Admiral Hyman Rickover, the dictatorial, talented engineer responsible for America’s nuclear navy, visited England just before the launch of a major reactor. The minutes of the British Atomic Energy Executive record the following minor item that reverberates with subtlety. First, reporting is Leonard Owen, the 2IC of the country’s reactor building organization. I believe he is angling. . .
In his final few years with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Christopher Hinton, reactor building supremo, an engineer’s engineer, found himself away from his drafting table and either selling reactors or behind a lectern. In late 1955, he logged in his diary: Did a paper for AEA on Graphite supplies & then started trying to get my . . . lecture into shape – it isn’t in a. . .
Chilly at Heathrow
In late October 1955, Christopher Hinton, Britain’s reactor building engineer, made one of his regular forays from his Risley country headquarters to the big smoke. His three days in London turned out to be routine. On his return journey, he confided to his diary, he ate on the run, “sandwiches by the airport where the wind would do things to a brass monkey.” If only he’d had an earth-shattering. . .
No detail too small
A while back, I wrote about the attention to detail exhibited by American nuclear pioneer Walter Zinn, noting how he complained about stray dogs on the grounds of laboratory. Well, Christopher Hinton, the builder of early British reactors, had a similar bent. Here’s a memo he sent in October 1955: The corridors from 5.10 p.m. onwards are once again crowded with people leaving work before. . .