The First Reactor

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Chicago Pile-1 (CP-1) was the world's first nuclear reactor. CP-1 was built on a rackets court, under the abandoned west stands of the original Alonzo Stagg Field stadium, at the University of Chicago. The first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was initiated in CP-1 on December 2, 1942. It operated until February 1943, when it was dismantled, moved to another location and rebuilt as Chicago Pile 2.