1959, 1960, 1961, ANL, ANL West, Argonne National Lab, Argonne West, BORAX experiments, deaths in nuclear accidents, EBR I, Experimental Breeder Reactor, fast breeder reactor, Fermi Breeder, Fermi I, Great Lakes, Idaho, Idaho National Lab, Idaho National Laboratory, IGR, Illinois, Impulse Graphite Reactor, innovation, Japan, Joyo, Kazakhstan, Kazakstan, liquid sodium cooled reactor, Monju, nuclear accidents, Nuclear Cooperation, nuclear energy, nuclear excursion, nuclear meltdown, nuclear transient, Research, sodium cooled reactor, Soviet, Tokaimura, TREAT reactor, US DOE, USSR, We almost lost Detroit
Here is clear proof that the nuclear industry has nothing new or innovative to offer. Even the fashion industry offers more innovation. Old Soviet and US reactors from ca 1959 – gee how innovative can they get?
The US DOE, Feb. 26, 2015, press release mentions that “Kazakhstan’s NNC has its own Impulse Graphite Reactor (IGR), with capabilities similar to INL’s Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT)”
What they don’t mention: The IGR is an old Soviet reactor planned in 1959, which started experiments in 1961, and is located in the highly contaminated Semi-Palatinsk nuclear site of then USSR; now Kazakhstan. TREAT is an old US reactor built in 1958 and started up in 1959, in Idaho, where reactors were intentionally blown up (BORAX) and three workers were killed in the SL-1 accident. The first accidental US nuclear meltdown occurred here too – of Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR I), in late 1955. It was Argonne National Lab (ANL) West. Now it’s the Idaho National Lab (INL). They apparently did things which were too dangerous for Argonne in Illinois.
The US DOE strangely brags about TREAT’s relationship with Japan’s Monju and Joyo-Tokaimura: At Tokaimura, they were preparing a small batch of fuel for the Joyo experimental reactor, when a criticality accident occurred and two workers were killed, and a third seriously contaminated. Monju operated a little over a year and was on grid for less than 4 months, when it suffered a major, dangerous, sodium spill of 700 kg (1,543 pounds) and fire on 8 December 1995. They claim that no plutonium escaped. That this is called a “leak” gives pause. More like a nuclear cow in weight.
The US Experimental Breeder Reactor, Fermi I, near Detroit, “after producing only fifty-two hours of electricity it suffered a partial, and harrowing, core meltdown in 1966…” After four years of repair, it was brought back online and “released two hundred pounds of radioactive gas in a sodium explosion in 1970“ The ZPR-3, like TREAT, designed and operated by ANL (West in Idaho) “was used to perform critical reactor experiments for the Enrico Fermi fast reactor in which Argonne scientists and engineers assisted in the data analysis.” http://www.ne. anl.gov/About/reactors/frt.shtml
“The TREAT (Transient Reactor Test Facility) reactor at Idaho National Laboratory was used to conduct experiments investigating the effects of nuclear reactor transients, which are rapid and very short duration changes in power, on both water and sodium-cooled nuclear fuel systems. Much of the safety basis for fast reactors such as INL’s Experimental Breeder Reactors I and II, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Fast Flux Test Facility, the Japanese Joyo and Monju reactors, and the Westinghouse AP-600 light-water reactor is based on tests conducted at TREAT.” http://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/resumption-transient-testing
On November 29, 1955, the Experimental Breeder Reactor I, located in Idaho, and presumably designed by the same people, had the notoriety of being the first nuclear reactor to undergo an accidental, “unintended”, meltdown according to “Proving the Principle – A History of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, 1949-1999, pp. 135-136.
Ca. 2007, the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency carried out an experimental project called EAGLE, in Kazakstan, in order to study core-melt accidents in Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR) (JAEA R&D Review 2008 , p.15) Westinghouse is 90% owned by Toshiba and 10% by Kazak State owned Kazatomprom: “In August 2007, Kazatomprom agreed to purchase 10% of Westinghouse Electric Company from Toshiba for US$540 million. The deal was finalized in October 2007.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazatomprom
The nuclear industry continues to recycle their dangerous, failed technologies , from over half a century ago, taking everyone as fools and robbing them to boot. The press release below makes apparent that the US DOE is nothing but radioactive pigs at the trough – pork barrel for industry. Shutting it down would save taxpayers billions per year and save lives in the process. The US NRC needs to be shut, too, and major house-cleaning done at the US EPA.
This “research” or “cooperation” is almost certainly the sort of thing which the US DOE calls “$5.34 billion for Science to continue to lead basic research in the physical sciences and develop and operate cutting-edge scientific user facilities while strengthening the connection between advances in fundamental science and technology innovation, ” in their 2016 budget request. Or, maybe it’s part of the “$1.9 billion for nuclear nonproliferation activities that will continue to reduce global stocks of weapons-useable nuclear materials.” http://www.energy. gov/articles/energy-department-presents-fy16-budget-request Its track-record indicates that this last is code for bringing nuclear waste from Canada, Germany, Sweden and other countries to dump on America.
While one could hope that Republicans would block such outrageous and dangerous things, in order to balance the budget, history tells us that Republicans are all for pork barrel socialism for corporations, while stripping the poor of crumbs, in the name of balancing the budget.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Ed McGinnis opened a successful U.S.-Kazakhstan Civil Nuclear Energy workshop at Idaho National Laboratory the week of February 9.
The workshop participants included leadership from Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Energy Department of Nuclear Industry and Kazakhstan’s own “national laboratory,” the National Nuclear Center (NNC), as well as Idaho National Laboratory personnel.
During the workshop, Mr. McGinnis explained the role of the Office of Nuclear Energy within the U.S. Department of Energy as well as useful ways by which to collaborate multilaterally such as through the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation and the International Atomic Energy Agency. INL Director John Grossenbacher summarized the overall capabilities and purpose of INL. U.S. technical presentation subjects included development of accident tolerant fuels, modeling and simulation, probabilistic risk assessment, international safeguards training, small modular reactor technology, very high temperature reactor technology development, and low enriched uranium fuel development.
Kazakhstan’s NNC has its own Impulse Graphite Reactor (IGR), with capabilities similar to INL’s Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT), and the two sides focused on opportunities to increase scientific cooperation – particularly in the area of reactor safety and severe accidents. Other areas of potential future cooperation include validation testing of modern simulation tools and education programs, especially the possibility for Kazakhstani Ph.D. candidates to have U.S. experience.
NNC plans an international nuclear energy conference in September 2015, and has invited Mr. McGinnis to attend. Both sides see the conference as a prime opportunity to resume face-to-face discussions and reach agreement on areas for further bilateral cooperation. In the meantime, the Kazakhstani side has committed to drafting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the above-mentioned areas of interest by May. This MOU will provide concrete proposals for a framework for cooperating in reactor technology as well as modeling and simulation validation activities, and to formally request hosting and mentoring of Ph.D. candidates by U.S. experts.”
http://www.energy. gov/ne/articles/doene-sponsors-us-kazakhstan-civilian-nuclear-energy-workshop-idaho-national-laboratory In a few years time the US will be wondering how Kazakhstan got its nuclear info! They invited Chinese students to Oak Ridge and then accuse China of stealing nuclear info!
About Computer-Analysis Codes: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/on-the-problem-of-mox-arbitrary-use-of-analysis-codes-the-whittling-away-of-accident-likelihoods/
About TREAT: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/revving-up-a-1959-nuclear-transient-test-reactor-in-idaho-more-proof-of-us-doe-mad-nuclear-scientists-is-it-halloween/
About TREAT from the Nuclear Engineering Division of the Argonne National Lab:
“The Transient Reactor Test Facility achieved first criticality Feb. 23, 1959, at Argonne-West in Idaho. It was used to study the effects of simulated reactor accidents on fuel and components.
TREAT (Transient Reactor Test Facility) is an air-cooled test facility designed to evaluate reactor fuels and structural materials under accident conditions in nuclear reactors. The TREAT fuel was uranium impregnated graphite blocks. TREAT was used to study fuel meltdowns, metal-water reactions, interactions between overheated fuel and coolant, and the transient behavior of fuels for high-temperature systems. TREAT’s purpose was to simulate accident conditions leading to fuel damage, including melting or vaporization in test specimens, while leaving the reactor’s “driver” fuel undamaged. In its steady-state mode of operation, TREAT was also used as a large neutron-radiography facilitiy and could examine assemblies up to 15 feet in length.
Construction of TREAT started in February 1958 and finished in November of 1958. The reactor first achieved criticality on February 23, 1959. Major reactor building addditions were made in 1963, 1972, and 1982. In 1988, the reactor also underwent a major upgrade, which included installation of new instrumentation and control systems, and refurbishment of the rod drive systems. The reactor was operated from February of 1959 until April of 1994, generating over 720 megawatt-hours of energy.
The Transient Reactor Test Facility achieved first criticality Feb. 23, 1959, at Argonne-West in Idaho. It was used to study the effects of simulated reactor accidents on fuel and components. Click on photo to view a larger image.
The TREAT facility’s easily accessible core accomodated a wide variety of experiments. There was a large range of utility support, neutron radiography facilities, and plenty of room for experiment support equipment. TREAT’s computer and control system was designed so that it could simulate a “run” before an experiment. This provided a check on the control system, and more importantly, provided a high degree of confidence that the transient would run as planned with a high degree of reproducibility.
TREAT also included unique shielded viewing slots on two of the reactor faces. Both optical and gamma camera systems were developed for use with these two slots, so that reactive mechanisms taking place in samples could be recorded on film for detailed study.
(Experimental Capabilities of the Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) Facility, D.C. Crawford, L.W. Deitrich, R.E. Holz, R.W. Swanson, and A.E. Wright – DOE OSTI Information Bridge”
 “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 A TBq is a terabecquerel, one trillion becquerels, one trillion radioactive disintegrations (emissions) per second.
 The US Congressional Research office, Feb. 19, 2009, succinctly states: “The MONJU reactor’s operation was stopped due to a sodium leakage accident in the reactor’s secondary system in 1995. During the course of manufacturing fuel for the JOYO reactor, a Level-4 criticality accident occurred in September 1999 at a fuel conversion facility.”
http://fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL34487.pdf Level-4 means that people died.
Monju operated barely over a year and was on grid for less than 4 months! It reached criticality on April 5, 1994; went on grid the 29 Aug. 1995 and had a major sodium spill and fire on 8 Dec. 1995.
Two died in the Tokaimura-Joyo accidents. At Tokaimura, they were preparing a small batch of fuel for the Joyo experimental reactor, when a criticality accident occurred.
“…Monju, located in Japan’s Fukui prefecture, is Japan’s only fast-breeder reactor. Unlike conventional reactors, fast-breeder reactors, which ‘breed’ plutonium, use sodium rather than water as a coolant. This type of coolant creates a potentially hazardous situation as sodium is highly corrosive and reacts violently with both water and air. On December 8th, 1995, 700 kg of molten sodium leaked from the secondary cooling circuit of the Monju reactor, resulting in a fire that made headlines across the country. Although the accident itself did not result in a radiation leak, many argue that the sodium spill itself came very close to breaching Monju, a catastrophe which would have spilled plutonium into the environment.” https://wikileaks.org/wiki/The_Monju_nuclear_reactor_leak
“… the Joyo experimental FBR in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture first achieved criticality on April 24, 1977. Joyo Mark-I had a thermal output of 50 MWt, but after a series of upgrades the current Mark-III core has a thermal output of 140 MWt. Like Monju, Joyo uses mixed plutonium-uranium oxide (MOX) fuel and sodium coolant. The JCO criticality accident, Japan’s worst nuclear accident, occurred while preparing uranium enriched to 18.8% for Joyo Mark-II. Joyo has been shut down since June 2007, when machinery in the upper part of the core was damaged while extracting experimental equipment. The original problem and the difficulty fixing it both arose from the fact that it is impossible to see inside sodium-cooled reactors. Sodium coolant, unlike water coolant used in light water reactors, is not transparent “(http://www.cnic.jp/english/newsletter/nit134/nit134articles/monju.html “Restarting Monju – Like Playing Russian Roulette”)
Tokaimura-Joyo Criticality Accident
“The first Tokaimura nuclear accident was the accident which occurred on 11 March 1997, in a nuclear reprocessing plant of the Dōnen (Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation). Another name is the Dōnen accident (動燃事故 (Dōnen jiko?)).
On the night of 11 March 1997, a small explosion occurred in a nuclear reprocessing plant of the Dōnen. In this accident, approximately 40 workers were exposed to radiation.
The second and more serious Tokaimura nuclear accident (Japanese: 東海村JCO臨界事故Tōkai-mura JCO-rinkai-jiko) indicates the nuclear disaster which occurred on 30 September 1999, resulting in two deaths. It was the worst civilian nuclear radiation accident in Japan prior to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011.
Dozens of emergency workers and nearby residents were hospitalized and hundreds of thousands of others were forced to remain indoors for 24 hours; 39 of the workers were exposed to the radiation. At least 667 workers, emergency responders, and nearby residents were exposed to excess radiation as a result of the accident.…
The two technicians who received the higher doses, Ouchi and Shinohara, died several months later in agony. Ouchi suffered serious burns to most of his body, experienced severe damage to his internal organs, and had a near-zero white blood cell count.”
 Quoted information from “Changing Nature: Union Discourse and the Fermi Atomic Power Plant“, by Jacquelyn Southern, International Labor and Working-Class History No. 85, Spring 2014, pp. 33–58. That it took four years to repair is found here: “Fast Breeder Reactor Programs: History and Status“, by Thomas B. Cochran, Harold A. Feiveson, Walt Patterson, Gennadi Pshakin, M.V. Ramana, Mycle Schneider, Tatsujiro Suzuki, Frank von Hippel, A research report of the International Panel on Fissile Materials February 2010, http://fissilematerials.org/library/rr08.pdf
 Top corrosion-materials experts are perplexed about material degradation in traditional reactors: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/nuclear-reactor-cracks-widespread-disease-scourge-warns-nobel-in-chemistry-nominee/ Meanwhile, the nuclear industry is trying to sell the dangerous molten salt reactors, which are the most dangerous of all – highly reactive, explosive and flammable. If they still can’t solve the problems with materials for “normal” nuclear, it is clear that they haven’t with these most dangerous ones.
Note that the ICRP (2007) states that the planned maximum mSv received per year, for the general public, from non-medical sources, should be 1 mSv and about 0.1 mSv per installation. The US EPA allows exposure of about 0.25 mSv per installation.