1959, Idaho, mad scientist, nuclear dangers, nuclear experiments, nuclear fallout, nuclear scientists, nuclear test reactor, nuclear tests, nuclear transient, old reactors, reactor core, test reactor, transient reactor test facility, TREAT, US DOE
The “TREAT” reactor from 1959, is being restarted. It is of the same generation (about a year newer), and the same location, as the SL-1 that killed 3 workers instantly in January of 1961. But, hey, it is Idaho, known only as a mecca for white supremacists and apparently mad nuclear scientists- who cares? Except most of North America, and to a lesser extent the world, is downwind. Plus there are cute animals there, along with a little over a million people.
Testing for Radiation, January 1961, Idaho, USA
“The SL-1, or Stationary Low-Power Reactor Number One, was a United States Army experimental nuclear power reactor which underwent a steam explosion and meltdown on January 3, 1961, killing its three operators. The direct cause was the improper withdrawal of the central control rod, responsible for absorbing neutrons in the reactor core. The event is the only known reactor incident in the United States which resulted in immediate fatalities. The incident released about 80 curies (3.0 TBq) of iodine-131, which was not considered significant due to its location in the remote high desert of eastern Idaho. About 1,100 curies (41 TBq) of fission products were released into the atmosphere”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SL-1 TBq is terabecquerel or one trillion radioactive emissions per second. Thus, about 3 trillion becquerels of iodine 131 were released and about 41 trillion becquerels of other fission products. They had trouble retrieving and dealing with the three dead men due to high levels of radiation. The WIPP experience suggests that things aren’t better organized today.
“TREAT’s early experiments deliberately melted fuel elements and assemblies to learn more about how fast-reactor cores would behave during a meltdown. As testing progressed, Argonne evolved fuels and cladding materials that could survive higher and higher temperatures before they failed.” “Proving the Principle – A History of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, 1949-1999”
So, here’s proof that the nuclear scientists – heads of US DOE don’t just look like mad scientists. And, to be fair, Moniz wasn’t head of the DOE when they decided to restart the ancient TREAT reactor, which dates from 1958-59.
Rather it would be Dr. Chu, who doesn’t look mad scientist, but apparently is.
How Long Ago was 1959?
This car was new in 1959. Would you want to drive it to the max on the autobahn or on a US highway with or without speed-limits? Institutional green, aka aquamarine was stylish. A car accident is a personal accident, whereas a nuclear accident can devastate communities and even regions far, far away.
Entertainment in 1959
Louis Armstrong and Danny Kaye’s duo appears more contemporary than the cars – kind of an early rapping.
Is it Halloween Yet? What is TREAT for?
TREAT is another costly to the taxpayer and dangerous nuclear trick.
What do you know? They painted it emerald green to make it look like new. It was probably institutional green before. Do you reckon they got all of the wires nibbled by rats and mice repaired? Rats are more resistant to radiation than other animals, along with roaches who have been known to cause problems in electronics, as well.