Interview with Stanley Goldsmith

Dublin Core


Interview with Stanley Goldsmith


Richland (Wash.)
Hanford Site (Wash.)
Hanford (Wash.)
Nuclear weapons plants--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Richland.


Hanford Oral History Project at Washington State University Tri-Cities




Those interested in reproducing part or all of this oral history should contact the Hanford History Project at, who can provide specific rights information for this item.



Date Modified

2016-07-28: Metadata v1 created – [J.G.]


The Hanford Oral History Project operates under a sub-contract from Mission Support Alliance (MSA), who are the primary contractors for the US Department of Energy's curatorial services relating to the Hanford site. This oral history project became a part of the Hanford History Project in 2015, and continues to add to this US Department of Energy collection.

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Douglas O' Reagan


Stanley Goldsmith


Washington State University - Tri-Cities


Douglas O’Reagan: First of all, would you please pronounce and spell your name for us? 

Stanley Goldsmith: Stanley Goldsmith.  

O’Reagan: Okay, thank you. My name is Douglas O’Reagan. I’m conducting an oral history interview with Mr. Goldsmith here on March 21st, 2016. The interview is being conducted on the campus of Washington State University Tri-Cities. I’ll be talking with Mr. Goldsmith about his experiences working at Hanford. Okay. Could you tell us about your childhood up through—just briefly tell us about your life up through college and entering the Manhattan Project. 

Goldsmith: At Hanford here, or at Los Alamos? 

O’Reagan: Before that. Your life before the Manhattan Project. Where were you born? 

Goldsmith: Virginia. Norfolk, Virginia. In 19—March 25th, 1924. 

O’Reagan: Can you tell us about your life before the Manhattan Project? Up through college? 

Goldsmith: Well I— 

O’Reagan: Why don’t I move closer, that might— 

Goldsmith: I was raised in Norfolk and went to Virginia Tech to take—to get a chemical engineering degree. I entered Virginia Tech in 1941, and I graduated in 1945. 

O’Reagan: And then you entered the Army, is that right? 

Goldsmith: After graduation, I was drafted into the Army, and assigned to the Manhattan District of Engineers. Eventually, after waiting in several different places for my clearance, I wound up at Los Alamos, where I worked from 1945 to ’47—1947. 

O’Reagan: Did you just find out about what the goal was once you arrived? 

Goldsmith: Yes. After I got to Los Alamos, we were told what the objective was, and all about the problems. This was different than the other nuclear sites were. This mission was kept secret. 

O’Reagan: What element of the project did you work on at Los Alamos? 

Goldsmith: At Hanford? 

O’Reagan: At Los Alamos. 

Goldsmith: At Los—I worked on processing the uranium-235 for the first atomic bomb. 

O’Reagan: What did that involve? 

Goldsmith: That involved converting uranium oxide that had been enriched with 235. That involved processing it from an oxide to a fluoride so it could be reduced to a metal. And then machined into the shapes they needed for the bombs. 

O’Reagan: Were you figuring out your process as you went? 

Goldsmith: No. The process had been pretty well established. This was more like just individual laboratories processing individual amounts of u-235 to get it to the point where it could be reduced to metal. 

O’Reagan: Who did you work with? 

Goldsmith: What? 

O’Reagan: Did you work with anybody? 

Goldsmith: Yes. 

O’Reagan: Who else was in your lab? 

Goldsmith: That was a long time ago. Let’s see. There was Al Drumrose and a Purcell—I don’t remember his first name. There were two other—well, maybe a few other more people. But I guess I just don’t recall the names. 

O’Reagan: So what brought you to Hanford? 

Goldsmith: What got me to Hanford? I left Los Alamos to get a graduate degree in chemical engineering. When I graduated, I got a job here at Hanford as a nuclear—as a reactor engineer. 

O’Reagan: How did you hear about the job? 

Goldsmith: Well, I knew about Hanford, and I sent out letters of inquiry about positions that may be open here and at other sites. And I got the position here in 1950.  

O’Reagan: So you wanted specifically to work at Hanford or other sites—what was—did you have specific goals of what you wanted to do? 

Goldsmith: Well, I liked what Hanford had to offer. So there was no question about that. They satisfied what I was looking for. 

O’Reagan: What were your first impressions of the area? 

Goldsmith: Well, it was shocking to say the least. It was like out in the wilderness. And when I arrived in 1950, General Electric operated the whole site, including the housing and all of the utilities and so forth. They assigned me a house that—I don’t remember what the rent was, but it was very inexpensive. And then in 1960—let’s see, it was about 1960—between ’61 and ’65—they divided the work at Hanford among several—among four or five contractors. One of them operated the laboratory, one of them operated the nuclear reactor, and one the separations plant. I stayed with the laboratory.  

O’Reagan: Could you walk us through an average day when you first—say in 1950 or ’52—what sort of work were you doing? 

Goldsmith: What sort of work? 

O’Reagan: Mm-hmm. 

Goldsmith: The average day—you want me to start back there?is that my worksite was located about 20 miles from Richland. You could take a bus operated by the plant, or you could drive. But you had to go through an entrance gate—entrance—not a gate, but a station. And then we had to show our passes—badges. Then we went out to the site where we were working. In this case, at that time, I was working at F Reactor. As a reactor engineer, I rotated positions at the different reactors. So the work was—you asked me about the work—the work was, I thought, extremely interesting. And I felt very fortunate in that I felt like I was on the forefront of a new technology. By the time I got up here, there was a lot of emphasis on the peaceful use of nuclear power. I got involved in work for improving the nuclear fuels that was currently being used. This was because I was with Battelle then, and Battelle had a joint contract with the DoE where they could use part of their facilities—well, the major part of the facilities were for DoE work. But they also had a contract which they called 1831, and that was for doing private work for industrial corporations involved in nuclear work. I spent a lot of time on that, trying to—my group was trying to improve the performance of the fuel. Wanted to get higher powers. So that the fuel—we could produce fuel at a faster rate—I’m sorry, produce plutonium at a faster rate by increasing the power of the reactors. I worked as a reactor engineer for about four years. Then I took the position of manager of nuclear fuels research and development. We worked on developing or designing nuclear fuels, analyzing the fuels that had been used in the reactors to see what improvements could be made. Let’s see. We had a lot of interactions with the commercial fuel designers. As I mentioned, there were two contract billers. And this was done on the 1831, which allowed Battelle to use some facilities that were DoE’s—some facilities on the plant in their private work. So I’m trying to think about the timing, now. The main—after working on DoE projects for about five years, I worked on a private project that was sponsored—that was funded by Exxon—they’re now called Exxon Nuclear. They were interested in getting into the nuclear business, because they had a lot of claims on land that have uranium. They wanted—they decided to utilize those claims. Get the uranium, then processing it for use as nuclear fuels. So at that time, I think there was only one Exxon employee involved in this. They took over part—a major part of that, as Exxon Nuclear—took over a major part of Battelle. We were moved out of the buildings that DoE built, and we were located in Uptown in Richland in the industrial—just completely isolated from the other nuclear work that was going on. We designed a nuclear fuel for Exxon Nuclear which evolved into their first commercial fuels. During that time, Exxon Nuclear began to have their own staff. But we stayed with them until about 19—early 1970s, we worked with them. And then their own employees could take over from then. After that, I worked on fuel cycles. On seeing if we could design different types of fuels with different types of materials, like thorium, on the fuel cycles. And we—let’s see. This was work for DoE. And we continued that work—my group continued working for DoE. They were working on the nuclear reactor regulation, on NRC. We had projects with NRC. Our main project was DoE. And here again, I was telling you--[COUGH] Excuse me. I was still involved in nuclear fuel development. We did a lot of work for NRC and also for DoE. This was on helping them understand and approve their review of new nuclear fuels in reactors—nuclear fuel design. So we were working on both sides of the street: with the regulatory side, and the DoE development side. And then in 1980—excuse me just one minute—I should have jotted these dates down. In late 1980s, I worked on a DoE program on nuclear fuels—on nuclear fuel cycles, where we were looking at different way of utilizing the nuclear fuels so that they would last longer and that they would be safer. Then after that, I was assigned to Battelle Columbus, because I had worked through this project. It turned out quite successful. And Battelle Columbus had a contract with DoE to perform research on finding a nuclear repository—nuclear burial site. I was the Battelle manager of that program for about four years. We looked at the—examined the potential nuclear sites in New Mexico, Louisiana, Georgia, and here at Hanford. This program went on for about four or five years, and then DoE selected the Nevada site at Los Alamos—not Los Alamos—at Las Vegas for the site to bury the spent nuclear fuels. That program lasted for quite a while, but I left it in 19—after four years, because I didn’t want to move down to Texas, which was one of the sites that was being considered. So I moved back here to the Hanford. I worked on miscellaneous programs after I came back to Hanford. A lot of them had to do with the nuclear fuel cycle and the nuclear waste disposal—nuclear waste treatment and disposal. And I did that type of work for about four years, and then I retired in 1987? 19—yes, in 1987. And I left Battelle, and went to work for an environmental engineering company in Washington, DC, who was working on the same sort of thing. They were technical support contracted to DoE headquarters. So I was there until—let’s see. I was there until about 1994. And then I had to just—I still continued to work even though I was retired from Battelle. I had actually moved back to Battelle and was hired by Battelle as a consultant so that I could retain my pension and the salary for the job. That went on until about 1992. And finally, I retired for good. [LAUGHTER] So, that’s a very brief and sketchy description of what I did here at Hanford. One thing that—a little sideline you might be interested in. You asked about what Hanford was like. When I first came to work here, there were very few facilities that could be used at Hanford. I was not—I didn’t need anything special to do my work; I didn’t need a specially designed building structure. But I did do work on design and that work was done—the group was assigned to the Hanford High School. [LAUGHTER] Let’s see, where else? As I said, I had worked at most of the reactors that were operating at that time. Oh, there’s one thing that—I want to back up a little bit until about 1975. I got in—my group got involved in plutonium recycle. This was a program that DoE sponsored, a fairly large program, in which we were trying to recycle the plutonium that was not being used in bombs. Plutonium—to show that it could be used in nuclear power reactors. And we actually had a plutonium recycle test reactor built here onsite to test the fuels, the mixed oxide. We called it mixed oxide fuel because it’s plutonium and uranium oxide. And the reactor, which was the PRTR, Plutonium Recycle Test Reactor, was designed specifically to try to test, get information on mixed oxide fuels. Let’s see. I moved around a lot. After about five years on that program, I moved on, I think, to working for Exxon Nuclear, to assist them in their program. Now, Exxon Nuclear was so sensitive about their work being exposed by DoE that they moved many of the facilities that they used at Battelle, they moved them to different sections. We had offices at the old—what was it—the woman who had all of this fabric stuff? It was in Richland, it’s right in downtown Richland. And we took the top floor of one of the buildings that had already been built. And of course, there, we only did calculations because they had no facilities for taking care of irradiated material. That was an interesting time, too, when we were off on our own, so to speak. 

O’Reagan: They did that because they were afraid of the Department of Energy taking their knowledge? 

Goldsmith: Well, they were concerned there would be some link—crossover—inadvertently, perhaps. The DoE could claim that some of the work done by Exxon Nuclear was done by DoE. And they didn’t want that to happen, so they completely isolated themselves. 

O’Reagan: Did that hurt your work? 

Goldsmith: Did that work? 

O’Reagan: Did it impact your work, being isolated like that? 

Goldsmith: I’m sorry? 

O’Reagan: Being isolated, did that impact your work? Did it slow your work, or did it cause any problems? 

Goldsmith: No, it didn’t cause any problems. We were able to move our whole group out into the new facility in downtown Richland. So were other groups—nuclear physics group, and the other groups that went into the fuel cycle. But that was an interesting time, because we were really developing commercial nuclear fuels. The design that we had come up with was the first nuclear fuels that Exxon Nuclear had marketed. They marketed to—I’ll think of that in a minute. But anyway, we got involved in—since I mentioned earlier that there were very few Exxon Nuclear employees involved in this program—that we actually got involved with the Exxon Nuclear people who went out to market their product. That was at the time when we ran into some very interesting commercial situations. 

O’Reagan: What makes one nuclear fuel better than another nuclear fuel? 

Goldsmith: Well, they were made primarily from uranium, and they were oxides. They were made into compressed pellets. Now, some of these were different—some of these were specifically made for boiling-water reactors, and others were for pressurized-water reactors. There was a design difference in the two reactors. One of them—the power level was about the same, but the design of the fuel and the way it was structured was different. That made a difference in the fuel for the two types of reactors. After we got involved in working for Exxon Nuclear, when our contract with them expired, we became very much involved in working only for DoE and NRC. I think I mentioned that to you. We—oh, we had contracts—my group had contacts with practically all the commercial nuclear fuel design people, and we provided them design support, and we did testing for them. So we were pretty much involved in the nuclear industry by then. 

O’Reagan: How secretive or how classified was your work? 

Goldsmith: After—when I moved to Hanford, the classification was almost—was very slim. It was very lax, because with the dropping of the atom bombs, then all of that came out, what the bomb was made of, and some ideas what the design of the bomb was. So by that time, it had pretty well leaked out, the security was relaxed on that, also. So that wasn’t—that was no longer a big problem. There were still some residual problem in security. In fact, the Russians, of course, wanted to get into the nuclear industry business. They wanted to know—well, this backed up into the weapons program—Cold War program. They wanted to know what powers we read our plants at—how many megawatts. And they actually took measurements of the Columbia River and calculated from that what powers we were obtaining. So that was when the Cold War was going on. 

O’Reagan: How did you hear about that? 

Goldsmith: Hear about what? 

O’Reagan: The Russians testing the waters. 

Goldsmith: Oh. I think we had—our security people kept an eye on what was going on with the Russians. And this is one of the things they found out. 

O’Reagan: Let’s see. What was life in the Tri-Cities like back in the 1950s and ‘60s outside of work? 

Goldsmith: Well, it was pretty plain in a way—several. Because there weren’t many things to do. There was only one theater, and there may have been one or two grocery stores, and I think there was one real estate agent. That was the case with most of the various businesses. There was maybe one, or two at the most. There was not much in the way of entertainment. I mentioned that we had one theater. People—the workers at the plant—developed their own entertainment—sources of entertainment. They formed all kinds of different clubs. One of the most popular club was the bridge club—competitive bridge. We played that in one of the commercial buildings that had an open space that we could use. Another was the Richland Little Theater. And then there was a Richland opera—Light Opera, also. And there were—of course, golf was a big activity, because there were already several different golf courses. So that was taking off. There were other activities like that where you had to build them yourself. You may have gotten a little support from DoE, but you couldn’t depend on it. So we had to make our own source of entertainment and relaxation. 

O’Reagan: Did you play bridge? What was your entertainment? 

Goldsmith: Yeah, I got involved in playing bridge. This was duplicate bridge. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that, but that’s a form of bridge that is competitive. It’s still—it’s played in such a way that everybody—each couple gets to play against another couple, and they rotate during the evening, so that other couples play the same cards. The competitive part comes in as to who comes up with the best score at the end of the evening. [LAUGHTER] And that was quite controversial. Particularly when a man and woman were partners—they would—they had no shame, or no hesitant to getting into arguments at the bridge table. So that was a big deal. Even now there’s a lot of bridge clubs that are playing here—duplicate bridge is what it’s called.  

O’Reagan: Where did you live throughout your time at Hanford, or in this area? 

Goldsmith: What’s that? 

O’Reagan: Where did you live? Did you move houses? 

Goldsmith: Yes—well, yeah. At that time, they were building houses like mad. I lived in one of the government houses in Richland—old Richland. Then I moved into what they called a ranch house. Those were a government house that was one story, and it had three bedrooms. There was some furnishing that came with these houses. The rental on it was very nominal. And as I recall, we were provided—many of these houses, or most of them were heated by coal. DoE actually—at that time, it was actually GE who ran the town—provided free coal. They would come around periodically and dump a load of coal for you to use in your houses. 

O’Reagan: Sounds dirty! 

Goldsmith: Huh? 

O’Reagan: Sounds dirty! Seems like it would get you messy. All the—dumping the coal, is there a coal dust that would come up? 

Goldsmith: What’s that? 

O’Reagan: When you burned the coal, would it be dirty? Would it make a lot of smoke, I guess? 

Goldsmith: Not too bad. They must have used a hard coal that gave out less smoke. I don’t know that—it wasn’t like an industrial company where they had large facilities that generated a lot of steam, a lot of smoke. This was kind of dispersed. So we didn’t have an air problem at that time. We had—now the other thing that they did to make life easier—we had our own transportation—public transportation system. You could ride on the buses that they had for free. So that was to make life easier for the employees. 

O’Reagan: Must have been a lot of buses? 

Goldsmith: What? 

O’Reagan: Must have been a whole lot of buses. 

Goldsmith: Well, most of the buses were actually used to go out to the Area—to take the workers out to the Area, because there’s where you had a lot of people to be transported. The civilians, or the private people, had—many of them had their own cars. So didn’t use the bus. 

O’Reagan: Was it different when you were working on commercial energy compared to when you were working for the Department of Energy? 

Goldsmith: Yes, there were quite a lot of differences. We were able to produce fuel designs and produce developmental fuels in a much shorter time than DoE, because there was a lot of paperwork involved in going through the DoE process. In fact, one of the DoE people at headquarters who was in charge of reactor development said he was very upset because he couldn’t—he was in charge of the fast reactor, the FFTF. And they were struggling to try to get the thing going. He was very upset because he couldn’t understand how we were able to get fuel for Exxon Nuclear, and they were still struggling. They’d been struggling for a long time. [LAUGHTER] So he wanted to know what we were doing. Well, what it was, we didn’t have to jump through all the loops that you did. 

O’Reagan: Was it finding the uranium, the procurement that was the problem? Or just write paperwork? 

Goldsmith: No, the problem that DoE had was that they had a bureaucracy that kind of controlled things. And that always slows things down. It took them about twice as long to develop the fuel for the Fast Flux Reactor than it did us for the commercial reactors. 

O’Reagan: Hmm. Let’s see. Have the Tri-Cities changed much in the time you’ve been living here? 

Goldsmith: Oh, yeah. It’s been amazing how it’s grown. The Tri-Cities now is like a normal city. The nuclear influence is much less, because we have so many other businesses now involved for our economic base. As I had mentioned earlier, there were usually one kind or maybe two types of business or entertainment or something like that. When the commercial people came in, they opened as many stores as they wanted, or that were needed. So that was one big thing. Another big thing was the housing development, the real estate. I remember up until 19—let’s see, about 1965, GE was in charge of everything, including building houses. [COUGH] Excuse me, I’ve got a cold. When they opened up the lands, part of the land, surrounding territory was owned by the Department of the Interior—it was government owned. And then they made those available to the public for building houses and other types of structures. The demand for these things was great enough, so the building was really at a peak. Now, even now, you take a look at the housing—the amount of housing that’s going on, and take a look at the commercial businesses, like drive down George Washington Way, you see all these new businesses or restaurants or that sort of thing. So it’s really changed. Richland was all on this side of the Columbia River. That was one of the boundaries for Richland. But then the Columbia River curved around, and there were—on the other side of the river, there was nothing but sagebrush. But some entrepreneurs had bought land there, and then when they started to build, they had lots of land to build on. That was no problem. There’s a whole new part of Richland that’s on the other side of the river that wasn’t there until probably about 1965 or so. That’s when it started. So there’s been a growth of industry. The highways have been developed. There’s new industry that’s come in. So we’ve developed quite a good industrial base now, and it’s still growing. 

O’Reagan: Are there any—to ask an open-ended question, are there any moments or stories that come to mind that you think are worth telling about your time working at Hanford? 

Goldsmith: Well, I told you about how we had, early on, we had offices at the Hanford High School. That was—we made a lot of fun of that, when anyone called you at the high school, we said this is the Goldsmith class of ’41-’42. There was a lot of—amazing amount of work that was done on animals to use those as some of the basic studies for the effect of radiation on animals. Now we don’t have any of those studies going on. But let’s see. I’m trying to think of something that is unusual. A lot of it was—practically all of it was unusual. 

O’Reagan: How about something mundane, but it’s still kind of unusual? Or maybe a day in the life later on in your work? 

Goldsmith: Well, I mentioned the general public had to develop their own recreational activities. We have—I don’t know—we have a lot of parks and fields. Like some of those baseball parks are very good. I didn’t appreciate how good they were until—I have some relatives who live in Maryland, and we visited them, and we went to see their children’s baseball game. But they had just an open field, nothing like we have. So that’s been—the recreational things have improved quite a bit. Of course the boating is still a big deal. I really—as I said, there was so much growth going on that it’s hard to pick out any one area. Excuse me. The recreational areas have increased. You know, we’ve grown more; we’ve built at least two new golf courses, and these were very good golf courses. Then the other thing is some of the building of private homes around the golf courses. That has been—we live in a community there that probably has—what would you say, Joyce, about 800 people? Something of that sort. And it’s very nice. There’s two such communities. One of them is called Canyon Lakes, where we live, and the other is called Meadow Springs. That’s been developed—highly developed. We both have very nice golf courses. 

Joyce: After you retired, didn’t you work with the people from Israel, the First Defenders? 

Goldsmith: Oh, yeah, that was an interesting little program. That was after I retired, and I was re-hired. Battelle got a program from the State Department to help—to develop ways for the First Defenders on a terrorist site could make a better determination of what happened. And they did this on a worldwide basis. Mainly, underdeveloped countries, but one country that they had and they were anxious to get involved because they had firsthand information—they were anxious to get Israelis involved. Because they had a lot of first defenders. The program consisted of sending a team of people over to Israel and tell them what the program was about. And then Israel was to send about 20 people over here for a month. And then we were using the training—the HAMMER facility to do the training. I got involved because when the Israelis came over, they asked me, since I’m Jewish, they asked me if I would help trying to make them feel comfortable and so forth, take care of their dietary laws. And again, they were very pleased. And it was fun, it was interesting to see how they had become sensitized to terrorism. For instance, they stayed at one of the hotels out there. It’s right outside of Columbia Center Mall. And early morning, a bus would pick them up and take them out to the HAMMER site. After about two or three days, the bus driver said—no, someone said are we going to take any different routes? And the bus driver thought they meant for sightseeing. But they didn’t want to establish a pattern for terrorists to see what their schedule was. So they finally got him to change the route out to Hanford itself. But that was interesting, because the view of the Israelis who had been submitted to so much terrorism and the view of the other countries that we trained but who had not been submitted were completely different. Like night and day. So that was interesting experience. They show you the difference between our view of being careful about terrorism. As I said, these people were housed—excuse me. These people were housed in one of the hotels close to the Columbia Center—close to the Columbia Center Mall. They would go into the mall, and they were appalled to see that people were allowed to go in and out of the mall carrying all kinds of backpacks and all kinds of packages where it’s not being inspected. Because in Israel, they inspected anyone who was carrying a package of any sort. And they would be examined. So that was an interesting insight on how the different countries treat terrorism. 

O’Reagan: And the training was about how to respond to a nuclear accident, or a crisis? 

Goldsmith: Well, this program was called the First Defenders. And these people were doctors, they were scientists, they were firemen and so first. They were a mixture of who would come to the site where an attack had been made. That’s why they called them the First Defenders. They—let’s see, what was I going to say? They were very—the ones that were really involved in anti-terrorism were very conscientious and good about it. We had some interesting things that arose as part of this program. As I said, there were nations from all over the world that were involved to a certain extent. And we had the Indians, from India, coming over, spending a month. They were put up in the Hanford House—Red Lion Hanford House. They got a call one day from someone at the Hanford House wanting to know if we could talk to these people about how to keep the shower curtains inside of the showers, because they would keep them out and they would flood the whole area. So there were strange incidences like that. I’m sorry, Joyce? 

Joyce: About when Bill Wiley was here and you worked at Hanford Battelle in Quality Assurance. Did you share any of that? 

Goldsmith: The quality--? 

Joyce: Uh-huh. 

Goldsmith: Bill Wiley was a very—I think he was very influential and left his mark on the site, because he wanted to develop this environmental molecular laboratory, the rows of buildings out there, the new rows. And that opened up a whole new set of doors for Battelle to grow. They went into more basic stuff. Up to that time, we mainly focused on working on problems with nuclear reactors and nuclear fuels. But this was completely different from that. This was basic science that these laboratories allowed us to get involved in. And it’s opened up a whole new area. I think Battelle, and Hanford in general, has benefited from it, because they get a lot of extra programs that they wouldn’t have before.  

O’Reagan: Were you involved with these basic science programs? 

Goldsmith: No, I started in nuclear fuels and nuclear reactors most of the time I was here. But I didn’t get into any of the basic science programs. 

O’Reagan: Did you want to say anything about this Oppenheimer letter, maybe introduce it for us? 

Goldsmith: He was a very nice guy, and he was very considerate, and everybody liked him. He was very friendly—friendly in a reserved way. He didn’t go around smacking people on the back, but you knew he was warm and he remembered names. After the peace was declared, I think it was that later date in 1945? No, not 1945. At any rate, after the war was over, and things settled down, he sent out a letter to some of the people who worked on it that thanked them for their effort. And he sent me one of those letters. And I’m very impressed with it, because he knew what I was doing. Because he could mention that in his letter. I’ve been very proud of that letter. That’s what that is all about. It may not be much to many people, but to people who have been involved in the nuclear industry, I think it has some impact. 

O’Reagan: Did you ever meet any other Los Alamos or other Manhattan Project veterans who weren’t from the Hanford site when you worked at Hanford? 

Goldsmith: When I went to Hanford did I ever--? 

O’Reagan: Meet any other people who had been at Los Alamos? 

Goldsmith: No, there are not too many people here, just a few people here. I’m hoping—I’d like to know—I wanted to put something on Facebook about seeing how many people from Los Alamos who actually worked on the bomb still are around. Because I don’t think there are too many. I was—I got my degree when I was 21, so—and then I immediately went to work and have done that since then. But I’ve lost track of most of the people. I think they’re probably dead by now. [LAUGHTER] But if there’s something that comes up from that, I’d like to see. 

O’Reagan: All right, well thank you so much. 

Joyce: Thank you. 

GoldsmithYou’re welcome.  Thank you. 



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Hanford Sites

F Reactor
Plutonium Recycle Test Reactor (PRTR)
Boiling Water Reacto
Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF)

Years in Tri-Cities Area


Years on Hanford Site


Names Mentioned

Wiley, Bill


Goldsmith, Stanley.jpg


Hanford Oral History Project at Washington State University Tri-Cities, “Interview with Stanley Goldsmith,” Hanford History Project, accessed April 16, 2024,