back to someone in the adinistrative offices at Brooking, via Fred. Al kept a copy of it, which should be at the cyclotron lab.This was made up in 1954 or 1955 because the question of radioactive burial was receiving attention in th papers and someone in th front office wanted to know how WU stood. This should be very accurate because we all went out to the area and located the sites by reference to landmarks -- speicific trees, the burning area, ravines, truck trails, etc. If I were there, and if the area hasn’t heen cleared, I could pro balby still spot the places.

2. My answers to 1 are so sketchy that I’ll proceed as if the answer is no.
I can recall five burials specifically; there may have been as many as eight. The intervals I covered above.

There used to be an area 50 to 70 fee t in diameter in the approxiate location of your 100’by 100’ oval, where trash was burned.I thought it should be closer to the north fence. West of this area,the ground fell off to a ravine running north and south which intersected the old creek bed. Tras h and dirt were filled in from the eastside of this ravine. Our procedure was to bury at the foot of this hill so the next few loads would cover it. I have marked in red pencil what I thought was the burn area and, from that the red Xs for our birual loca tions. Eight spots are indicated but as I mentioned before, there may have been fewer.

3. The bulk of our (the cyclotrons’s ) radioactive waste was in the form of paper which had been spread to prevent surface contamination mainly from chips. A small amo unt of paper was from liquid spillages. I would say that the bulk of radioactive material was unidentifed -- but let me qualify this further. Including radiochemistry’s waste, we never buried anything hotter than 30 mr/hr, measured at the surface of an i ndividual piece. Everthing from the cyclotron was set on shelves long enough to get an idea of half-lives. There were few pieces of brass as big as 8” x 10 x one half, which sat on shelves for 5 -10 years before activity went down to the 20mr/hr level and we buried them. Usually there was no more than 10-20 mr/hr at the surface of the material in our open pit, though twice I knew it to be in the order of 100 mr/hr. In both of these cases, I knew the source was short lived--in the order of 6 - 36 hours ha lf life. In other words, a) we never buried large amounts of activity, and b) any known long-lived activities had been set aside to decay to low levels before burial.

Every burial was burned out first, so that the final volume of material never exceeded 2 cubic feet All glassware was broken. With one exception, no containers were used.The exception was a one-gallon can; its contents were poured into the hole, and the can punctured. All other waste was uncontained.

4. Our usual procedure was to dig a ho le 3’ x 3’ and about 2’ deep. The cans were emptied into the hole and the paper and rags burned off, leaving a layer of residue at most a few inches thick. Then the hole was filled in. Using the IDL B-8 survey meter, the most I ever measured was one mr/hr at the surface of a fill. Usually within a week, this surface was 8 to 10 feet under the surface of the trash and dirt dumping fill. However, the last two burials in the creek bottom may not have gotten more than 2 to 3 feet of overfill.

I covered the half-lives in 3 above. With the exception of a few beakers contaminated by Na-22 and these had been treated to remove all possible Na-22 no other Na-22 was ever buried. I don’t know what was on some of the glassware from radiochemistry.

A Picture Is Worth Reams of My Notes 

The Washington University Alumni Bulletin published grad students dumping radioactive waste on the South 40, which included a cutline that identified what they were dumping. They were dressed in moon suits. Here's the reference:

(photo cutline) (photo taken by free-lance pro Edward Goldberger)
John Hood (left) and Brad Phillips, Cyclotron engineers, empty galvanized container of
radioactive waste during periodic burial of the materials in grounds back of Chancellor
Arthur H. Compton,'s home.

Washington University's Nuclear History 

After my RFT story about the burial of radioactive waste on the Washington University campus appeared, the administration tried to portray me as an alarmist. The university denied that anytbing was buried on campus and then turned around and said, if it was buried, it had all been dug up and removed. The university's PR machine even used Student Life, the campus newspaper, to discredit me. Here's is some of my background research:

(title page)
F.W. Fulbright, “Contributions Toward the Construction of the W.U. Cyclotron (M.Sc. Thesis, 1942), LD5791, F956

(handwritten in top margin)
Dr. Sherwood Moore, director of radiology, following up report from Berkeley

plans for cyclotron were drawn up in July, 1939.
size: 45-inch, 80-ton cyclotron
location: underground building west of the power house

purpose: to provide radioactive isotopes for medical research and therapy and to produce a neutron beam to be used in the treatment of cancer.

financing: the largest donation came in the form of a $60,000 Rockefeller Foundation grant.

cost: $106,000

underground facility provided shielding from radiation by separating the operator and machine by some 65 feet, including 25 feet of earth and concrete. Control room originally located in west end of power plant.

Several years later (1947?) control room was incorporated into the two story cyclotron building.

construction began in early 1940 under the direction of R.L. (Robert) Thornton and A.S. (Alexander) Langsdorf Jr..

80-ton magnet arrived in St. Louis and was installed in June 1940

cyclotron ready for trial operations by the fall of 1941

Early in 1942 the cyclotron was placed at the disposal of the government. Operating first under the Office of Scientific Research and Development and later under the Manhattan Project, the cyclotron staff succeeded in producing plutonium in sufficient quantities to permit microchemical studies of this new element.

In November 1944, government work ceased and the cyclotron was returned to the Institute of radiology for full time isotope production.

Following the war, the cyclotron continued to be used to create isotopes not available from reactors, and it was turned over to the Physics Department.

In 1946, the present phase of cyclotron activity began with eh inauguration of a long-term program of nuclear research financed by the Office of Naval research.

Secondary programs since 1946 include an arrangement with the AEC to produce isotopes which cannot be made in reactors and research in cooperation with the Washington University School of Engineering on the application of nuclear energy to the propulsion of aircraft.

In February, 1957, the sponsorship of the cyclotron nuclear research program was transferred from the ONR to the Air Force’s Office of Scientific Research through an agreement between the military services dictated by budget requirements.

The cyclotron at present supplies isotopes to the various departments of the university, the Institute of Radiology and other universities and research labs.

A $60,000 gift from the Rockefeller Foundation to enable the School of Medicine to explore new frontiers of science by means of a cyclotron has been announced by Chancellor George R. Throop.
The atom-smashing device won the 1939 Nobel prize for Prof. E.O. Lawrence of the University of California. It produces a new and powerful neutron ray comparable to X-ray and radium. It transmutes elements into radioactive isotopes -- 220 have been demonstrated so far -- behaving for minutes or months like radium.
Apparatus for the 80-ton machine is being assembled. Construction will begin in a few weeks and will be completed in a year or more. Although it will be part of the equipment of the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, the cyclotron will be placed in an underground laboratory near the power house on the main campus because of its power requirement of 50,000 watts, comparable to that of a major broadcasting station and also because of the necessity of shielding its powerful and yet incompletely understood emanations.
Shielding planned is more effective than any now in use. It will include at least six feet of earth and concrete. The laboratory will be connected by a winding corridor with the west end of the power house, where experts operating the machine by remote control will be protected by distance and 25 feet of earth.

Construction of a radioactive laboratory for research in the chemistry of radioactive substances is under way on the university campus. The two story brick building with a series of lead-shielded labs underground is part of a larger building for which an anonymous donor has contributed $300,000

(photo cutline) (photo taken by free-lance pro Edward Goldberger)
John Hood (left) and Brad Phillips, Cyclotron engineers, empty galvanized container of radioactive waste during periodic burial of the materials in grounds back of Chancellor Arthur H. Compton’s home.

1. I Saw the Birth of Atomic Power by Arthur Holly Compton
2. Atomic Power in War and Peace by Arthur Holly Compton
3. The Role of W.U. in the Development of the Atomic Bomb (unsigned)

reproduction of a letter from Gen. Berehon Somervell, commander of the Army Service Forces, Sept. 12, 1946.

“Your institution has played a very important part in producing the materiel which has been such a decisive factor in winning the war. ...”

I Saw the Birth of Atomic Power, Compton
(PG 5)
important contributors to early atomic research
Enrico Fermi
Ernest Lawrence
Glenn Seaborg, who saw how the reaction could be used to make a new element, plutonium, which could be used for atomic bombs,
James Chadwick and R. Simon of England
Harold Urey,
George Dunning
Robert Oppenheimer
Dr. Robert Stone, who were alert to protect these men from unforeseen dangers as they worked with deadly new rays

Leo Szilard
Richard Doan
Norman Hilberry

Compton call it the “Promethean gift of atomic fire.”

(PG 6)
It was primarily Vannevar Bush (head of the government’s Office of Scientific Research and Development, president of the Carnegie Institute of Washington and electrical engineer) and James Conant (president of Harvard University and chemist) on whom President Roosevelt and his cabinet committee relied for determining the direction our scientific effort. It is hard to appreciate the far-sighted vision and the courage of these men in recommending the commitment of a major national effort to the seemingly impossible task of developing atomic bombs.

Conant to Compton:
“It’s your job to get the national Academy of Science Committee to make a quick but thorough study of the possibilities and time and cost of an atomic bomb program.”

On Nov. 6, 1941
our committee turned in a report that uranium was apt to be of decisive importance in the present war. “A fission bomb of superlatively destructive power will result from bringing quickly together a sufficient mass of element U-235 ... If all possible effort is spent on the program , one might expect fission bombs to be available in sufficient quantity within three or four years.”

On Dec. 6, 1941
the day before Pearl harbor, a small group was called together by Conant at Washington. Bush had already secured the president’s authorization to make a vigorous six months’ study of the problem. Ernest Lawrence and Harold Urey were asked to develop methods of separating U-235. I was to find out how to make the stuff explode when we had it.

I suggested that we look also into whether the new element , plutonium, might not be produced more readily than U-235. How wild this proposal must have seemed. Plutonium is an element which had been produced by a transmutation process using a cyclotron, but only in amounts too small to see under a microscope. ... To make it in useful amounts we would need first to make a controlled atomic chain reaction to supply the neutrons for the transmutation of the uranium into plutonium. ...
If it could be done, however, plutonium could be made in quantity, and its chemical separation should be less difficult than the isotopic separation of U-235.

(PG 7)
Dec. 2, 1942,
was the most crucial day of the entire project. ... According to theory and our preliminary experiments, when the control rods were withdrawn from this carefully built pile of blocks, the chain reaction should begin. ...
The `suicide squad,’ prepared to destroy the pile to save the city on the one-in-a-million chance of a threatened explosion, breathed a sigh of relief. ... The half watt of power thus developed was the precursor of the great atomic power plants that now warm the waters of the Columbia River. ...
I called Conant at Harvard. “The Italian navigator has jest landed in the New World.” It was our usual extemporaneous wartime code. “Did he find the natives friendly?” Conant asked. “Everyone landed safe and happy.” ...
Having in mind Allied efforts to stop the German scientists, the Army kept armed guards with several of us wherever we went. (important) My companion, Julian Bernacchi, had to keep traveling as our work spread over the United States. S.K. Allsion and later J.C. Stearns headed up the Metallurgical Laboratory” at Chicago, where the research on the reacting pile was centered. Mallinckrodt Chemical Works in St. Louis was already purifying our vital chemicals. A pilot plant and laboratory was built at Oak Ridge, Tenn., where, under M.D. Whitaker’s direction, we could try out chemical processes and produce trial amounts of plutonium.
This “world’s first transmutation plant” has recently been turned over to Monsanto Chemical co., who received on Sept. 29 an Army Navy E for its production of vital war materials. DuPont at Wilmington, John Chipman’s Metallurgical Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Frank Spedding’s uranium metal plant at Iowa State College, Joseph Hamilton, W.M. Latimer and E. D. Eastman in their biological and chemical laboratories at the University of California, Washington University’s cyclotron at St. Louis, and a parallel experimental development in Montreal are but a few of the scores of co-operating organizations that had to be visited to keep the work co ordinated. ... Julian said the best food was to be found in the mess hall at Hanford, Wash., where du Pont built their plutonium production plant inside a 700-square mile reservation on the Columbia River.

(PG 8)
Robert Oppenheimer had made some of the preliminary calculations on which was based the national Academy Committee’s report that such bombs were important. In the spring of 1942, he joined the Chicago laboratory staff to take charge of this final aspect of the work. In the following year he set up an independent laboratory on a hill in New Mexico, where he transferred a considerable number of the men and women from the Chicago laboratory and a select group of other scientists both from this country and from England.
In the meantime those working on the separation of U-235 had made similar progress, which, if less dramatic, was equally vital to the end result.
At last the plant at Hanford delivered enough plutonium and that at Oak Ridge enough U-235. ... I was invited to attend an interesting test at Alamagordo Air Field in New Mexico on the 16th of last July. It was, however, a primary requirement that no one at Chicago know of the experiment, and a fishing trip to the New Mexico desert hardly seemed a plausible excuse. That afternoon the Chicago papers described the explosion of a huge ammunition dump in New Mexico with extraordinary light effects. In the evening Oppenheimer called me by phone: “ We caught a very big fish.”
From the earliest stages, the scientists have debated whether atomic bombs should be used (important).
In the summer of 1940 I had asked Volney Wilson to prepare to report for me on the feasibility of a fission chain reaction leading to the release of atomic energy. After tow months of study he gave me a memorandum which made success look possible. .... But he added, “please assign me to something.else. This will lead to something too destructive for me.” After Pearl Harbor he willingly came back to the project and did effective work.
From Dec. 7, 1941, almost to V-E Day the fear lest Germany might win the atom race spurred all concerned to maximum effort. Especially, the scientists of foreign origin who had known the nazis in Europe were determined to press on to a conclusion. They knew there was no mercy in the Nazi heart. ...
Many thought use of the bomb in war would prejudice any effort ton the part of our nation toward international agreement to renounce its use. ...
An opinion poll showed a strongly predominant desire that Japan should first be offered terms, and if these were not accepted that a demonstration be made on a Japanese military target. ...
As a member of the Scientific panel, the government asked me for full reports on these discussions while the President was enroute to Potsdam. ...

(PG 9)

World government is now inevitable. ...
Let us try to imagine what may be expected to happen if a war between two major powers should break out in 1970. We may assume that by this time both sides will have such weapons in whatever amount they consider necessary, and of greater destructiveness and variety than those now possessed by the United STates. Because of the enormous advantage of surprise, Pearl Harbor tactics will be employed. Jet-propelled planes or rockets with atomic warheads will be sent without warning at each of several hundred of the enemy’s major production centers. No city of o 100,000 population will remain as an effective operating center after the first hour of the war. At least ten percent of the attacked nations’ population will be wiped out in the initial blow. ...
(PG 10)
If the United States should be party to such a war, we should expect St. Louis and Chicago to follow Hiroshima and Nagasaki into oblivion. ... One out of every four of us will be killed. ...
Only two countermeasures have so far been proposed. The first is to disperse our cities, preferably into hilly regions, so that more bombs will be required to destroy them. The second is to place all military installations and essential industries underground and provide emergency underground shelters for all the population. ...
The chances are that as from August, 1945 it will be at least five years before any national other than England, who has already a good start, can be ready to make military use of atomic weapons. ...
The two billion dollars which we required to build our bombs represents the work of a thousand men for a thousand years. ...
(PG 11)
One man may own a .22 target pistol and another a high power hunting rifle. But neither is insurance against murder by the other . The insurance is to take away both guns, or the fear of punishment by the policed, or most surely of all the development of a social conscience for which murder becomes unthinkable. ...
Until this control of war by the world government is established, continue our own military development to the limited objective of preparing weapons that are adequate to destroy all major surface activities of a potential enemy. ... We should be prepared to destroy only his surface industries and military concentrations -- which would unfortunately include his cities. ...
Of these transmutation processes that most important one is that of uranium into plutonium. Previous to the fission chain reaction, the most abundant source of neutrons, was the cyclotron which operated on electric power. Per kilowatt of energy used, the fission chain reaction gives some 10,000 times as many neutrons as a cyclotron and it is not difficult to make a fission chain reaction plant that delivers 100 times as much power as is used by a cyclotron.

(PG 12)
There is, however, a lower limit to the size and wight of an atomic power plant that is imposed by the massive shield needed to prevent the neutrons and other dangerous radiations from getting out. next to cosmic rays, these radiations are the most penetrating that we know and for a plant designed to deliver for example no more than 100 horsepower, are enormously more intense than the rays from a large supply of radium or an x-ray tube. To stop them, a shield equivalent in weight to at least 2 or 3 feet of solid steel is needed. There are basic laws of physics that make it appear very unlikely that a lighter shield can be devised. This means that there is no reason to hope that atomic power units for normal uses can be built that will weigh less than perhaps 50 tons. Driving motor cars or airplanes of ordinary size by atomic power must thus be counted out.

(PG 13)
One notable limitation to the use of atomic power is the need for careful protection against harmful rays. Explosions such as destroyed Hiroshima cannot occur accidentally. Such explosions must be planned for. The dangers of explosions of the “b oiler” type with an atomic power plant are about the same as with a steam plant, which is to say they are practically negligible if the plants are designed and handled by competent engineers. There is, however, real possibility of damage to the operating personnel from ionizing rays emitted by the plant itself and by the all materials that are taken out of the plant. It is the problem of the radium and x-ray workers on a grand scale. ... That the problem can be solved is shown by the fact that in all of the operations of the half dozen or more such plants, some of which have now been working for years, not a single serious exposure has occurred. (wrong) This, however, is due to thorough instruction and vigilant care by E. Robert Stone’s heath staff. In some of the experimental work we have not been so fortunate. This means that until we become much more familiar with nucleonics than we are at present, atomic power plants can be safely operated and serviced only with the help of health supervisors who are familiar with radiological hazards.

(PG 14)
“The evolutionary law of the survival of the fittest applies to societies as well as to individuals. According to this law the society of the future will inevitably advance along these lines of cooperativeness, of education, and of promoting the service of its individuals toward the common welfare. If selfish interests or an ill-adapted from of government should prevent our growth along these lines, some other nation or group that can develop this more rapidly will pass us by.,

cooperation, education, service.

My point is this, that the development of the atomic bomb is merely the most recent important step of that steady progression of science that is compelling man to become human. He must pay careful attention to cooperation, education and the welfare of society if he is to thrive under the conditions that science imposes. If we will let ourselves grow as thus indicated, the civilization of the atomic age promises to be the richest that history has known, not only with regard to material bounty but also on cultivation and appreciation of the truest human values. ...
The most important immediate peaceful application of atomic energy is that of supplying heat and power from large installation, especially in areas where power is now relatively expensive. ...

(PG 15)
cyclotron referred to as a 100-ton instrument

“This 100-ton instrument, erected in an underground building on the campus of the University in 1940 at the a cost of approximately $100,000, from funds provided by the Rockefeller Foundation and from the endowment income of the Edward Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, has the highest efficiency on record. This high efficiency, plus extreme reliability of operation, enabled us to produce more than half the total amount of the new element, plutonium, required during the vitally important development period of 1942. In the opinion of a high ranking technical adviser to the government, the availability of a sufficient quantity of plutonium for microanalysis in 1942 shortened the time required for the development of the entire project by many months.
The story of atomic energy and its possible utilization goes back to 1896 to 1939, the date on which we had the first real glimpse as to how atomic energy could be utilized and controlled, was a long and exciting period in which some of the best physicists in the world worked unceasingly ...
Natural radioactivity is a property of only a few of the heavier elements. ...
in 1939 the phenomenon of uranium fission was recognized.
(PG 16)
When a neutron, which like the electron is one of the fundamental particles out o which the universe is built, collides with the nucleus of the uranium atom, the result is the splitting -- or fission -- of the uranium nucleus into two roughly equal parts which turn out to be the nuclei of lighter atoms. The highly important thing is that the energy given off per atom when this happens is terrific: it is of the order of 100,000,000 times that when two atoms of oxygen and one of carbon unite as in ordinary combustion of coal. ...
The avalanche-like phenomenon is called a chain reaction. Thus for the first time in history it became theoretically possible to initiate a release of energy by spraying neutrons on uranium to start the chain reaction. ...
Physicists were thoroughly justified, up to this time, in pooh-poohing the idea of tapping the huge store of energy known to be locked in the atom. The 1939 discovery changed that. ...
Fission is a very rare phenomenon, in the sense that it is a property of only one element, that called uranium. The situation is even worse, for it is a property of the rare isotope of uranium which weighs 235 units, as compared with the common isotope which weighs 238. The separation of isotopes even of the lighter elements is a very difficult problem, and it is ever so much more difficult to separate the isotopes of the heavy elements. This, them, leads directly to one of the great problems which had to be overcome -- the problem of separating the rare U-235 from the relatively plentiful U-238. ...
The answer is that there are no known elements in which fission occurs other than U-235. However, in the course of the last few years an element hitherto nonexistent in this world has actually been created, and this element has been given the name of plutonium. When a neutron hits and is absorbed by the nucleus of ordinary uranium ( that is, the common isotope of uranium, which has an atomic number of 92, and an atomic weight of 238), the neutron raises the atomic wight to 239, but -- being uncharged -- leaves the atomic number unchanged; the new atom is unstable and soon changes to neptunium by ejecting a beta-particle. Neptunium is also unstable and changes again, by the ejection of a beta-particle, to plutonium. The loss of the beta-particles raises the atomic number to 94, b ut since the beta particles have no appreciable wight the atomic weight stays at 239.
So we have a new element, artificially created, to which the name of plutonium has been given. Now the significant thing is that this new element plutonium, created by man out of *U-238, is capable of fission just like U 235 and so can be used as a source of energy.
Plutonium is created in a device called a “pile,” which is essentially a pile of bricks of carbon or other suitable material. Distributed around inside the pile is uranium, both varieties being present. The fission of U-235 produces plenty of neutrons, which in turn are absorbed by the U-238, from which the new element plutonium is created. The function of the bricks of carbon or other materials is to keep the neutrons bottled up, so to speak, in the place where they will do the most good, this is, inside the pile. As time goes on, more and more plutonium is created and can be separated by proper chemical methods from the other materials.

(PG 17)
Evidently, somewhere between the pinhead size and the Empire State Building size there is a crucial size, below which the material cannot sustain a chain reaction and so is safe, and above which a chain reaction is possible, with the release of a huge amount of energy. ...
In 1938, the income from a research fund in the Edward Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology of Washington University Medical School became available. Dr. Sherwood Moore, the Director of the Institute of Radiology, was of the opinion that by far the most promising field for its use in advancing radiology was the one which applied the new and rapidly developing field of nuclear physics to problems in medicine and biology., The Physicist to the Institute of Radiology, Dr. Arthur L. Hughes, Professor of Physics, was then authorized to investigate the various techniques developing in nuclear physics and to make a definite recommendation as to the best procedure to be followed. ....
In September, 1938, Dr. A. L. Hughes visited the Brotl Foundation Swarthmore, the University of Pennsylvania ia, Columbia University, harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the General Electric Company at Schenedtady, and the University of Rochester. Drs. T.E.Blackwell and A.L. Hughes visited the University of California and California Institute of Technology in October 1938. In June 1939, they visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. By this time it was becoming clearer that the cyclotron was much superior as a tool for radiology to any other piece of nuclear physics equipment in use. In July, 1939, Dr. Hughes made another trip to Berkeley to discuss costs and methods with Professor E. O. Lawrence. The final recommendation was that a cyclotron was much the best equipment for applying nuclear physics to medical research. ...
We were indeed fortunate to secure the services of Dr. R. L. Thornton who had a wide experience in building and operating cyclotrons both at the University of Michigan and the University of California. Dr. Thornton was appointed Cyclotron Physicist in the Institute of Radiology and Associate Professor in the Department of Physics.
The committee in charge of the cyclotron is as follows: the chancellor, Dean P. A. Shaffer, Dr. Sherwood Moore, Dr. T.E. Blackwell, DR,.
R. L. Thornton, and Rr. A. L. Hughes (chairman). Dr. Arneson of the Institute of Radiology was added to the Committee in October, 1941. Dr. Nathan Womack has been appointed to serve in place of Dr. Arneson during his absence in National Service.
The Edward Mallinkcrodt Institute of Radiology of which the cyclotron is a part, is directed by Dr. Sherwood Moore. The chairman of the cyclotron committee, Dr. Arthur L. Hughes, is charged with general supervision of the activities of the cyclotron. ...
Physicists in charge of the cyclotron in turn, Dr. R. L. Thornton, Dr. A.S. Langsdorf, Jr., and dr. H. W. Fulbright. Dr. L (Louis) Hempelmann, DR. E. Reinhard and DR. Carl V. Moore have been closely associated with it from the medical standpoint. The excellent performance of the cyclotron is due in no small degree to the sill and unsparing efforts of Mr. Harry Huth and Mr. A.A. Schulke who have been on the cyclotron staff from the beginning. ...
Why smash atoms? The original idea was to find out more about the construction of atoms -- a purely physical problem. But, as is almost always the case when scientists embark on a new venture of

(PG 18)
this sort, many wholly unexpected discoveries were made. the original purpose of the cyclotron was to give us more information about the nucleus or the hearth of the atom; today, ....
What are the consequences of bombarding the nuclei of atoms with high-speed particles? 1. It is possible to transmute one element into another; for example, cadmium into silver. 2. An entirely new type of radiation, a neutron ray can be produced. 3. many radioactive elements can be produced artificially whose initial activity far exceeds that of radium.

tracer elements

The situation is similar to that in which every tenth bullet shot out from a machine gun is a luminous tracer bullet which gives the gunner information as to the direction in which the ordinary invisible bullets are moving. ...
The WU cyclotron is unique in that it is owned by a medical school and that its principal purpose is to treat diseases ...(it) weighs 100 tons and has a pole face of 45 inches diameter, is exceeded in size only by the 60--inch, 200-ton giant cyclotron at Berkeley. There is one other cyclotron, not yet in operation, at the University of Indiana, which is of the same size as ours. Two other larger cyclotrons are being constructed. ..
The cyclotron is located in an underground building to the west of the Power House on the main campus. The underground cyclotron building was decided on because of the trouble other cyclotrons had with dangerous radiations. To protect the operators it had been found necessary to build huge water tanks , three to four feet thick around the cyclotron. Unfortunately this severely impaired the accessibility of the cyclotron. It was decided to avoid trouble of this sort at WU by putting the control room in the west end of the power house, and the cyclotron itself in a building underground. The operators are protected by a distance e of sixty-=five feet, of which twenty-five is solid earth. Tests have shown that this is entirely adequate. The underground building is air conditioned in order to control humidity and thus insure proper functioning of the high voltage equipment.
Part of the west end of the power house was set aside to house the control room, patients’ dressing booths, a workshop and a radioactive laboratory. ...
At WU, the first evidence of a small “beam” on the target was obtained in the middle of November 1941, making the time interval 16 and one half months. ...
By January 1942, the beam had been built up to 375 microamperes, a value which exceeds by many times the output of all other cyclotrons but one. ...
Early in 1942, the Washington University was asked to place its cyclotron at the disposal of the government for certain secret experiments. From April 1, 1942 to April 30, 1943, the work was conducted under contract with the Office of Scientific Research and Development.
On May 1, 1943, the contract was transferred to the Manhattan District of the United States Engineers Office of the War Department. Our part of the project was completed by October 31, 1944. ...
(the WU cyclotron) was within easy reach of Chicago, where the Metallurgical Lab was located. ... During the period when the new element, plutonium, was needed for scientific study preparatory to mass production, more of it was produced by the Washington university cyclotron than by all other cyclotrons.

Symth report excerpt:
“(Microscopic) quantities of (plutonium) were produced by prolonged bombardment of several hundred pounds of uranyl nitrate with neurons obtained with the aid of cyclotrons, first at Berkeley and later at Washington University in St. Louis. By the end of 1942, something over 500 micrograms had been obtained in the form of pure plutonium salts. ...”
Certain investigations of a scientific nature, not yet released, were carried out for the Metallurgical Laboratory. Among these was an investigation which constituted the dissertation for the degree of Ph.D. awarded to Harry W. Fulbright.
During the period when the cyclotron operated under a government contract Dr. Arthur L. Hughes, Professor of Physics at WAshington University, was appointed “Official Investigator” to exercise general supervision under the Office of Scientific Research and Development and later under the Manhattan District. On his transfer to the Los Alamos Project in New Mexico, he was succeeded as “Official Investigator” by Frank W. Bubb, Professor of Applied mathematics. The actual scientific work of operating the cyclotron and maintaining its output at the highest possible level was the responsibility of the Physicist in charge of the cyclotron. This position was held first by Dr. A.S. Langsford, Jr.., and then by Dr. H. W,. Fulbright. ...
technicians were: Harry Huth and A.A . Schulke.

people involved in the cyclotron/bomb project

Arthur H. Compton, Met Lab
Joyce Stearns, Met Lab
Arthur Hughes, Los Alamos
Frank W. Bubb
Robert L. Thornton
Martin D. Kamen, associate professor of biological chemistry, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology
A.S. Langsdorf Jr., Met lab
Harry W. Fulbright, Los Alamos
Louis Hempelmann, instructor in radiology at WU, scientist at Project Y of the Manhattan District at Los Alamos near Santa Fe, N.M.


In 1938, Lise Meitner finally unlocked the mystery of nuclear fission. Building on the earlier work of Otto Hahn and F. Strassman, she concluded that when uranium-235 is bombarded by neutrons the nuclei split in two, liberating a substantial amount of energy. If this energy could be harnessed in a controlled system, it could be used to initiate a violent explosion.
In Sept. 1941, Compton met with Ernest O. Lawrence, an old friend and physicist from the University of California’s Radiation Laboratory and James B . Conant, President of Harvard University and head of the National Defense Research Committee, to discuss the feasibility of building an atomic bomb. ...
Lawrence told Conant that the current research on plutonium and uranium indicated that an atomic bomb could be made. Compton rallied to Lawrence side. ...
Giving into the pressure , Conant told Compton to submit a report outlining the project’s requirements and current research to Vannevar Bush, director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development.
The National Academy of Sciences, for which Compton was president, desperately tried to convince Pres. Roosevelt and his cabinet that producing an atomic bomb would be vital to the war effort. The academy’s efforts finally paid off when in June 1940, the Roosevelt established the National Defense Research Committee. It’s purpose was to link the military’s interests in atomic energy with the scientific research that was already underway. ...
By the middle of 1941, plutonium research was moving well enough along to warrant investigations into how it, too,m could be used as an explosive. The chemistry and metallurgy of plutonium was worked out thanks to the contribution of the WU cyclotron, which produced the first experimental amounts of this highly fissionable element. ...
The day before Pearl Harbor was attacked Roosevelt authorized an all out effort to produce atomic bombs. A committee known as S-1 was set up to coordinate research and make recommendations to Vannevar Bush. .... At Columbia University Harold Urey was assigned the task of using the gaseous diffusion process to separate the isotopes, uranium-235 and uranium-238.
At Berkeley, Lawrence continued his work on electromagnetic separation,.. while E.V. Murphee developed a centrifuge method to separate uranium.
At Chicago, Compton directed plutonium research and was given the task of designing the bomb itself. ...
In February 1942, the Metallurgical Laboratory was set up at the University of Chicago. ...
A procurement contract was signed with Westinghouse Manufacturing Co., however their method of turning uranium salts into metal was too inefficient. Pressed for time, Compton next looked to Mallinckrodt Chemical Works in St. Louis. ... By May more than 60 tons of uranium had been delivered, ...
At the same time the nuclear reactor was under construction, the project was reassigned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the name of the Manhattan Project. In September (42?) Roosevelt appointed Gen. Leslie R. Groves to head the project. ...
Leo Szilard, a physicist at Chicago, complained that Compton too often acquiesced to the demands of the military. ...
Szilard believed the needs of the Met Lab would be better served if Compton’s authority originated from the scientists in Chicago rather than the Office of Scientific Research and Development. ...
Szilard circulated a petition to fellow scientist asking for support to prevent the use of the bomb against Japan. ... Szilard’s petition was signed by 67 scientists at Chicago...
But the interim committee that had been established by Truman to advise him on the use of the bomb and on long term policies regarding atomic energy, carefully weighed both sides of the issue. After much discussion, the interim committee’s scientific panel, of which Compton was a member, endorsed the plan to use the bomb against Japan. ...

Fermi worked to produce a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction while J. Robert Oppenheimer’s group was given the task of estimating the explosive nature of the bomb. ...
Fermi suggested that the “pile” or reactor be built under the bleachers of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago. ...
The pilot plant was built at Oak Ridge, Tenn., under the name of the Clinton Engineer Works. The Oak Ridge plants were built for uranium separation using electromagnetic and gaseous diffusion methods. ...
The first blast occurred in Alamogordo, N.M. on July 16, 1945. .. On Aug. 6, the uranium bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and just three days later the plutonium bomb fell on Nagasaki. 100,000 dead in Hiroshima, 40,000 dead in Nagasaki, instantly.


In 1944, Harry Brookings Wallace, the president of WU Corp., sent Frank Bubb, math prof, and Dr. Evarts A. Graham, chief of surgery at the Medical School, to Chicago to convince Compton to accept the chancellorship. Bubb directed cyclotron activities at WU during the war. ...
At his inauguration Gen. Leslie r. Groves, Enrico Fermi, Ernest lawrence, Vannevar Bush and James Conant came to honor Compton. ...
By 1945, ... money was available for research through government organizations, including the National Research Council and the atomic Energy Commission. ...
The Manhattan Project ... set up a modern military industrial complex in which private industry, the universities and the government all were involved. ...
Compton drew up plans for an Institute for Nuclear Science and Engineering after the War. ... In November 1945, the WU Corp. approved the plan. A stipend of $50,000 was set aside for stating the project while the local company;’s promised to contribute $925,000.
Compton already had the cyclotron and he then set out to acquire the proper faculty and administrators. They included:

Joyce Stearns, dean of faculties, former director of the physics, chemistry, biology and technology divisions at the Met Lab.

Joseph Kennedy, ran the chemistry division at Los Alamos and co-discovered plutonium along with, Seaborg, Art Wahl at Berkeley, died of cancer in 57?

Herb Potratz, chemistry prof in charge of analytical radiochemistry at the Met Lab and later at Los Alamos.

Compton was also serving on Gen. Groves Committee for Research and Development, responsible for putting the Manhattan District under the control of the newly established AEC, which was formed in 1947. ...

Compton told them he had contacted Gen./ Kenneth Nichols of the U.S. Engineers Office requesting a nuclear research contract between Washington University and the wartime labs of the Manhattan District.

Compton asked Richard L. Doan, former director of the research facilities at the Met Lab to run the proposed WU Nuclear institute, but Doan turned down the offer. But Compton pressed Doan to reverse his decision. Doan told Compton that the staff of the proposed institute must remain for at least five years. ...
Compton’s final choice was John H. Manley, a former colleague from the Met Lab. But Manley also turned down the offer.

In March 1947? Joyce Stearns told Compton that the structure of the Institute and it s financial situation were inadequate to create a workable budget. ...
At the same time he was trying to et up the Institute for Nuclear Science and Engineering. Compton attempted to establish ties with the Los Alamos Laboratory. According to ‘compton;’s plan , launched in May 1946, WU would take over the medical division and hospital at Los Alamos. The medical staff would become faculty members of the university while WU graduate students would conduct their research at the lab. ...

In May 1947, Arthur Hughes, physics department chair, Thomas Blackwell, director of business administration, Phillip Shaffer, dean of the Medicine School, visited Los Alamos to discuss the proposal with Norris Bradbury, the lab’s director.
With experienced medical personnel, including Paul Hageman and Louis Hempelmann already at Los Alamos, Bradbury agreed that the university should assume all responsibility for biological and medical research. it was also suggested that Washington University take over the physics and chemistry divisions. John Manley and Joseph Kennedy had accepted WU appointments, and, according to Blackwell, a few more personnel would give the university control of basic research at Los Alamos. Since there was little faculty housing in St. Louis and ....
In June 1946, the executive faculty of the School of Medicine unanimously approved in principle the affiliation between WU and the Los Alamos Laboratory. ...
However this unfortunately was the high water mark of the program’s success. Paul Hageman left Los Alamos, and Stearns now was ill with cancer. ...
Unable to establish strong ties between the Manhattan District and wU, Compton was forced to accept a loose affiliation with the Argonne Laboratory. ...

Plans for industrially sponsored research at Washington University had been drawn up in 1926 by the university’s Department of Industrial Engineering and Research. The plans were never developed, however, because of the Depression and the university’s limited resources. In 1943, a committee including Chancellor George Throop, Alexander Langsdorf, and Harry Brookings Wallace revived the plan. ....
But members of WU’s Corp., weren’t so easily convinced. They questioned the plan’s legitimacy; using university personnel and equipment for the profit of private corporations violated WU’s charter. ...
In June 1945, the committee along with Chancellor Compton authorized the university to sponsor industrial research of interest to the university and contractual agreements in which industrial firms with a particular task would pay the university for these services. Later that moth the Advisory Board of the School of Engineering, the Washington uNiversity Corp. and the Executive Committee voted unanimously to establish the WU Research Foundation.
In June 1946, Washington University was awarded a navy contract for research on proton-proton scattering, proton-neutron scattering and the excitation of atomic nuclei. In July, the Navy Department, awarded a $100,000 contract to the Research Foundation to develop nuclear power units for warships and submarines. In December this contract was expanded to include cosmic ray research. Research contracts were also received from the Phillips Petroleum Corp., McDonnell Aircraft Corp., Ahheuser-Busch, the Aluminum Company of America, General Electric and the National Bureau of Standards. ...

Joyce Stearns had built a strong chemistry faculty at Washington University and Compton did not want to lose it. After securing Joseph Kennedy as head of the department in October 1945, Stearns began recruiting other scientists at Los Alamos. He told Lindsay Helmholz, a chemist and colleague of Kennedy’s at Los Alamos, that if we can secure men recommended by Kennedy we shall almost immediately have one of the finest staffs in chemistry that is to be found in the country.
by march 1946, Stearns had invited Arthur Wahl, a co-discoverer of plutonium, Samuel Weissman, a physical chemist, David Lipkin and organic chemist, Lindsay Helmholz, and Herbert Potratz to join the chemistry faculty.
Kennedy and Wahl researched virus molecules, while David Lipkin worked on the chemistry of living cells. ...

In Sept. 1949, Compton reluctantly asked Edward Mallinckrodt and Spencer Olin of Olin Industries to help fiance the chemistry expansion. Compton knew he was stretching Mallinckrodt generosity, especially since his company had donated half the funds to build Crow Hall and in 1945 gave $925,000 to the Medical School for chemical research. ...

Another addition to the Washington U chemistry dept. was a radiochemistry lab built by Monsanto. This $300,000 lab expanded the chemistry dept. interests into nuclear research. In addition to the lab, Monsanto offered the university a $25,000 annual research budget. The lab opened in Feb. 1948. ...
In April 1946 it was decided to transfer the cyclotron form the Institute of Radiology to the physics department. The Institute was no longer interested in using the cyclotron for cancer therapy because it consumed two thirds of the Institute’s research funds. This transfer marked the rebirth of physics at WU. During the 1930s, cyclotrons were added to physics departments at the other universities while at WU the cyclotron was built for the med school. During the war, the cyclotron had to be borrowed for plutonium research, clearly indicating that the physics department was not doing the quality research that would otherwise require such an instrument. But now the roles were reversed; the physics department operated the cyclotron for its own research while supplying the med school with radioactive isotopes and tracers.
The physics curriculum also went through a drastic c change after the war. By 1947, it was almost three times as large as it had been just two years before. ...
In 1945, Compton came to WU with high hopes of setting up an Institute for Nuclear Science and Engineering and establishing strong ties with the Manhattan District laboratories. By 1947, his plans had come to nothing, except for the construction of the radiochemistry laboratory and a loose affiliation with the Argonne laboratory. The next step was the WU Research Foundation, which after a brief period of success, ultimately failed. ...
With the aid of Joyce Stearns, he built up the chemistry and physics faculties. Equipment was purchased, additional buildings ere constructed , and the Office of Naval Research began to award research contracts to the university.


On Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, 1941, Art Wahl, Joe Kennedy,Sam Weissman, and David Lipkin were in Berkeley. Compton was in Chicago. Arthur Hughes was head of physics at WU. Chemists Herb Portratz and Lindsay Helmholz were at the University of Denver and Dartmouth College, respectively. And Louis Hempelmann was an instructor in radiology at the Washington University School of Medicine.

At Berkeley, Ernest Lawrence had developed his early particle accelerators into sophisticated cyclotrons (the second largest of which was built at WU in 1940 for the exclusive purpose of medical research)

Helmholz moved from Johns Hopkins to Cal Tech in 1934 and then in 1939 went to Dartmouth.

David Lipkin moved from the University of Pennsylvania to Berkeley to do doctoral work in organic chemistry

Sam Weissman came from the U of Chicago to Berkeley for post doctoral work with noted scientist G.N. Lewis in 1941.

Glenn Seaborg, a Michigan student, completed PhD work at Berkeley in 1937 and joined its faculty.

Joseph Kennedy struck for Berkeley in 1937 and joined it’s faculty.

Arthur (Art) Wahl, who was from Iowa, came to Berkeley to do PhD work in 1939.

In December 1940, Seaborg and Kennedy, both instructors in chemistry, and Wahl, a graduate student, bombarded uranium with deuterons (the nuclei of heavy hydrogen) to produce an isotope of element 94. By March, they had established that they had found element 94, later called plutonium.
Because of its nuclear structure, they believed it to be highly fissionable.
Emilio Segre, one of Fermi’s Rome colleagues by then at Berkeley, joined them to measure plutonium’s cross sections (possibilities for fission) and in May they reported it 1.7 times as likely as uranium 235 to fission with slow neutrons. From the beginning, says, Wahl, they treated the results of their work as classified material.

As early as 1938 Hungarians Leo Szilard (at Columbia) and Eugene Wigner (at Princeton) sought U.S. commitment to fission research.

They approached Albert Einstein at Princeton to bring the war-time potential to President Franklin Roosevelt’s attention. Wigner enlisted a third countryman, the young Edward Teller, and in October 1939 economist Alexander Sachs, a friend, delivered to Roosevelt a letter from Einstein warning: “In the course of the past four months it has been made probable -- through the work of Joliot in France, as well as Fermi and Szilard in America - that it may become possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction ... This new phenomenon would also lead to the construction of extremely powerful bombs of a new type. ...
In response, Roosevelt set up an advisory committee on uranium, but the group made little progress until Vannevar Bush, head of the Carnegie Institute, took up the cause. Interestingly, from the beginning the Navy saw atomic energy as a non-oxygen-using source for submarine power. In June 1940, Bush persuaded Roosevelt to create a National Defense Research Committee to coordinate research concerning defense. The uranium project became part of NDRC.

John Dunning, also at Columbia, proved that the isotope uranium 235 (occurring in natural uranium ore with the heavier uranium 238 at a ratio of 1 to 140 was the fissionable product.

On June 28, 1941, Bush prompted Roosevelt to create the Office of Scientific Research and Development. As its director Bush (who turned NDRC over to James conant, president of Harvard) would report directly to the president.

The attack on Pearl Harbor made the backstage effort to win government support superfluous, but had put the machinery for action in place. Within a week, Bush gave Edger Murphree, a chemical engineer, responsibility for the engineering aspects of uranium work and divided scientific aspects among three men:

Harold Urey of Columbia would direct separation of uranium isotopes

Ernest Lawrence at Berkeley would guide small sample preparation of U 235 and experimental work on plutonium

Arthur Holly Compton at the University of Chicago would supervise weapon theory and chain reaction

Time table outlined by Compton in Jan. 1942 called for the bomb to be completed by Jan. 1945.

He drew on Columbia, Princeton and Berkeley to fill the slots at the Met Lab.

Compton also recruited a former student now at the University of Denver, Joyce Stearns, who was a physicist.

In September, 1942, Gen. Brehon Somervell placed the uranium project under the Army’s wing with a three-man (Army, Navy, OSRD) decision-making committee.

Somervell assigned Brigadier Gen. Leslie Groves to administer the entire uranium project code named, the Manhattan Engineer District.

Compton’s Chicago group was called the Metallurgical Laboratory (MetLab).

Groves gave priority to the establishment of a gaseous diffusion plant at Oak Ridge, Tenn. Within five months he had signed a contract with duPont to design and build a plant for plutonium production on the Columbia River at Hanford, Wash.

Groves and Oppenheimer selected a lab site in NM, 35 miles from Santa Fe on a mesa flanked by the Jemiz Mountains and the Rio Grande Valley. It was purchased from Los Alamos Ranch School for Boys. In spring 1943 Oppenheimer became the recruiter for Site Y, its official designation.
It’s only address was Post Office Box 1663, Santa Fe.

In 1945 and 46 life in the US returned to normal, MED sicentists dispersed to university campuses and industry.
Compton coming to Washington U as chancellor, brought with him Joyce Stearns, who head the Met Lab after Compton, Stearns, the first dean of faculties, recruited Kennedy, Wahl, Lipkin, Weissman, Helmholz, and Potratz.
Arthur Hughes returned to his chair as head of physics and brought with him John Manley, Oppenheimer’s assistant.

During the war A.S. Langsdorf, whose father was dean of engineering and who himeself had been the first physicist in charge of the WU cyclotron joined MetLab in Chicago. He had been a member of Lawrence’s radiation lab at Berkeley in the late 1930s.

Wahl: “We were very careful. We had regular nose wipes to see if we had inhaled plutonium and regular urinanalyses and blood samples. The medical people were very much aware of the problems.

Adrienne (Kennedy) Lowry, (Joe Kennedy’s widow) “Many of the doctors and the nurses too came from St. Louis and the nurses from our medical school. We’ve all had the same internist for years.


The cyclotron was constructed in 1939-1941 for Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at the Medical School with the consultatiuon of Arthur Hughes, chairman of the physics department.

Hughes was a student of J. J. Thompson at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, he did grad work at Rice before returning to england to donduct submarine warfare reserach during WWI. In 23 he became chair of WU physics dept. Hughes had a special interest in nuclear physics.

In Oct. 38, Hughes reported to then chancellor George R Throop on the state of the art cyclotron research at other universities.

page 17

“ACQUISITRION OF A CYCLOTRON WOULD MEAN THAT THE UNIVERSITY COULD UTILIZE could utilize neutrons for the treatment of cancer patients, produce radioactive elemtnsx that could replace radium in such treatment, study the effects of radation on human tissues anbd produce tracers.”


Lawrence at Berkeley supporte the WU effort.

A few months later the Rockefeller Foundation provided a grant of $60,000 toward the construction of a cycltoron for Institute of Radiology.

Robert L. Thornton of his own laboratory, who arrived at WU in late 1939 as associate prof of physics. A PhD from McGill U in Canada, Thornton had helped build cycltorons at Berkeley and Michigan. He now joined A.S. Langsdorf, son of the Washington University Dean of Engineering in the new venture.

In December 1938, a Berlin laboratory team had discovered that uranium 235 was fissionable; that is upon bombardment by neutrons, the heavy element would split into framents, releasing, both additional neutrons and a great amount of energy. A self-sustaining, controlled chain reaction was a theoretical possibility, either to make an atomic bomb or to make a reactor.

At WU in 1940, the first public reports observed that the machine would be in a buuilding near the power plant, would require 50,000 watts of power, for it’s 78-ton magnet and would be surrounded by six feet of concrete and earth shielding. Additonal support from the national Advisory Cancer Council, on which both Copton and lawrence sate was soon forthcoming.

Compton had taught physics at WU from 1920 to 1923 and conducted the research on x-ray diffraction for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1927.

Committed Presbyterian, tennis addict and bajor player.

Compton first became involved with uranium stuides in April 1941 as chariman of a Nationa Academy of Sciences committtee examining the consequences of fission for both an atomic bomb and nuclear powered submarines.

On Dec. 6, 1941, Compton submitted his report and concluded that a “fissionable bomb of superlatively destructive power” could be constructed by bringing together very rapidly a sufficient critical mass of urnaium 235. The next day Japanese aircract attacked Pearl Harbor

Experiments were already underway at American universities (notably Berkeley, Chicago, Princeton, and Columbia) under the coordination of a presidential Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), headed by Vannevar Bush of MIT.

Research teams were organized under Nobel-prize winner Enrico Fermi at Columbia; Hungarian physicist Eugene Wigner at Princeton, S.K. Allison and the code-named Metallurgical Laboratory at Chicago and the J. Robert Oppenheimer at Berkeley. Compton was the leader and on January 18, 1942 he outlined their goals.

July 2, 1942, determine whether chain reaction would be possible
Jan. 43, achieve chain reaction’
Jan. 44, to produce the first element 94, plutonium, from uranium, by bombarding uranium 238 with neutrons.
Jan. 45, to produce an atomic bomb

Compton consolidated the work being conducted at Columbia and Princeton into one operation at the University of Chicago, which was code-named the Metalurgical Laboratory or MetLab for short.

In the autumn of 1942, Compton asked James Conant of the national Defense Reseqarch Council for more money.
Conant informed Compton that the funding would be forthcoming through a switch that would put the Army in charge of the bomb research.

The U.S. Army took over direction of the project as the Manhattan Engineer District under the Corps of Engineers. The director was Brigadier Gen. Leslie Groves, the can-to tough guy who had built the Pentagon.

Groves promptly brought into the project the E.I. Dupont de Nemours Co.,. a chemical industrial ginat with vast experience in explosives.

Karl Compton was the president of MIT.

WU’s contribut8ion to the war effort was through its cyclotron, whose jobe was to produce the first plutonium in the world for analysis at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory.

Lawrence immediatley recognized that it could be donvereted from peacetime to wartime research in an instant, simply by bombarding uranyl nitrate with neutrons. and creating microscipic amounts of plutonium. He therefore wrote ARthur Hughes in late January 1942, suggesting that the university cycltorn should be used in the defense program.

At Lawrence’s suggestion the cyclotron was soon placed at the disposal of OSRD for $25 per dour.

From April 1, 1942 until April 30, 1943, the cyclotron opeated under an OSRD contract; it was then tranferrred to the Manhattan Project unitl Oct. 31, 1944. More plutonium was produced in the WU cycltorn during the war than in all other cyclotrons combined.

Entries in the cycltorn log natually attemted to disguise its real purpose. The uranyl nitrate was never labled as such: instead it was called: “sample, Chicago I, Chicago nitrate, tubealloy, weekly nitrate, bandaid box, Ames Metal, Gunk on Au target and speical stuff.

The microscopic amounts of plutonium were then sent to Seaborg at Chicago. On September 10, 1942, the seaborg team wighed the first sample of man-made plutonium in Room 404 of the Jones chemistry Laobraoty, some 2.77 millionths of a gram. @5 years later the room was designated a historic site. WU procuded the plutoni7um, and Chicago got the credit.

On June 24, 1943, Grove’s assistant, Col. Kenneth D. Nichols, wrote Chancellor Throop asking that Arthur Hughes be placed on leave from the university effecitve immediatley. Hughes promplty left the so-called cyclotron project of St. Louis for Los Alamos as director of personnel. Until Hiughes returned to St. Louis in August 1944, Dr. Frank Bubb, a mathematician took over the cyclotron.
In additon WU contributed a number of doctors and nurses to the project, including Dr. Louis Hempleman, Dr. James Nolan, Dr. Paul Hageman, and Dr. Henry Barnett. Together they helped staff the Los Alamos hospital and then to monitor fallout at the Trintity test at Alamogordo.

Los Alamos was to take the uranium produced at Oak Ridge and the plutonium from Hanford still not available and assemble a gun-type uranium bomb and a plutonium bomb based on the principle of implosion, forcing inward a spherical critical mass of plutonium by simultaneous explosions of conventional chemical explosive lenses around the outside of the sphere.
Plutonium was the speical object of attation at the chemistry division, headed by Joseph Kennedy, and including future WU faculty DAvid Lipkin , Linday Helmholz, Arthur wahl, and samuel Weissman.

In the official report on the Manhattan Project written by Henry Smyth and published in August 1945, it was noted that microscopic qunatities of plutonium were produced by prolonged bombardment of serveral hundred pounds of uranyl nitrate with neutrons obtained witht ehaid of cyclotrons first at Berkeley and later at Washington University in St. Louis.

The pinhead of plutonium at WU had made possible the production of plutonium at Hanford.

“Our part, wrote Hughes in Nov. 1945, “consisted chiefly in providing a high output of radiation over long periods of time to test certain materials containing urnium used in research at the Met Lab at the University of Chicago. “

Compton officially took over as chancellor on July 1, 1945.

Washington University appeared to offer a greater base of corporate support than he had found at the Univestiy of Chicago.

He also got a commitment to bring with him, as Dean of Faculties, his own tip man at the Chicago Metallugical Laboratory, Joyce Stearns.

Compton, a member of the high-level Scientific Panel advising the iInterim Committee on the use of the bomb, was under great pressur from both sides, and agonized over the option in his June 1945 diary entries.

In May and June 1945, Compton and Joyce Stearns truly led a double life. They were already in St. Louis preparing for their respective duties as chancellor and dean of faculties at WU. And they were advising the U.S. Army on the use of the bomb against Japan. Stearns, 52-year-old cosmic ray physicist from Denver who had orgainzed the construction of the first pilot reactors at the Argonne Forest near Chcago and who had replaced S. K. Allison as dierector of the Metlab in 1944, was In Washinton, D.C. prividing data for the Target Committee, which chose the japanese cities to be attacked. He was also deliberating about faculty recruitment at WU, where çompton busied himself holding press conferences and awarding degees at commencement. For five weeks, the chancellor and dean of faculties at WU knew that atomic bombs were about to be dropped on Japan.

Arthur Hughes by early September had already written a pamphlet entitled “The Role of Washington University in the Development of the Atomic Bomb,” whose title was altered before publication by a more prudent business manager, T.E. Blackwell, to “The Contribution Made by Washington University in the Study and Development of Atomic Energy.

On Oct. 11, 1945, Compton informed WU Board of Trustees that he had now “performed his last act for the Manhattan Project” and was free to devote all his time to the university. But in fact for the next year Compton remained deeply involved witht eh Manhattan Engineer District as a consultant, and utilized his connections to build a new research establishment at WU.

The May-Johnson Bill in late 45 whould have continued military control of atomic energy. Compton wanted to modigfy it to have less secrecy. Other scientists sharply opposed it .

In seeking to buld a fron-rank national reserach universtiy tit was only natural to build upon the world he knew so well, the Manhattan Project, And did so in three broad areas: faculty recruitment, biomedical reserach and nuclear power.

The Manhattan Engineer District which continued to administer its far-flund empire until the AEC came into existence on Jan. 1, 1947.

In October 1945 Stearns succeeded in recruiting Joseph Kennedy, page 24
as well as Arthur Wahl, david Lipkin

Kennedy Wahl, Weissman and Lipkin had been among the first to arrive at Los Alamos, Kennedy as the head at age 25 of the chemistry division. Yhrey were joined later by Lindsay Helmholz, then assigned to the U.S. Army Chemical Warfare Branch.

Helmholz, Weissman , Lipkin, Wahl and Potratz all joined the WU faculty by December 45.

Joseph Kennedy died of cancer in 1957 at age 40

When Compton wanted a chairman of civil engineering, he wrote Groves’ second-in-commnad Col. Nichols , wna dwhne he wanted to expand biomedical research he turned to Los Alamos.

In May 1946, Compton launched a remarkable project whereby Washington Universtiy weould virtually take over and run all biomedical reserach at Los Alamos, utilize its reserach facilities, supervise safety programs and run the hospital. Had it reached fruitation, the Manhattan Project would literally have become part of WU.
In May 1946, Hughes, Blackwell, the WaU buisness manager and Dean Philip Schaffer of the meical shcool visited Los Alamos and iscussed the plan with the director, Norris Bradbury pg 25

And in May 1946, Louis Slotin, Los Alamos scientis, had been killed in a terrifying radiation adcident. Two pieces of fissionable material had accidentally come together and gone critical, creating a fantastic blue glow and irradiating the room full of people. Slotin ided agonizingly nine days later. Seven others suffered servere radation burns and posioning. Radiological health care was on the front burner.

Los Alamos could retain the services of university medical school personnel such as Louis Hempelmann and Paul Hagemena and others .

Kennedy and John Manley of Los Alamos had already accpted Washing U facutlty appointments

Graduate work in physuics and nuclear enginnering could be better done there than at WU anyway and why not bring Bradubry to the universtiy to dir=ct a nuclear reserach intstiute.
But the plans ultimately fell through. Stearns became ill with cancer and could not devote full attention to the project. ...

In November 1946, the affiliation with Los Alamos was approved by the faculty, but became unnecessary when Los Alamos becme a nationa laboratory. ...

There would be a department of atomic energy in the School of Enginnering. There would be new degree programs, the cyclotorn, an experimetnal reactor, a two million dollar building and corpoate funding from Union Electric, Monasanto, Mallinckrodt, and Anheuser-Busch.

In early November 1945 Compton first proposed the project to Harry Wallace and the trustees. At the time Compton and Cahrles Thomas of the Monsanto Company both served on Gen. Groves’ Advisory Committee on Research and Development, responsible for converting th wartime manhattan Project into the postwar AEC.

Compton continued to try to recruit faculty from the Manhattan Project for his atomic energy institute to be supporte by Union Electric, that would include a nuclear reacotr near St. Louis. There was talk of getting Noriss Bradubry as director, later Comptonm offered the job to now Gen. Nichols, but recruitment was difficult due to poor housing and relatively low salaries.

In June 1946, the WU Corp. approved compton’s Nov. 1945 request to establish an Institute of Nuclear Scinece and technolgoy, as it was now called , with a director and foru staff members. Nearly a million dollars in funding was expected from St. Louis companies and the military, including the Manhattan Project and the Navy. The Navy’s office of reserach and invention provided $100,000 to run the cyclotron for a year. Compton ased for another $288,000 form Gen. Nichols for research in chemistry, physics and bio-chemistry, even while offering Nichols the directorship of the institute.

In 1947, ... instead the university went more conventional routes, procuring Navy contracts to do nuclear reserach germane to nuclear powered ships and submarines using National Science Foundation funds a few years later to rebuild the cyclotron, and pursuing a broad based program of basic scientific reserach with the support of both government and industry.
Copmpton failed to achieve his atomic energy destiny of nuclear power reserach in st. Louis; nuclear power was a decade away, and St. Louis industries fel the fisk was not worht the investment. But biomedical reserach in nulcdra meicine and radiology flourished.

Compton’s vision and Joyce Stearn’s administrative skill set in motion the transformation of WU froma St. Louis streetcar college to a national resedrach university nof international standing.

Robert Chadwell Williams is dean of faculty and vp for academic affairs at Davidson college.

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