b'C H A P T E R 10C O R E S A N D C O M P ET E N C I E SRight. Rickover at hull entrance to S1W prototype.Below. Navy students in training onboard S1Wprototype.per shift, but new business requiredexpansion. In addition to fuel from thevessels of the growing Nuclear Navy,MTR-irradiated specimens came toECF scientists. Spent fuel from theShippingport reactor was shipped to theECF from Pennsylvania for examina-tion. The detailed examination ofnuclear fuels accomplished its purpose.Reactor fuel improved. Structuralalloys and cladding improved. Overtime, inspections grew more preciseand more exacting. The life of a shipcore eventually matched the design life Naval Reactor Facilitiesof the ship itself, twenty years or more. Elsewhere in the Navy complex, theBy 1989, the ECF building had grown reactor prototype program also wasto a length of a thousand feet. 7 growing. Admiral Rickover had sentthe first crew of the Nautilusto train atGreater work loadsand larger cores S1W in Idaho. After that, traininggenerated more risk of exposure to seemed an obvious mission for theradiation, and protection strategies reactor, to the lifelong gratitude of gen-grew ever more sophisticated. In the erations of young women in the neigh-earliest days, people leaving work boring towns. When each traineeareasnot only at the Navy facility but arrived in Idaho, he had a few days toelsewhere at the NRTSsubmitted find and settle a place to live. One inthemselves to friskers, hand-held four of the trainees married before hisprobes that scanned hands, shoes, and six months of training were over, and itperhaps the whole body for radioactivi- wasnt unheard of for a man to meet,ty. Nearby were rolls of tape, so that a court, and marry, all in his first twoworker could remove a hot particle by a weeks. 9press of the tape and leave it in a col-lection can. But experience and innova- Naval Reactor Facilities Rickovers ideas about the training oftion produced ever cleaner work areas. techs removed the particle and saved itnuclear plant operators were controver-for isotope identification and foot trail sial within the Navy. He wanted to trainIt was not uncommon to press off a hotmapping for possible pickup location. a new type of naval officer, unfettered[particle] almost every time one left theBetter radiological work practices, by what Rickover saw as the uselesshigh bay. Next came shoe covers for deck oil mopping, and improved anti- traditions embedded in regular Navyentry into the high bay. Then came theC[ontamination] clothing and launder - training. On the basis that assuringrequirement to cover the hot spot with ing all contributed to significant safety aboard ship required that all shipreductions in particle spread.tape and proceed to the radcon [radia - 8 personnel be able to evaluate potentialtion control] field office, where the rad hazards, Rickover had his way. He8 9'