b'C HAPTER T ENC O R E S A N D C O M P ET E N C I E SWith atomic energy in the engine room, guided missiles in the hangars totopside, and the target-seeking homing weapons in the torpedo tubes, the submarine of the future figures to be the instrument of war most benefitted by atomic era science.All Hands, Oct. 13, 1951B then sailed away to the Pacific Ocean, Within the Navys complex, the ECFand the old core was sent across the was located near the north fence. Ity February 1957, country to Idaho. 1 began as a building 340 feet long,USS Nautilushad run as far as her first although its designers expected it toloading of fuel would allow. The boat A brand new facility, the Expended expand as the workload grew. Theyhad traveled 62,562 miles, more than Core Facility (ECF), was being readied considered the facility an importanthalf of them submerged. She had hosted at the NRTS to undertake the equally continuation of the research and devel-royalty, entertained political leaders, delicate task of unloading the cask and opment phase of the nuclear industry.and convincingly played the role of a placing it safely in a deep pool of water, Here were complete reactor cores thathigh-speed enemy submarine in Navy a procedure that took about three days. had served their missions, not merelywar games. Now she sailed home to sample elements tested in the MTR. DidGroton, Connecticut, for the the fuel operate as predict-delicate process of removing ed? How well did thethe reactor core and replac- cladding hold up? Howing it with a new and better much beyond its design lifeone. might the core have lasted?By no means would theFuel in the unshielded core Navy rest on the perfor-emitted gamma radiation so mance of the first cores. 2intense that a few momentsof close exposure would Nor would a commercialcause death. The procedure power industry, once it hadto remove the core from the begun. The designers visit-boat was pre-planned in end- ed Hanford and other placesless detail. The objective to study how they handledwas to move the core into a Naval Reactor Facilities 10024 irradiated cores. Theyshielded transport cask and hoist the The ECF under construction, looking east toward hoped the ECF would become a modelcask onto a truck. This conceptually S1W. Equipment and water pits take shape. system, a sound demonstration for thesimplebut highly complextask took industry sure to come in the future. 3two months to accomplish. Nautilus8 6'