The Manhattan Project

Cold War

Gary Petersen's Interview

Cindy Kelly:   Okay. I’m Cindy Kelly. It is Monday, September 10, 2018, and I have with me Gary Petersen. My first question to Gary is to please say his full name and spell it.

Gary Petersen: Gary Petersen, P-e-t-e-r-s-e-n. Gary is G-a-r-y, so that’s easy.

Kelly:  Terrific. Well, Gary, you have the most fascinating history and I want to start with the beginning. Where and when you were born and your education. A little bit about what brought you to the Tri-Cities [Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, Washington].

Gary Petersen

Gary Petersen is the former vice president of federal programs for TRIDEC, the Tri-City Development Council, which works to promote economic growth for Washington State’s Tri-Cities (Pasco, Kennewick, and Richland) area. Before TRIDEC, he worked at the Hanford site for Battelle, serving as news manager, and in the International Nuclear Safety Program at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. In this interview, Petersen discusses the studies Hanford conducted in biology and health physics, the continuing cleanup of the Hanford site, and the future of radioactive waste disposal.

Michele Gerber's Interview (2018)

Cindy Kelly: It is September 11, 2018. I’m in Richland, Washington, Cindy Kelly. I have with me Michele Gerber, and what I’d like to ask her to do is to tell us her full name and spell it.

Michele Gerber: Michele Stenehjem Gerber. M-i-c-h-e-l-e. S-t-e-n-e-h-j-e-m. Gerber, G-e-r-b-e-r.

Kelly: Tell us a little more about your background. What did you study and how did you become interested in the history of Hanford?

David Holloway's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly with the Atomic Heritage Foundation and it is Monday, May 14, 2018. I'm in Palo Alto with David Holloway. My first question for him is to please say his name and spell it.

David Holloway: David Holloway, D-A-V-I-D H-O-L-L-O-W-A-Y.

Kelly: Perfect. I would like to start with your telling us a little bit about yourself, and where you were born, and when and how you came to be interested in the Soviet bomb program.

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.

 

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.

William "Bill" Ginkel

Bill Ginkel served as the Manager of Office Operations for the Idaho Falls laboratory of the Atomic Energy Commission. In this interview, he describes his experience working at the facility beginning in 1950. He recalls the pioneering work conducted at the laboratory and the occasional methodological divide between the scientists and engineers. He also explains the transformative effects the influx of nuclear scientist had upon the local community and the state, and why the area was referred to as “The Site.”

Richard Meservey

Richard “Dick” Meservey is a nuclear physicist who worked at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). In this interview, he describes the rewarding projects he worked on at INL including the Special Power Excursion Reactor Test and the Advanced Test Reactor. He lauds the unusual freedom that scientists enjoyed working in Idaho Falls, and explains why he came to love living in Idaho Falls.

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