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THE ATOMIC BOMB

RESEARCH IN U.S. NEW ZEALANDERS' PART P.A. WELLINGTON, Monday. Seven New Zealanders were sent to America to take,part in the research work leading up to development of the atomic bomb, and they are still there. This fact was revealed by the Minister of Scientific and Industrial Research, Mr. Sullivan, to-day. Mr. Sullivan said that when Mr. Fraser was in Britain in 1944 he had been asked by Sir John Anderson, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether in view of the extreme shortage of scientific personnel New Zealand could release some of her best brains to assist in atomic research. The Secretary to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Dr. Marsden, who was in Britain at the time, suggested five of his best physicists and engineers for the work. Four of these men at that time were employed in the radio development laboratory at Wellington, which had been established earlier in the war to consider problems of radar application and to develop equipment for the use of the New Zealand and- Allied forces in the Pacific. The leader of the New Zealand team is Mr. C. N. Watson-Munro, M.Sc, director of the radio development laboratory, and the other members too commenced research with him are Messrs. K. D. George, M.Sc, scientific liaison officer at Washington, W. W. Young, 8.E., engineer to the defence section of the Department at- Christ church, R. M. Williams, M.A., and G. Page, B.Sc, physicists at the radio development laboratory. Early m 1945 Mr. G. J. Ferguson, B.Sc, and Mr. A. E. Allen, 8.E., from the radio development laboratory, went to America, and the Government had under consideration the seconding of another highlytrained electrical engineer. All these men were well trained in electronics for work on atomic power and explosives. The Minister said excellent reports had been received of their work,

Mr. Sullivan said mat as the development of atomic energy was bound up with the supply of uranium his Department had investigated the possibility of uranium resources in New Zeaiand. Reconnaissance search had been made for uranium-bearing ores, and two possible sources had been located, but it was too early to say whether extraction would be economic, even at the present enhanced prices. Thorium was also a possible source of atomic power. The importance of atomic power in transport and industry was best illustrated by the fact that the energy from cne pound of uranium was equal to the energy from ten tons of coal. Actually the power from a pound of uranium was produced from a derivative amounting to only one-twelfth of an ounce.' The" Minister said that the New Zealand Government would do all in its power to aid in the development of this power for application to the best purposes of mankind. The Minister added that when Mr. Fraser received the request for personnel an appeal was also made for men to work on jet propulsion development, and four New Zealanders were dispatched to Britain. They were Messrs. N. A. Mackay, 8.E., A. A. McCutchan, 8.E., P. J. Hambleton, 8.E., and G. A. .Hookings, B.Sc. These four were adding lustre to New Zealand's name in scientific and engineering circles.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19450814.2.20

Bibliographic details

THE ATOMIC BOMB, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 191, 14 August 1945

Word Count
530

THE ATOMIC BOMB Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 191, 14 August 1945

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