b'I N T R O D U CT I O NTechnology and Engineering Center, INTEC, in 1998) at the INEEL has been thescene of three accidental criticalities. These episodes, although as grave as anyunintentional criticality, were not germane to the general flow of the history andwere piled on the stack of untold stories. Lest anyone believe that these weredeliberately omitted, information about them is supplied in the appendix.Associates have asked if my research exposed any secrets at the INEEL. DOEsupplied me with no security clearance. Considering the broad scope of the histo-ryand the time given in which to complete itthis was not a concern. I consult-ed many documents that were at one time classified and subsequently declassified.Nevertheless, the manuscript managed (inadvertently) to arouse classification con-cerns in connection with certain activities at the Chem Plant in the 1950s. For therest, the selection of material, its interpretation, and any errors it may contain areentirely my own responsibility.It was a special privilege to become acquainted with dozens of retired and currentemployees at the INEEL. Selected excerpts from some of these conversationsappear in the book. If these in any way encourage INEEL people to record theirown memories and their own explanation of why things were done the way theywere, I say, Get busy. The tons of scientific reports on the shelves omit all toowell the flavors of human experience, be they disappointment, tedium, or exhila-ration.Now at the end of the project, I reflect once more on the lecture about Hanfordand consider what I learned about the INEEL. In trying to understand environ-mental and other events within the context of their time and place, it seems to methat the managers and scientists of the INEEL were neither careless nor casualabout the disposition of hazardous materials, radioactive waste, or radioactivereleases. Some people account for this by remarking, This was not a weaponsproduction site. This explanation, expressed as a negative, gives insufficientcredit to more positive themes in INEEL history. A research mentality, the dailyuse of the scientific method, the safety traditions established by the founders, andthe integration of Site employees into surrounding communitiesall of thesemust count for something.Environmental concerns are surely important, but it is possible that when futuregenerations consider the impact of the INEEL on the environment, they will findthat impact to be far outweighed and outlived by the laboratorys remarkable legacy of scientific discovery and engineering achievement.Susan M. Stacyx i'