Dr. Clarence Larson (1909-1999) was an American chemist.
Larson was born on September 20, 1909. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1937, and was a professor of chemistry at the College of the Pacific when World War II broke out. In 1942, he was recruited to join the Manhattan Project under Ernest O. Lawrence at Berkeley. The following year, he arrived at Oak Ridge to work at the Y-12 Plant.
Larson served as director of technical staff for the Tennessee Eastman Corporation. He spent the majority of his time at Oak Ridge designing a process to recover and purify uranium deposits from the walls of calutron receivers. His direct peroxide precipitation method prevented immeasurable waste and simplified the process of recovering uranium into a single step.
In 1948, Larson was promoted to superintendent of the Y-12 Plant. He served as Director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 1950 until 1955, when he left to become a senior executive at Union Carbide. In 1969, he was appointed as a commissioner on the US Atomic Energy Commission, on which he served from 1969 to 1974. He returned to the College of the Pacific at the end of his career to teach.
Larson’s first wife, Gertrude Ellen (Ruben) Larson, passed away in 1952. His second marriage was to Jane Warren, the daughter of fellow project member Dr. Stafford Warren. He died on February 15, 1999 at the age of 89.