Physicist: first person to attempt to build a fission reactor
Laurence was educated at Dalhousie and Cambridge, England under Ernest Rutherford the famous New Zealand-born nuclear physicist. In 1939 in Ottawa, he attempted, virtually alone, to build a graphite-uranium atomic reactor. He went to Montreal, Quebec in 1942 and joined the Anglo-French research team that built the ZEEP reactor, the first outside the USA. Then he went to Chalk River in 1945 and served in the Canadian delegation to the UN Atomic Energy Commission (1946 to 1947). He became a senior scientist at the Chalk River Nuclear Labs. From 1961 to 1970 he was president of the Atomic Energy Control Board in charge of Canada’s nuclear energy program.
Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia 1988
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