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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Physicist Norman Hilberry was Arthur H. Compton's right-hand man at the Chicago Met Lab, serving as associate director and handling administration. Later in the war, he would often go back and forth from Chicago to Hanford. Hilberry was present at the start-up of the B Reactor, its mysterious failure, and the rush to try to figure out what had caused the reactor to shut down. He played a role in selecting Oak Ridge as the site for the pilot plutonium production plant and worked with Eugene Wigner and DuPont on the design and operation of the plutonium production plants. He participated in a meeting where a number of leaders of the Manhattan Project, including Szilard, Wigner, and Fermi, discussed which type of reactor would be most successful. 

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