The National Nuclear Energy Series
The National Nuclear Energy Series (NNES) was originally planned in 1945
as a record of the research work done under the Manhattan Project and
the Atomic Energy Commission. When completed, the series was expected
to consist of one hundred volumes, grouped into ten divisions.
- Division I --- Electromagnetic Separation Project
- Division II --- Gaseous Diffusion Project
- Division III --- Special Separations Project
- Division IV --- Plutonium Project
- Division V --- Los Alamos Project
- Division VI --- University of Rochester Project
- Division VII --- Materials Procurement Project
- Division VIII --- Manhattan Project
- Division IX --- Thermal Diffusion Project
- Division X --- Centrifuge Project
It all started in June of 2000, when I was finishing up my collection of
the MIT Radiation Laboratory Series, and my collection of Control
Textbooks from the 1940's. I was in Arlington Books (which is no longer
in Arlington, but is now on Milk Street in Boston) and I found a copy of
"Electronics: Experimental Techniques" by Elmore and Sands for $7. What
intrigued me most about the book wasn't the title (or the cost),
although I do own quite a few old electrical engineering texts, but was
the gold lettering on the spine that said "National Nuclear Energy
Series V-1." Hmm, I thought, volume one of what? The title page
spelled it out: "National Nuclear Energy Series, Manhattan Project
Technical Section, Division V --- Los Alamos Project, Volume 1."
Another series of books, published by a World War II research
laboratory? I was hooked.
However, it has taken some research just to find a list of all the
titles in the series. Unlike other McGraw-Hill Series that I have
collected (such as the MIT Rad Lab Series, or the McGraw-Hill Electrical
and Electronic Engineering Series from the 1940's and 1950's), there was
no list of titles printed in each volume. I looked in a couple of
library catalogs (such as MIT's) and only found a dozen titles, but
numbered I-5, II-16 and IV-19B, so I knew there had to be more, many
more, out there.
From the webpages of the Brookhaven National
Laboratory, I was able to retrieve a list of thirty-seven volumes of
the Series from their library catalog. Starting from the list of libraries at the
Department of Energy website, I ended up going through the library
catalogs at Brookhaven, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Argonne. After all
of that, I had a list of fifty volumes. For good measure, I also went
through the other libraries listed on the DOE page, including Sandia,
Lawrence Berkeley, and Lawrence Livermore, but I did not find any
additional volume titles.
However, in the Argonne
Library, I found a reference for technical report TID-5103, entitled
"Outline of declassified volumes in the National Nuclear Energy Series"
published in 1953. I immediately requested the book via Inter-Library
Loan, and during my conversation with the reference librarian, learned
about www.osti.gov. There, I found a
copy of a technical report entitled "Documents and related materials
associated with the contents and the origin of the Los Alamos Technical
Series and the National Nuclear Energy Series," by Edward Hammel from
1996. It was mostly about the (still classified) Los Alamo Technical
Series, but it did contain an 1977 advertisement from Pergamon Press
offering the (unclassfied) NNES volumes on microfilm.
After losing my Inter-Library Loan request once, and making me request
it again, the library informed me that TID-5103 was not available.
However, they did get me a copy of "The National Nuclear Energy Series:
An Abridged Compilation" by Orlando-Gay, Brangan, and Wise, all at
Sandia National Laboratories (May 1999). This report was exactly what I
All told, there are 62 unclassified volumes, 17 classified volumes, and
21 volumes that were proposed but never written. Of the unclassified
volumes, McGraw-Hill published 29 of them (as 35 books) between 1948 and
1956. There are many gaps in the numbering sequence. Most of these
"missing" volumes were classified "Secret" at the time (all but one
volume of Division II is still classified; other Divisions have been
declassified). The other volumes were published as technical reports by
the United States Atomic Energy Commission. For more information, see
the report by Orlando-Gay, Brangan, and Wise (SAND99-1114).
Division I --- Electromagnetic Separation Project
- Volume I-1 (1949)
- Author: Guthrie, Andrew and Wakerling, Raymond Kornelious
Title: Vacuum equipment and techniques
- Volume I-5 (1949)
- Author: Guthrie, Andrew and Wakering, R. K.
Title: The characteristics of electrical discharges in magnetic fields
Division II --- Gaseous Diffusion Project
- Volume II-16 (1949)
- Author: Benedict, Manson and Williams, Clarke.
Title: Engineering developments in the gaseous diffusion process
Division III --- Special Separations Project
- Volume III-1B (1951)
- Author: Cohen, Karl P.
Title: The theory of isotope separation as applied to the large-scale
production of U235
- Volume III-2 (1949)
- Author: Dieke, Gerhard Heinrich and Duncan, Albert Benjamin Ford
Title: Spectroscopic properties of uranium compounds
- Volume III-4A (1951)
- Author: Kirshenbaum, Isidor
Title: Physical properties and analysis of heavy water
- Volume III-4C (1949)
- Author: Alice H. Kimball; edited by Harold C. Urey and Isidor Kirshenbaum.
Title: Bibliography of research on heavy hydrogen compounds
- Volume III-4F (1955)
- Author: Murphy, George Moseley
Title: Production of heavy water
Division IV --- Plutonium Project
- Volume IV-8 (1954)
- Author: George S. Monk and W. H. McCorkle.
Title: Optical instrumentation
- Volume IV-9 (three books, 1951)
- Author: Coryell, Charles Du Bois and Sugarman, Nathan
Title: Radiochemical studies: the fission products
- Volume IV-14A (1954)
- Author: Seaborg, Glenn Theodore and Katz, Joseph J.
Title: The actinide elements
- Volume IV-14B (two books, 1949)
- Author: Seaborg, Glenn Theodore
Title: The transuranium elements ; research papers
- Volume IV-19B (1950)
- Author: Quill, Laurence Larkin
Title: The chemistry and metallurgy of miscellaneous materials:
- Volume IV-20 (1951)
- Author: Stone, Robert Spencer
Title: Industrial medicine on the Plutonium Project ; survey and
- Volume IV-22B (1954)
- Author: Zirkle, Raymond E.
Title: Biological effects of external X and gamma radiation: Part I
- Volume IV-22E (1951)
- Author: Zirkle, Raymond E.
Title: Biological effects of external beta radiation.
- Volume IV-22I (1948)
- Author: William Bloom
Title: Histopathology of irradiation from external and internal sources
- Volume IV-23 (1951)
- Author: Albert Tannenbaum
Title: Toxicology of uranium : survey and collected papers
Division V --- Los Alamos Project
- Volume V-1 (1949)
- Author: Elmore, William C. and Sands, Matthew L.
Title: Electronics: experimental techniques
- Volume V-2 (1949)
- Author: Rossi, Bruno Benedetto
Title: Ionization chambers and counters: experimental techniques
- Volume V-3 (1952)
- Author: Graves, Alvin Cushman and Froman, Darol Kenneth
Title: Miscellaneous physical and chemical techniques of the Los Alamos
project: experimental techniques
Division VI --- University of Rochester Project
- Volume VI-1 (four parts: two books 1949, and two books 1953)
- Author: Voegtlin, Carl and Hodge, Harold Carpenter
Title: Pharmacology and toxicology of uranium compounds
- Volume VI-2 (1954)
- Author: Blair, Henry Alexander
Title: Biological effects of external radiation.
- Volume VI-3 (1950)
- Author: Robert M. Fink
Title: Biological studies with polonium, radium, and plutonium
Division VII --- Materials Procurement Project
- Volume VII-1 (1951)
- Author: Slesser, Charles and Schram, Stuart R.
Title: Preparation, properties, and technology of fluorine and organic
- Volume VII-4 (1955)
- Author: Lustman, Benjamin and Kerze, Frank
Title: The metallurgy of zirconium.
Division VIII --- Manhattan Project
- Volume VIII-1 (1950)
- Author: Rodden, Clement James
Title: Analytical chemistry of the Manhattan Project.
- Volume VIII-5 (1951)
- Author: Katz, Joseph J. and Rabinowitch, Eugene
Title: The chemistry of uranium: The element, its binary and related
- Volume VIII-8 (1956)
- Author: Oughterson, Ashley W. and Warren, Shields
Title: Medical effects of the atomic bomb in Japan.
The report by Orlando-Gay, Brangan, and Wise lists volumes IV-19C and
IV-22C as being published by McGraw-Hill. I have found no evidence that
- Volume IV-19C (1955)
- Author: Quill, Laurence Larkin
Title: The chemistry and metallurgy of miscellaneous materials
- Volume IV-22C (1956)
- Author: Zirkle, Raymond E.
Title: Biological effects of external X and gamma radiation: Part II
- However, volume IV-19B (by the same author with an almost identical
title) was published by McGraw-Hill in 1950. Only seven copies of
volume IV-19C are listed in
WorldCat, and all of them
were published by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission as report TID-5212.
(For comparison, there are 283 copies of McGraw-Hill's IV-19B listed in
- In the WorldCat listing for Zirkle's "Biological Effects of
External X and Gamma Radiation," there is a note that says that part one
(IV-22B) was issued in the NNES, but that part two (IV-22C) has the
imprint: "Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Technical
Information Service Extension." Again, I suspect that volume IV-22C was
only ever published as USAEC report TID-5220.
This page has been accessed at least times
since October 2002.
Written July 2000 by
Last updated: Wednesday, March 9 2005.