b'C H A P T E R 14I M A G I N I N G T H E W O R S Tthe controls. Highway patrol officers Geiger counters squawked and everyone Nations sponsored the firststood by to close Highway 20/26 if took cover. The fallout cloud went south International Conference on Atomicneeded. As the test time drew near, dri- and then drifted back over the NRTSEnergy at Geneva, Switzerland, in,vers warmed up the emergency evacua- diluted enough not to be dangerous, but 1955. It was an exciting moment fortion buses. By 7:50 a.m. the breeze was concentrated enough to be measured. nuclear scientists because for the firstright, as all could see by looking at the Zinn might have preferred that a steam time since the war, some of the secrecysmoke bombs ringing the area.explosion had not destroyed the reactor, surrounding nuclear knowledge wasbut the explosion was deliberate, and it being lifted, and scientists, who beforeWorried that the excursion rod might identified what later became known as the war had recognized no national bor-stick and so ruin the show for the visi -the threshold eff ec t. ders in scientific colloquy, could once tors, the crew decided to give it every - more exchange information and show-thing they had when ejecting the Ar gonne salvaged the BORAX-I control case their achievements and ideas. 8excursion rod by remote control from equipment and buried the rest where itthe control trailer. laArgonne scientists prepared fifty-one y. The team moved a short distancefrom the scene and built a new reactor technical papers for presentation at theAlmost instantly, the reactor blew up called BORAX-II, twice the size of conference. They also decided that thiswith the force of three or four sticks of BORAX-I and dignified within a prefab- was a suitable moment to demonstratedynamite, tossing debris and an inky ricated metal building. They conducted for the first time in the history of theblack column of smoke more than a hundreds more experiments, modifying world that nuclear power could providehundred feet above the desert brush. the reactor core several times and real electricity to a real town. With therenaming it upon each major change to cooperation of Utah Power and LightHarold, youd better stick the rods BORAX-III, -IV, and -V. With each test, (UP&L), they hauled a transformer on aback in, Zinn shouted. I dont think it the experimenters understood more than flatbed truck to BORAX-III andwill do any good, Lichtenberger before about the safety parameters for patched the system into Arco. Rayreplied, Theres one flying through theoperating a boiling water reactor. Haroldsen said:air! Zinn was surprised. Previousexcursion clouds had been silvery Argonnes ultimate goal was to evolve It was [trouble with] a transmissionwhite, evidence of discharged steam a reactor useful for electrical genera- line that caused the lighting of Arco toand water. This dark cloud, with almosttion. Having proved that the reactor be delayed about two days. We also lostvertical sides, indicated a far different, was stable during tests, the BORAX about as much sleep. Engineers blewmore powerful reaction. Within the team looked around for a wet-steam out several lines before successfullycolumn, and along its edges, and turbine generator. For once, the pile of lighting the town. Those two sleeplessfalling away from the edges Zinn saw old Naval Proving Ground junk proved days are something we will alwaysa large quantity of debris, including wanting, and they scrounged an aban- remember.9a large sheet of plywood that sailed offdoned plant from an old sawmill nearacross the desert like a giant playing Albuquerque, New Mexico. Here we The little boiling water reactor madecard. were, recalled Ray Haroldsen, electrical contact with Arco (and theArgonne electrical engineer, [at] the N RTS Central Facilities Area) onThe reactor was totally destroyed. forefront of knowledge, trying to get S u nda y, July 17, 1955, running for Within the control trailer Zinn detected the old 1925 turbine going. 7 something over an hour around mid-a slight tremor, while most observers in night. Most citizens were tucked in forthe open felt a small shock wave. But they managed. Soon they were the night and none the wiser. Argonn e6ready for the next major proof of prin- had invited several international visitorsciple. After President Eisenhowers to witness the entire procedure. SomeAtoms for Peace speech, the United watched as a switch broke UP&Ls con-131'