b'C H A P T E R 11T H E C H E M P L A N TCask-heavy trucks rumbled past thesecurity gate at the Chem Plants westfence and disappeared into specialentry bays at the storage building.Cranes removed the casks from thetrucks and deposited them underwater,where mechanical hands removed thefuel and placed it into stainless-steelbuckets suspended from overheadtracks. The fuel moved along to itsassigned resting space. The shieldingwater carried away heat and was recir-culated and refreshed daily, the over-flow injected to a disposal well justsouth of the building. To the water hadbeen added chlorine to prevent thegrowth of algae. Sodium nitrate wasadded to prevent the chloride from dis- INEEL 56-34solving the stainless-steel cladding or employees run the plant instead ofaccelerating the corrosion of the alu- contractors. Despite the countrysminum cladding. The building had its wartime footing, the AEC rejected theown motor generator set for an emer- idea because the recycling of uraniumgency power supply. 12 was intended eventually to be a com-ponent of the commercial power indus-In February 1953 the operators were try, and civilian companies would haveready for their first hot run. They had to learn how to do it. Besides, contrac-test-run the plant using non-irradiated tors had a good war record, havinguranium, and by trial and error, cali- produced the atom bomb. 14brated all of the instrumentation. Theyhad checked out the plants fifty-plus American Cyanamid thus recruited INEEL 4144miles of piping and tubing. Using mag- engineers, chemists, and mechanics Above. Shipping cask arrives at the CPP. Below.nets and nitric acid, they made sure all from industries all over the United Pneumatic instrument tubing is installed behind thethe pipe fittings were made of stainless States. The recruits went to a special facade of the operating corridor where operators willsteel. Despite previous inspections and school at Oak Ridge to learn basic control process.controls, they found a few fittings made nuclear technology and how to handleof the wrong material, and the pipe fit- radioactive material. Arriving in Idahoters had to cut them out and replace in 1951 with the plant still under con-them. 13 struction, they set up their first officesat the Central Facilities Area in theAfter the AEC decided to equip the Navys handy white houses. They pre-Chem Plant with a RaLa facility, mili- pared to train others, writing safetytary officers arrived on the scene to manuals, operating procedures, andhelp expedite procurement and other- process specifications. Someone decid-wise remove barriers to early comple- ed the Chem Plant would use the metriction. They proposed that government system, which was somewhat unusual1 0 1'