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What was the purpose of the SL-1?

The facility housing SL-1, located approximately 40 miles (65 km) west of Idaho Falls, was part of the Army Nuclear Power Program. The reactor was intended to provide electrical power and heat for small, remote military facilities, such as radar sites near the Arctic Circle, and those in the DEW Line.

How did the SL-1 accident happen?

It is believed that the accident occurred when technicians attempted a manual rod travel exercise after a control rod exhibited stickiness. Rapid retraction of the central control rod to a height or 20 inches resulted in an accelerated nuclear reaction condition known as a “prompt criticality.”

Was there a nuclear explosion in Idaho?

On January 3, 1961 a steam explosion and meltdown at an NRTS reactor named “SL-1” (short for Stationary Low-Power Reactor Number One) killed three Idaho Falls operators. It was the first reactor malfunction that resulted in fatalities at any atomic-related site since the AEC’s founding in 1947.

How long until Chernobyl is safe?

20,000 years
“The amount of radiation you’re exposed to is similar to on a long haul flight. Some scientists state the estimated time that has to be passed until it will be safe to be around Chernobyl us 20,000 years — but it’s true only for the places near the radioactive remains.

What city became known as the Atomic City?

Atomic City, USA: how once-secret Los Alamos became a millionaire’s enclave. In August 1945, the US army dropped a secret over Japan: fully functional nuclear bombs, which instantly killed tens of thousands of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

How many nuclear meltdowns have there been in the US?

In the U.S., at least 56 nuclear reactor accidents have occurred. The most serious of these U.S. accidents was the Three Mile Island accident in 1979.

When did the S1W nuclear reactor reach criticality?

S1W reached criticality on March 30, 1953 becoming the first reactor to produce significant quantities of useful nuclear power in the world. Later in 1953, S1W achieved full design power and commenced a successful 96-hour sustained full-power run that simulated a submerged crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

When was the SL-1 nuclear reactor built?

This was the origin of the SL-1 reactor. [1] The facility, depicted in Fig. 1 before the accident, was constructed from July 1957 to July 1958, and became operational just over two years before the incident, on October 24, 1958.

What was the name of the nuclear reactor at Stanford?

The reactor was formally known as the Stationary Low- Power Reactor Number One, or informally as SL-1, and was built by Argonne National Laboratory. While the residual effects of the accident were limited due to the remote location and relatively small scale of the reactor, it remains today the only such incident to ever result in immediate deaths.

Where was the Argonne low power reactor located?

Stationary Low-Power Reactor Number One, also known as SL-1 or the Argonne Low Power Reactor ( ALPR ), was a United States Army experimental nuclear reactor located at the National Reactor Testing Station (NRTS) at Idaho Falls, Idaho, United States.