b'C H A P T E R 14I M A G I N I N G T H E W O R S TIn January 1955 the AEC began a all these graduate students mucking behavior, and it was expected that wePower Demonstration Reactor Program, a round the reactors that are going to would test the reactors to destruction. inviting private utility companies to be placed on the campuses? We hadown, build, and operate prototype to make sure they could handle thesepower reactors. The AEC would subsi- things safely.dize the costs in various ways and lendthe necessary uranium fuel. The pro- Dr. Doan, Bion Philipson, Allangram accelerated the need for safety Johnson, and I went to Chicago to meetinformation because these reactors with Walter Zinn and a representativewould be located near cities such as from AEC Headquarters to discuss theChicago, Detroit, and Boston. 14 possibility of Phillips undertaking aproject.[We discussed the BORAXThe AEC also realized that the new experiments] and Argonne promised itsindustry would require an expansion in support.the ranks of nuclear physicists, engi-neers, and chemists. It desired to We got a letter shortly thereafter givingencourage students to undertake careers us the go-ahead and allocating the Courtesy of University of Missouriin nuclear specialties. Graduate students funds. The AEC was in effect asking, Above. Graduate student prepares experiment atwould need to acquire experience with What are the limits?.How much reac -University of Missouri Research Reactor. Below. Thenuclear reactors. That meant putting tivity can we allow student reactors to Peach Bottom power plant in Pennsylvania, part ofreactors on university campuses. The have?.How safe can swimming pool the Power Demonstration Reactor Program. TheAerojet-General Corporation already reactors be made and still let many reactor was housed in a containment building, andhad designed a compact, university- people have free access to it? We werethe plant was located distant from heavily populatedaffordable low-power reactor of a sort to explore the limits of the reactors areas.called a swimming pool reactorbecause it was moderated and shieldedwithin a pool of water. But the AEChad a question: how could the place-ment of nuclear reactors in the heart ofuniversity campuses be made safe? A group of people at the NRTS wasready to assist the AEC. One of itsmembers was Warren Nyer, who laterrecalled:The AEC wanted to get the universi -ties of the country involved. But allseasoned Ph.D.s were concerned withthe conditions under which grad stu -dents could be safely permitted to usethis new tool. Questions were beingraised about supervision, inhee nr tdesign, constraints, and the like. Sothe AEC said, What will we do withU.S. Department of Energy 68-82701 3 3'