An atomic pile, also called a nuclear reactor, is a device in which physicists can create a sustained nuclear reaction. The concept of a nuclear chain reaction was first realized by Hungarian scientist Leo Szilard in 1933. He filed a patent for his idea of a simple nuclear reactor the following year.
Atomic pile in Southern VictoryEdit
Both the US and CS sought to build a superbomb during the Second Great War. Each, in an intermediate step, developed an atomic pile to prove the theory and, in the case of the CS, to produce plutonium. When Congresswoman Flora Blackford was informed by Franklin Roosevelt of the US success in creating a "self sustaining" pile, she made a wisecrack that it was good they would no longer need taxes for research. Unbeknownst to either, General Clarence Potter made a similar joke when informed by Henderson V. FitzBelmont of the CS success.
In the United States, construction on an atomic pile was beginning under the football field of the University of Chicago when the Race invaded and forced the American physicists to evacuate Chicago. They relocated to Denver where Enrico Fermi successfully built an atomic pile and controlled a sustained nuclear reaction at the University of Denver.
A similar pile was built in Muenchen, Germany under the leadership of Werner Heisenberg. The German team also created a sustained nuclear reaction but were unable to control it, and the consequences were disastrous. However, this setback did not prevent Germany from becoming the first Tosevite not-empire to build an atomic bomb that did not contain material captured from the Race.