Elected in 1970
“For contributions in the physical and mechanical metallurgy of materials used in nuclear reactors.”
BY JUDITH GRAYBEAL
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
SPENCER BUSH, an international authority on nuclear metallurgy and a driving force in the development of nuclear power codes and standards, passed away on October 2, 2005, in Richland, Washington, at the age of 85. He was elected to NAE in 1970 “for contributions in the physical and mechanical metallurgy of materials used in nuclear reactors.”
On July 12, l945, a U.S. Army corporal drove an inconspicuous sedan to an old adobe ranch house on what is now the White Sands Missile Range. His cargo was the plutonium core of the “gadget,” the world’s first nuclear device. When it was detonated four days later in the Trinity test, it not only changed the world, it also set the direction of the young man’s life. Spencer Harrison Bush devoted more than 50 years to advancing knowledge of the physical and mechanical metallurgy of nuclear materials and to ensuring the safety of nuclear reactors.