Sectional model, one eighth full size, of Fermi's original nuclear reactor (atomic pile) CP-1, (1942)
Model (scale 1:8). On 2 December 1942, Enrico Fermi (1901-54) and a team of scientists in Chicago achieved the first self-sustaining chain reaction, in Chicago Pile no. 1, the world's first nuclear reactor. It was built in a squash court at the University of Chicago and was a pile of graphite blocks containing lumps of uranium, in a wooden framework. This reactor was built as part of the Manhattan Project to construct the first atomic weapons.