The Manhattan Project

In partnership with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & HistoryNational Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Idaho Falls, ID

Richard McCardell

Richard McCardell was a nuclear engineer at the Idaho National Laboratory. In this interview, McCardell explains the path he took towards his involvement in the Special Power Excursion Reactor Test, or “SPERT,” which was a series of reactor tests in Idaho Falls.


Gayleen Meservey's Interview

Gayleen: Oh, I’m Gayleen Meservey, M-e-s-e-r-v-e-y, first name Gayleen, G-a-y-l-e-e-n.

I started as a data processing clerk at the Site in 1964, following a short stint in San Francisco at a technical school to train me to operate data processing machinery. We were actually involved in measuring the reactions that the scientists produced in the reactors, giving them the data that would help them to predict the tests and to go on.

Bill Ginkel's Interview

Cindy Kelly: All right. We can start with something very simple. Tell us your name and spell it.

Bill Ginkel: I’m Bill Ginkel, G-i-n-k-e-l. I came to Idaho in 1950 out of the Manhattan Project and its successor agency. I was actually employed by the Atomic Energy Commission in Oak Ridge in connection with material accountability at the time, and the opportunity to come to Idaho emerged. I was a little skeptical to start with, but it seemed like an extraordinary challenge to get in at the beginning of an operation as potentially big as it was.

Kathy McCarthy's Interview

McCarthy: My name is Kathy McCarthy. I’m Director of Nuclear Science and Engineering, and my organization is responsible for research in the area of advanced nuclear energy, and also for the fuel cycle work that supports nuclear energy. In that capacity, what we’re doing is looking to the future. Where do we need to go with energy production? Why do we need to do that?

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