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Kenneth Nichols

United States Army officer and nuclear engineer

Died when: 92 years 100 days (1107 months)
Star Sign: Scorpio


Kenneth Nichols

Major General Kenneth David Nichols (13 November 1907 – 21 February 2000), also known by Nick, was an officer in the United States Army, and a civil engineer who worked on the secret Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb during World War II.

He served as Deputy District Engineer to James C.Marshall, and from 13 August 1943 as the District Engineer of the Manhattan Engineer District.

Nichols led both the uranium production facility at the Clinton Engineer Works at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the plutonium production facility at Hanford Engineer Works in Washington state.

Nichols remained with the Manhattan Project after the war until it was taken over by the Atomic Energy Commission in 1947.

He was the military liaison officer with the Atomic Energy Commission from 1946 to 1947.After briefly teaching at the United States Military Academy at West Point, he was promoted to major general and became chief of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, responsible for the military aspects of atomic weapons, including logistics, handling and training.

He was Deputy Director for the Atomic Energy Matters, Plans and Operations Division of the Army's general staff, and was the senior Army member of the military liaison committee that worked with the Atomic Energy Commission.

In 1950, General Nichols became Deputy Director of the Guided Missiles Division of the Department of Defense.He was appointed chief of research and development when it was reorganized in 1952.

In 1953, he became the general manager of the Atomic Energy Commission, where he promoted the construction of nuclear power plants.

He played a key role in the proceedings brought against J.Robert Oppenheimer that resulted in Oppenheimer's security clearance being revoked.

In later life, Nichols became an engineering consultant on private nuclear power plants.

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