Agnew of Manhattan Project dead at 92 - New York News

Agnew of Manhattan Project dead at 92

Posted: Updated:

By RUSSELL CONTRERAS Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Harold Agnew, a former Los Alamos National Laboratory Director who worked on the Manhattan Project and later led the effort to train the first group of international atomic inspectors, died Sunday, his family announced. He was 92.

Agnew died at his home in Solano Beach, Calif., while watching football and had been suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia, his family said.

According to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Agnew was its third director and served from 1970 to 1979. Under his leadership, Los Alamos developed an underground nuclear test containment program, acquired the first Cray supercomputer, and trained the first class of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors.

He is credited with developing "fail-safe" methods for nuclear weapons that are still used today, the lab said.

"His contributions to the laboratory made us the institution we are today," current LANL Director Charlie McMillan said in a statement. "It was his vision -- decades ago -- that recognized that national security science brings value to a broad spectrum of breakthroughs. Los Alamos and the nation will be forever in Harold's debt."

During the Manhattan Project, a World War II program that provided enriched uranium for the atomic bomb, Agnew went to the top secret city of Los Alamos as a graduate student. He was a scientific observer on the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.

Agnew completed his graduate studies under Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago following World War II and returned to Los Alamos to work in the Weapons Nuclear Engineering division, where he stayed until he became lab director.

In a 1998 interview with the National Security Archive, a nonprofit group that examines formerly secret U.S. government documents, Agnew said he felt that the world wouldn't see another nuclear bomb attack but still had fears about one during the Cold War.

"I thought that we had such a retaliatory capability that no sane individual would attack the United States. I just didn't see that happening," Agnew said. "Clearly we were worried with the transport of missiles into Cuba, that being that close that could be a threat and in a way you could argue that Soviets were always very clever."

Following his career at Los Alamos, Agnew became president and CEO of General Atomics, a position he held until 1985. He chaired the General Advisory Committee of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and served as a science adviser to the White House from 1982 to 1989.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Camilla's brother dies in New York of head injury

    Camilla's brother dies in New York of head injury

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:33 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:33:49 GMT
    Mark Shand, the brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales died Wednesday after falling outside a hotel bar and suffering a head injury, police said. Mark Shand, the brother of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's.
    Mark Shand, the brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales died Wednesday after falling outside a hotel bar and suffering a head injury, police said. Mark Shand, the brother of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's.
  • Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:03:40 GMT
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
  • God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:36:46 GMT
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NJ brush fire forces evacuations

    NJ brush fire forces evacuations

    Thursday, April 24 2014 1:56 PM EDT2014-04-24 17:56:44 GMT
    A New Jersey school and several homes were evacuated Thursday afternoon because of a large brush fire that was being fanned by winds.Beachwood Intermediate South School was closed just after 12:30 p.m. Parents were told not to report to the school. The Ocean County Sheriff's Dept. said that all children were going to be safely evacuated to another location.
    A New Jersey school and several homes were evacuated Thursday afternoon because of a large brush fire that was being fanned by winds.Beachwood Intermediate South School was closed just after 12:30 p.m. Parents were told not to report to the school. The Ocean County Sheriff's Dept. said that all children were going to be safely evacuated to another location.
  • Cops swarm home after disgruntled Call of Duty gamer calls in swatting hoax

    Cops swarm home after disgruntled Call of Duty gamer calls in swatting hoax

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:05:27 GMT
    Heavily armed police officers descended on a home in Long Beach, Long Island thinking they might find a grisly murder scene. Instead they found a terrified woman who had no clue what they were talking about and her teenaged son playing video games.
    Heavily armed police officers descended on a home in Long Beach, Long Island thinking they might find a grisly murder scene. Instead they found a terrified woman who had no clue what they were talking about and her teenaged son playing video games.
  • Girl fights to bring 22-year-old prom date

    Girl fights to bring 22-year-old prom date

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:50:19 GMT
    A Connecticut teenager is appealing to her local Board of Education after school officials rejected her request to bring her 21-year-old boyfriend to her prom.
    A Connecticut teenager is appealing to her local Board of Education after school officials rejected her request to bring her 21-year-old boyfriend to her prom.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices