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Lemont, Illinois: Touch A Piece Of The First Nuclear Reactor

Rub your finger on atomic history. One of many displays in the Argonne Information Center at America's first national nuclear lab.

Argonne Information Center

Northgate Rd, Lemont, IL
Argonne Information Center. I-55 exit 273A. Drive south on Cass Ave. a half-mile to Northgate Rd. Turn right (west) onto Northgate Rd and drive another half-mile to the Information Center.
M-F 9-5 (reservations required). Must be 16 or older. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Touch graphite.

Touch A Piece Of The First Nuclear Reactor

The world's first nuclear reactor was built at the University of Chicago under the direction of Nobel Prize winning physicist Enrico Fermi. A few months later the reactor and Fermi's team moved west to pursue nuclear reactor development, and the country's first national laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, was born. You can touch a chunk of the graphite used for that reactor at the Argonnes Nuclear Energy Discovery Center. You won't have to worry about your finger turning into a mutant octopus tentacle because the graphite doesn't spew any radiation.

[John Takao Collier, 10/18/2016]

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