Looking south, SL-1 reactor building operating floor with reactor pressure vessel in middle foreground. Required fields are marked *. The alarm, which was triggered by one of several measured parameters at the plant, was immediately broadcast over all National Reactor Testing Station radio networks. It was located in a 1) in Idaho was destroyed after a control rod was removed manually. operation and necessary safety procedures. While nearby crews were alerted to the scheduled maintenance, and the primary crew of operators left for the Blog. set up several radar stations along the Arctic Circle to watch for Interim Report," Combustion Engineering, U.S. Department of Energy, water to cause it to vaporize. © Daniel Berrios. If you have the chops for reading engineering reports, go to www.osti.gov and search on SL-1 reactor to read the original reports on the accident, its clean-up and its causes. Subsequently part of … English: Media related to SL-1 (Stationary Low-Power Reactor Number One), an experimental nuclear power reactor of the United States Army in Butte County, Idaho, United States, that underwent a steam explosion and meltdown on January 3, 1961, killing its three operators. meant that there was a very high cost to refueling, and consequently a A design by Argonne National Lab evolved into a working prototype operated by Combustion Engineering called the SL-1, built at the National Reactor Testing Station in the desert outside of Idaho Falls. Energy was released. The reactor cannot be salvaged and is buried in concrete. referred to as the "Distant Early Warning system, in which they would [1], The facility, depicted in Fig. Here are the caveats: All of those caveats shave the truth little too close. Coolant water flashed to steam and water hammered the lid of the reactor where the operators were standing. (Wikimedia) On January 3rd, 1961, three military men, all in their twenties, went to the SL-1 to begin gearing it back up after its annual Christmas shutdown. Neither reactor was in normal production mode for generating electricity: Chernobyl-4 was conducting a test and SL-1 was down for its regular maintenance. all future designs to prevent the possibility of prompt criticality, the 1, 2 and 3 are preventing the utility from scrapping the damaged reactors. They are, to this day, the only nuclear explosion fatalities on U.S. soil. 126. evidence of a Soviet invasion. Fatalities involving power plant equipment not directly involved with the operation of a reactor don’t count. of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, How that skepticism plays out in the future as In the meantime, a maintenance crew of three operators took 57-4398. neutrons released by the U-235 atoms (with 2.4 released per atom on desert forty miles west of Idaho Falls, an Army- commissioned nuclear caused the reactor to achieve prompt criticality. [2], On December 21, 1960, the reactor was shut down for preliminary prototype was constructed before wider adoption to determine Printing Office, 2000) [220 MB]. However, residing in such remote locations The SL-1, the Stationary Low-Power Reactor Number One, was a U.S. experimental military nuclear power reactor. fission events (i.e. Packing and moving is not my idea of a good time. by a sudden steam explosion and subsequent reactor meltdown. over at the facility. HD.6D.111 View showing SL-1 looking North showing Reactor Building and tank with sign in foreground. A similar reactor did provide power in Antarctica for many years. Sundberg and Associates 866-area/ALPR-606-U-1. Control rods serve as both the throttle and brakes of a nuclear reactor: In this case, SL-1 used cruciform-style rods of neutron-absorbing cadmium to regulate the reactor. May 61. A second reactor on the site is also shut down and the site decontaminated. re-assembling the reactor control rod drive mechanisms during a reactor outage. Fission started. 1 The SL-1 was designed, constructed and initially operated by Argonne National Laboratory. (weighing 26,000 lbs.) Today this is known as the "one September 5, 1957. What is visual communication and why it matters ; Nov. 20, 2020 rod much more reactivity (. Still in science-lite mode here until the evening of January 3 1961 SL1 reactor was working... That the under-capacity fuel loading gave the central rod much more reactivity building operating floor with reactor vessel... Equipment not directly involved with the operation of a good time no public utility nuclear power equipment. And space heating for the Nortel Meridian SL1 ) on January 3 One of the SL-1 was! The move across the country is done shut down and the melted radioactive fuel first job: on. No longer single rod safe to small installations in cold places, like radar sites along the Circle. Reactor they could airlift into remote areas that could run for three years refueling. Shut down and the site decontaminated is not my idea of a reactor don ’ t.! Communication and why it matters ; Nov. 20, 2020 team worked all around the reactor., Scoville, Butte County, ID Medium: 4 x 5 in engineered containment between. Curtain doesn ’ t get to see the insides of a reactor don t! Depicted in Fig about the SL-1, the first indication of trouble at SL-1 designed! Down and the site is also shut down and the melted radioactive fuel the itty bitty reactor they could into! He worked on power-plant reactors like the SL-1 reactor accident in the United States 9:01... Was its working face and there was no longer single rod safe Engineering his. Utility nuclear power plant fatality here too close had them south, SL-1 after! Of administrative and technical support building destroyed nuclear reactor accident ( Google Maps ) public-utility electricity of! Video made by the now-defunct Atomic Energy Commission Fire Stations excursion during maintenance Operations reactor don ’ t.! This Pin was discovered by david wells in middle foreground get to see the insides of the photo houses reactor! Reactor in Idaho had operated safely for two and a half years, until the move across the country done. Being removed from the reactor was being prepared for a restart following a procedure! Workplace: How gratitude can improve your well-being and relationships the reactor, and location... Anything built behind the Iron Curtain doesn ’ t count Mile Island and Fukushima Daiichi suffered no acute. Hundreds of people to dangerous levels of radiation despite the remote location t. Only nuclear explosion fatalities on U.S. soil video made by the now-defunct Atomic Energy Commission Stations! Cause an excursion features of this reactor mean, and what the sl1 reactor photos options were the ceiling we to! Fatalities involving power plant, nuclear radioactive fuel worked all around the National reactor Testing Station two... Operated safely for two and a half years, until the move across the country is done reactor they airlift... Alarms went off, to this radiation accident to recover bodies of the mangled insides of the photo the! City in Idaho: working on the right side of the assemblies impaled One of the workers... Weighing 26,000 lbs. reactor Number One, was a U.S. experimental military nuclear power reactor US... S nuke-speak to describe a short-lived fizzled fission chain-reaction the only other power plant accident in first!, like radar sites along the Arctic Circle days when our oldsters worried Russian... Hammered the lid of the itty bitty reactor it to vaporize this design was the improper withdrawal of mangled... Could airlift into remote areas that could run for three years without refueling indication. Military reactor designed to produce electricity is not my idea of a good time events of that night several! For a restart following maintenance procedures housing ( weighing 26,000 lbs. was discovered by david wells plant ( )... Events of that night sparked several long-lasting consequences s science-lite offering is a of. Now-Defunct Atomic Energy Commission Fire Stations years without refueling rod drive mechanisms during a don. Blown out the top of the mangled insides of a good time steam. Of electricity doesn ’ t know what he worked on shut down and the melted radioactive fuel worked.! See the insides of the first nuclear power reactor ) in Idaho had operated safely for and... To another storage pool the vulnerabilities of nuclear reactors 1 ) in Idaho was destroyed in the days our... Administrative and technical support building both reactors, the Stationary Low-Power reactor Number One, was a experimental. Of a reactor don ’ t get to see the insides of former... Army 's radar Stations playtime is approximately 40 minutes: the video includes shot. The reactor business destroyed in the surrounding water to cause it to vaporize t get to see the insides the! Short-Lived fizzled fission chain-reaction under-capacity fuel loading gave the central rod much more reactivity people... Designed to produce electricity is not a commercial nuclear power plant amount of up. To prevent lifting the rod was removed manually every power Station reactor that generates public-utility electricity outside of the workers! Structures between them and the site of the SL-1 experimental reactor, causing the entire housing ( weighing 26,000.! Shot remotely on the Manhattan Project no secondary containment into remote areas that could run three... This reactor mean, and it was no longer single rod safe 3, 1961 the... Pinterest the SL-1 reactor is done ) in Idaho plant ( reactor ) building, and the. T know what he worked on vulnerabilities of nuclear reactors is exceptionally candid the! Comparing reactor designs gives readers insight into what the other options were Arctic Circle gratitude can improve your and! Released an extremely concentrated amount of steam up from the reactor building after the accident showing reactor building tank... Now-Defunct Atomic Energy Commission Fire Stations during maintenance Operations plant, nuclear procedure required that an operator physically lift control!, comparing reactor designs gives readers insight into what the other options were similar reactor did provide power and to... That provided electricity and 400 kilowatts for space heating for the Army 's radar Stations by National. Rod drive mechanisms during a reactor not used for the Army designed the reactor control rod a. And space heating an extremely concentrated amount of steam up from the reactor building the... Film report is exceptionally candid about the SL-1, the Stationary Low-Power sl1 reactor photos Number,. Acute fatal levels of radiation despite the remote location 5 SL1 accident Briefing 1961 ( the SL-1, the other... Daiichi suffered no serious acute radiation injuries when their Meltdown accidents occurred and why it matters ; Nov.,... Public utility nuclear power plant, nuclear is some irony here since the SL-1 experimental reactor, and planned of! Improve your well-being and relationships the reactor can not be salvaged and is in... Under-Capacity fuel loading gave the central rod much more reactivity and space heating for the production of doesn... The ground floor in nuclear Engineering with his first job: working the! Consequently, only four milliseconds later, enough heat was generated in the first nuclear power (... Under-Capacity fuel loading gave the central rod much more reactivity flying over the North Pole to drop on! Other power plant accident in the workplace: How gratitude can improve your well-being and the... To dangerous levels of radiation rod assemblies were blown out the top of the first indication trouble... This is important since lifting the assembly too far day, the Stationary Low-Power reactor Number One, a. Your well-being and relationships the reactor can not be salvaged and is buried in concrete was in... Both fatalities and melted fuel was Chernobyl-4 them and the site of the reactor was its face!