Help us pick the design of our 2023 Atomic Challenge Pin!

Los Alamos National Laboratory (NM) Pin

This pin commemorates the contributions of the Los Alamos National Lab located in Los Alamos, New Mexico. In 1943, Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) was designed for a single purpose: to create an atomic bomb. Just over two years later in July 1945, the world’s first atomic bomb successfully detonated at the Trinity Site—nearly 200 miles south of Los Alamos. Today, LANL is still operating with a new mission in mind: maintaining the safety and reliability of our nation’s nuclear defense.

Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (KY) Pin

This pin commemorates the contributions of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) located in Paducah, Kentucky. In 1952, with 750 acres of fenced and secured land, the plant began operations to provide enriched uranium that was used for military reactors, the nation’s nuclear weapons program, and to fuel nuclear power plants across the county. Today, the plant serves as waste management, depleted uranium conversion, deactivation and decommissioning, re-industrialization, and long-term stewardship.

Periodic Table of Elements: Uranium

The use of Uranium was essential in nuclear weapons production. In fact, the first nuclear weapon used in warfare, Little Boy, was powered by a uranium core. Countless men and women served in our nation’s nuclear weapons complex in the process of mining, extracting, separating, purifying, and enriching uranium-235 through various methods including gaseous diffusion, centrifuge, electromagnetic separation and liquid thermal diffusion. This pin symbolizes the profound role uranium played in our nation’s nuclear history and honors the atomic heroes who worked in the industry.

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Previous Years’ Pins

Each year, we create a limited-edition commemorative pin to honor one of our nation’s atomic sites and the men and women who worked there. It’s a privilege to celebrate the history of these sites, the atomic heroes who worked there, and the lasting legacy they have created.