b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEfor American chemical companies at operators stood attentively in an operat- 240 kilograms of U-235 in the form ofthe time, so that became part of the ing corridor between the banks of cells, uranyl nitrate, a thin yellow liquid. Thetraining, too. 15 facing gauges and other instruments, Chem Plant shipped it unshielded totheir hands on levers that would open or Oak Ridge, although it was packaged inStraddle-carriers, long-legged trans- shut pertinent valves by remote control, ten-liter stainless-steel bottles encasedporters adapted from timber industry heat up certain solutions and cool down in a birdcage framework designed tolumber-handlers, brought casks loaded others. Pumps, steam jets, or airlifts prevent accidental criticalities. 17with the first fuel elements from the advanced the feed from one vessel to thestorage basin to the head end of the next. The pipes penetrated the dense The liquid waste, of course, remained atprocess building, where fuel was concrete walls, five feet thick around the Chem Plant. As in so many other cor-dropped remotely into the dissolver in each cell. Piping also brought the water, ners of the NRTS, this was one morethe first cell. Remotely operated cutters a ir , or chemical additives to the cells place where scientists and engineersat the basin had trimmed as much struc- from upper-level storage tanks. Certain could say they were doing somethingtural metal from the fuel as practical reactions produced gases, and pipes car- n e w. Pipes conveyed the waste under-before the fuel headed down the chute ried it away. Each of the original twenty- ground into a 300,000-gallon stainless-into the dissolver vessel. four cells had a name, beginning with A steel storage tank (nested within aCell and proceeding through the alpha- concrete vault) east of the process build-The work with the highly radioactive bet (skipping I and O). As the Chem ing. Stainless steel had become morematerial was mostly below ground level, Plant opened, several spare cells awaited available after World War II. Hanfordso that the earth formed part of the future developments. 16had used carbon steel, having no othershielding. Each vessel was isolated in its choice, and then neutralized its acidicown shielded room, or cell, typically The first run dissolved Hanford slugs. It waste with caustic. This increased itsabout twenty feet square. During a run, lasted six months and recovered over volume, caused solids to form a sludge,INEEL 57-112 INEEL 06940 INEEL 06971Chemist Bernice Paige was the first woman to win a Lowering slug charger over the slug chute above a November 1952. CPP operators transfer a filledlifetime achievement award from the American dissolver. bottle of concentrated uranyl nitrate product into aNuclear Society for her technical contributions to bird cage for shipment to Oak Ridge.nuclear science.1 0 2'