b'C H A P T E R 15T H E S L-1 R EA CT O Ranother, and the team gradually recreat- Thus the core and the mangled piecesed the mysterious two seconds. The of metal surrendered their story. In Julymechanical and material evidence, 1962, the GE investigators publishedcombined with the nuclear and chemi- their final report, observing that manualcal evidence, forced them to believe withdrawal of the central control rodthat the central control rod had been could explain the accident: No otherwithdrawn very rapidly. They built a means of withdrawing the rod has beenmock-up of the reactor vessel with found to be in accordance with the evi-identically sheathed and weighted con- dence. 32trol rods. In King Arthur fashion, menof lesser, similar, and greater strengthas the crew tried to lift the rod. Mostmanaged with little difficulty. The sci-entists questioned the cadremen: Didyou know that the reactor would gocritical if the central control rod wereremoved? Answer: Of course! Weoften talked about what we would do ifwe were at a radar station and theRussians came. Wed yank it out. 30On November 29, a large crane liftedthe reactor vessel out of the silo andonto a truck for the trip to the Hot Shopthe next day. Once it was inside thehuge remotely-operated laboratory, thescientists re-photographed the core andplugged the holes. They filled the ves-sel with water and confirmed that thereactor was quite subcritical; it hadgiven its one burst in the accident andthat was all. Then they examined everyinch of the vessel. They were particu-larly grateful that the flux wires hadbeen freshly installed, for they por-trayed the neutron flux uncompromisedby previous history. 311 4 9'