The Manhattan project as many know, was the US, UK, and Canadian Governments project to develop the first atomic bomb. Fewer people also know that the Manhattan Project was being conducted in Oak Ridge, TN as well as Los Alamos National Laboratory and at a nuclear production site near the Columbia River in Washington State. What many people do not know, is there were many other places where the radioactive elements of the program were being developed. In the early 40's the Buffalo - Niagara area was one of the nations powerhouses. The nearby Niagara Falls hydro generating plants were a source of cheap power for many of the nations industries which choose to locate themselves close to it. Because of this industrial capacity, the industries of the Buffalo - Niagara area were among the first industries in the nation to deal with radioactive materials. A few examples of local industries which were involved in the Manhattan project:
- Linde Air Products (Union Carbide) of Tonawanda Processed uranium oxides into green salt.
- Simonds Saw and Steel of Lockport milled processed uranium into fuel rods for reactors.
- ElectroMet (Union Carbide) of Niagara Falls processed and recycled uranium and thorium into ingots and billets.
- U.S. Vanadium (Union Carbide) of Niagara Falls processed uranium ore.
- Hooker Chemical of Niagara Falls supplied and recycled chemicals for the refining process.
- Titanium Alloys Manufacturing (TAM Ceramics aka Ferro Electronics) of Niagara Falls recycles uranium and thorium metals and produces to this day zirconium.
- Bethlehem Steel of Lackawanna was involved in experiments regarding the processing of uranium and thorium metals.