The Manhattan Project

Atomic Energy Commission

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.

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.”

Roger Cloutier's Interview

Nathaniel Weisenberg: My name is Nate Weisenberg. I am here with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Wednesday, April 25, 2018 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I am here with Roger Cloutier and my first question for you is if you could please tell me your name and spell it.

Cloutier: My name is Roger Joseph Cloutier, C-L-O-U-T-I-E-R.

Weisenberg: My first question is just sort of to begin with the beginning. Could you tell me when and where you were born?

Frank Settle's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C., and it’s Monday, April 27, 2017. My first question today is to tell us your name and spell it.

Frank Settle: Okay. It’s Frank Settle, S-E-T-T-L-E.

Kelly: We’re here today to talk—at least start off talking, about this wonderful book that Frank has written, called General George C. Marshall and the Atomic Bomb. But first, I want him to tell us a little bit about himself, how he got interested in this, what he does for a living. 

Martin J. Sherwin's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C. It is Monday, April 24, 2017. I have with me distinguished historian and Pulitzer Prize-winner Martin J. Sherwin. My first question to him is to say his name and spell it for us.

Martin Sherwin: Martin J. Sherwin, M-A-R-T-I-N, middle initial J—actually, middle name Jay, J-A-Y, Sherwin, S-H-E-R-W-I-N.

Kelly:  Can you tell us when [J. Robert] Oppenheimer was born and where, and who his parents were?

Esequiel Salazar's Interview

[Thanks to David Schiferl and Willie Atencio for recording this interview and providing a copy to the Atomic Heritage Foundation. Please note that approximately the first three minutes of the interview are audio only.]

Willie Atencio: Your name?

Esequiel Salazar: Esequiel Salazar.

Atencio: Born where?

Salazar: In Pojoaque.

Atencio: Pojoaque. What was your first experience with the Manhattan Project?

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