b'C H A P T E R 15T H E S L-1 R EA CT O RIDOs immediate priorities were todetermine what threat the accidentposed to public health, retrieve the othertwo men, and discover if the reactorwas stable or not. The airplane pilotsreported that the roof of the reactor wasintact, undamaged. A cloud of radioac-tive iodine-131 had drifted south towardAtomic City, but its dispersion and mix-ing with air had reduced its concenta-tion well below any health concerns.Ground surveys found that the onlyplace needing to be quarantined was theimmediate SL-1 yard, where the rescueattempt had tracked some contamina-tion. Beyond that, amounts above back-ground levels were negligible. 22A squad of six volunteers, all cadremen,INEEL 61-1221 spent January 4 rehearsing a plan toA crew prepares to collect a water sample from were involved in the initial response, retrieve the body of the second man inwithin the SL-1 reactor building. and they played in the movie the role two-man relays. Someone else ran intothat they actually did that night. That the silo to grab the logbook and a neu-was part of our effort to be as factual tron detector. Crews decontaminated theIn the daylight of January 4, Horan as we could and not have some actor ambulance. The medical staff set up adeliberately slowed the pace of recov- do it. temporary decontamination center at the20ery operations. The victims were GCRE building just up the road frombeyond saving, and it was now impera- AEC Headquarters appointed an inves- SL-1. The men who had retrieved thetive to prevent further injuries. Allan tigating committee and a technical first body had not waited for specialJohnson told Horan, John, Im setting advisory committee. Most of them gloves; theyand in particular theirup a special account for the SL-1. arrived on January 4, ready to begin. handshad to be washed clean of cont-Dont hold back on anything you The JCAE sent one of its staff to pro- amination, a process involving water,need.it will be covered. They decided vide it with independent information as potassium permanganate, and plenty ofto document pictorially everything they soon as possible. The national press scrubbing. All who had been involvedcould about the accident and the subse- sent reporters. AEC Headquarters staff received medical check-ups. The med-quent proceedings. 19 arrived, and other AEC labs sent spe- ical staff found no radiation injuries andcialists as well. Later, the investigating hospitalized no one. 23 We wanted the nation and the world to committee complimented the IDO onlearn what our experience was. It was its management of the crisis, but said That night, the cadremen retrieved theirunique, and we wanted to make sure also that the rapid arrival of so many second comrade. The film and radiationthat people knew our successes and ouroutsiders, including themselves, had foils in his dosimeter badge had beenfailures. That is why three movies werebeen a disservice to the IDO and the blown away by the explosion. In lieu ofproduced. For the first one of the basiccontractors as they undertook the those items, radiochemists examinedaccident, we took all the people that recovery. 21 the gold buckle of one victims watch-1 4 5'