b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEThe following June , eight or Instrumentation engineers, centered in could photograph events occurringnine months later, we had our first the Instrumentation Lab at Central, inside an exceedingly hot fuel rod andreactor going critical. And thats how found opportunities to be brilliant as see the actual onset of boiling betweenthe SPERT program got started. Of they fashioned instruments and data the fuel plates. 18course, it broadened to consider safetyrecorders advancing the art of reportinglimits for other types of reactors, too. the precise sequence of events and Analysts pored over the images and theThe SPERT program led to the LOFT impact of a power excursion. Some of data, assessing their meaning and(Loss of Fluid Test) program and the the first experiments in each of the import, extracting information. WhenSTEP (Safety Test Engineering SPERTs tested freshly invented resis- computers arrived, the analysts madeProgram). tance thermometers and techniques for the most of them. They sent their15calibrating them. Engineer Glen Bright, reports and recommendations to theSPERT stood for Special Power for example, invented a camera that ACRS and AEC, which were responsi- Excursion Reactor Test. Thble for establishing licensingeIDO located the test complex requirements not only forabout sixteen miles from the campus reactors, but all othereastern NRTS boundary in a commercial water-moderatedspot where dominant winds reactors in the country.could help disperse fallout Physicists working for utilityclouds during destructive tests. companies likewise examinedThe SPERTcomplex embell- the reports and consideredished the architectural vocabu- whether their clients shouldlary of earthen shields, control choose boiling water, pressur-bunkers, and buried reactor pits ized water, or some otherinitiated by BORAX. The local reactor concept for power pro-newspapers cultivated a color- duction. In fact, safety infor-ful vocabulary of their own as mation was availablethey reported on blowup tests world-wide, much of it pre-and mad reactors that were sented at Atoms for Peaceallowed to run wild. 16conferences in Geneva. 19Phillips ran the SPERT pro- The Detroit Edison Company,gram through 1970, developing one of four utility companiesreactors in a series that grew to propose a project for thepast SPERT-I to the more com- AECs Power Demonstrationplex SPERT-II, -III, and -IV. Reactor Program, was theExperiments regularly pushed only one to select Zinnsreactors far beyond normal breeder concept, cooled withsafety limits in order to discov- liquid metal. Walker Cisler,er what the normal safety lim- the president of Detroitits were. The first SPERT-I Twin pools of the SPERT-IV reactor facility, under INEEL 61-6873 Edison, had embraced the ele-(plate-type) core was sent deliberately construction in 1961. The men on the bridge stand gant promise of the breeder to trans-to its destruction in November of 1962, over the reactor pool. The other pool was used form scarce uranium-235 into afollowed by a new core and more mainly to store fuel, but added to the general non-issue. He prepared to build neartests. 17 flexibility of operations. Detroit a plant to be called the EnricoFermi Atomic Power Plant. It took sev-1 3 4'