b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEAround 10:30 p.m., the CE supervisor The accident was unprecedented. These With the moisture [released in theand HP arrive at SL-1, equip them- were the first reactor casualties in the explosion] and the cold temperatures,selves, and enter the reactor building fourteen-year history of the AEC. the [clothes] were just one solid chunkto look for the men. They find one Emergency planning had not accounted of ice, having sat out there most of thebadly mutilated and clearly dead, and for an event quite like this one. All night. The health physicists had giventhey observe a small movement by those involved in the recovery, there- us about a minutes working time [toant fore, now confronted situations and remove his coveralls]. But we hado her.made decisions unlike any they had anticipated this, and had some prettyThey withdraw, formulate a plan, and faced before. heavy-duty tools that we could use onenter once more, this time with two these coveralls. They had a stopwatchother military men and an IDO HP. One of the first was made by Dr. on us, and we got the job done. IRadiation is estimated at up to 1,000 George Voelz, the medical director, remember we went a few seconds over.R/hr, lethal. The HPs will allow no one who arrived a few minutes after his I think it was a minute and seventeeninside the building for longer than one assistant and considered what should be seconds. minute, and they use stopwatches to done with the body. The dispensary attime the rescuers and order them out Central was completely unsuited for That gives you an idea of how you havewhen the minute is up. The five men receiving a contaminated body. The to improvise when you get into accidentrush up the stairway with a stretcher. small facility had been designed for the scenarios. We were able to get theThey skid and slip on the water and the living; it consisted of one shower head clothing off, and we put him back in themarble-like pellets littering the floor. installed under the dispensarys base- ambulance.17Face masks fog up. Two men collect ment stairway. It was useless for thisthe man for whom they have some situation. Dr. Voelz recalled: Removing the clothes didnt help.hope of survival while the others try, Radiation levels remained as before.but fail, to locate the third man.Because his level of radiation was so They wrapped the body in blankets andhigh, we had no place to put him. We draped lead aprons to protect the dri-The rescuers place the man in a courier left him in the ambulance until we vers seat in the ambulance. Aroundvehicle and drive toward the intersec- could figure out what we were going to6:30 a.m., the ambulance drove to thetion with Highway 20. On the way, do next. The ambulance was sitting outChem Plant and into a large enclosedthey meet an ambulance and transfer in the desert, amongst the sagebrush. receiving bay. Near it a decontamina-him. As they reach the intersection, the We decided the first thing we would dotion room lined with stainless steelNRTS night nurse, Hazel Leisen, was see how much radioactive materialserved as a mortuary. Dr. Voelz had thearrives in her car and enters the ambu- we could remove by taking off the body submerged in alcohol and ice tolance, hearing what proves to be the clothing. We wanted to get this done preserve it until he could develop amans last breath. She applies an oxy- before the morning traffic came onto plan.gen resuscitator to no avail. Around the Site. It was about four oclock in11:00 p.m. the assistant medical direc- the morning when we decided to try toBecause the reactor had not been oper-tor, Dr. John Spickard, pronounces the take the clothing off under the lights of ating, early speculation was that aman dead. 16 a couple of automobiles. Because the chemical explosion had caused theradiation levels were 500 rads per accident. But of this no one could behour, we decided to work outside at 20certain. Radiation fields were extremelybelow zero in anti-C [anti-contamina - high within the silo. If the explosiontion] coveralls. hadnt killed the three men, the radia-tion would have. 181 4 4'