b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEThe action was definitely underwater It operated for a time with moderatewithin the ECF. The safest way to store success.until the inevitable happened,the cores and have access to them was the top cover seals failed. Water pits #1to place them in water pits, the Navy and #2 were deep purple for a week,equivalent to the MTR canals. The and it was several months before allbasic problem was getting close enough trace of purple color was gone. Thatto the fuel to handle or study it. When a event ended the underwater de-scaletruck or train car arrived with a load, operation.5the first move was to hoist the entiretransport cask into the water of a And unusual events occasionally pro-receiving pit and set it down on the duced a lesson learned. (heavily reinforced) concrete floor.After that, subsequent manipulations A rail car container crashed throughextracted the fuel from the cask and the closed west-end roll-up door num -moved it from one water-pit work sta- ber 6 one morning during car switchingtion to the next. 4 operations. The rail car uncoupledfrom the switch engine and slowlyEngineers constantly invented or adapt- rolled through the closed gate and theed gadgets and machines to do under- closed door. The surprised crafts fore -water what was taken for granted in the men and others threw tools and wooddry, non-radioactive world. Because blocks in front of the wheels to bringworking with a whole core or fuel ele- the railcar to a stop before it ran off thement was too dangerous or bulky, they Naval Reactor Facilities end of the rails and into the water pit.would shear a piece off or punch a ECF workers on the defueling platform above anOne immediate corrective action was topiece out. Hack saws and band saws cut M-140 railcar prepare to receive fuel into a transfer install rail stops at the end of the tracksand chopped to obtain representative cask. by the craft offices, and of course thesamples. Other instruments measured other actions were to replace the fenceand weighed them. Periscope ports and gate and the roll-up door.6observation windows with shielding ECF Engineering designed an under -power equal to the concrete walls of the water core-component de-scale systemAfter the shearing and milling opera-pits gave visual access into the water. [to remove hardened incrustation on tions, the portions of fuel that wouldWorkers guided the remote manipula- metal parts] in late 1962. This includednot be examined further were movedtors by the light of standard diving an inner vessel .encased in an outer through the pits and out of the buildinglamps. They were quick to try new vessel, [each] with a bolt-on top and to the Chemical Processing Plant. Otherways to see through the water. When seal. The void space between the ves -non-fuel solids went to the NRTStelevision cameras were commercially sels was pressurized with air to dis - Burial Ground.available, they bought one from the place the water after the componentlocal Farnsworth Electric Company, was loaded; then the inner vessel was The ECF inspected and analyzed theencased it in a stainless-steel can, pumped full of de-scale solution and fuels from S1W and the other Idahoinstalled a window in one end, and circulated while being heated.prototype reactors in addition to fueldipped it into the water. Experimenta- from Nautilus, USS Seawolf, and othertion was a part of daily work: vessels. The original plant wasdesigned to process three cores a year8 8'