Heavy Water


Vemork Norsk Hydro deuterium oxide vial, Norway, ca. 1945–1950

Who would win the race to build a nuclear bomb? The Allies believed German research depended on heavy water produced at Vemork Norsk Hydro. With Operation Gunnerside, Norwegian commandos “turned the water off.” After WWII, the Norwegian saboteurs held reunions at the plant. Each reportedly received a commemorative vial of heavy water—like this one. Its cap features a Norsk Hydro Viking ship logo.