b'C H A P T E R 16T H E A FT E R M A T HThe AEC defended itself, telling the layers of administration surrounding ued to operate. The responsibility forDworshak that the public had received the reactor, and here it spoke assertive- safety appraisals belonged to the IDOall available information, excepting med- ly, sparing no one a share of blame. and AEC Headquarters, but the criti-ical, about the event. It agreed that the cism was broad:accident had exposed weaknesses in its Combustion Engineering had permittede m e rgency plans, but that the IDO had substandard conditions to develop in There appears to have been some lackexecuted the plans that were in place. 7 the reactor, the board said, yet contin- of clear definition of assignments, with -in the AEC, of responsibilityThe JCAE scheduled hearings for insuring continuing reactorfor June 12-15 on the broader safety appraisals and inspec -subject of Radiation Safety tions. It is conceivable thatand Regulation and invited clearer definition of theseAEC testimony on the acci- aspects of AEC staff responsi -dent. AEC commissioner bilities might also have pre -Robert Wilson said that reactor vented the SL-1 accident.9design would henceforth notallow a reactor to go critical Early in December 1961, Al l anupon the motion of only one Johnson ended his nearly eight-control rod. He blamed the year career as IDO manager. Hecontractor for allowing operat- said it was for personal reasons,ing decisions by unqualified a desire to return to private life.personnel. The AEC, he said, Around the Site, however, peo-should assign independent ple wondered if the AEC hadgroups to do periodic forced the resignation as a wayappraisals of every AEC or to signify that blame had settledlicensed reactor. The discus- somewhere and a price paid. 10 sion averted a Congressionalinvestigation specifically on The AEC called for changethe SL-1. The JCAE apparent- elsewhere as well. Immediatelyly was satisfied with the after the accident, it surveyedreports of the SL-1 all the nations licensed reac-Investigating Board, which by tors, then numbering forty-June was wrapping up its seven. Licensees were askedwork. 8 for information on shut-downprocedures and control compo-The board had listened to nents. The AEC modified somescores of witnesses. With no of the licenses, limiting certainevidence that the cadres operating parameters. The AECactions had caused the acci- ordered its own reactor man-dent, the board absolved it of agers to review shut-downresponsibility. The board said INEEL 61-947 margins and to assure that con-that an unusual movement of the cen- A mockup of the SL-1 reactor top. Analysts tried to trol systems operated fully withintral control rod was more plausible as determine where the three cadremen were standing design specifications. Maintenance andthe cause of the accident than other at the moment of the accident. operation were to take place only underhypotheses. Then the board pried open fully qualified supervisors. 1 5 3'