b'C H A P T E R 16T H E A FT E R M A T H1963, and this first run continued until Ground, a distance of sixteen miles and The IDO completed its film, whichMarch 4, 1963. Despite these bench- partly on Highway 20/26 would subject included the reenacted crisis response,marks, the ML-1 proved disappointing, laborers to too much avoidable risk. an animated segment explaining thetypically operating only a few days or Instead, it built two large pits and a water hammer, and lessons learnedhours before shutting down because of trench about 1,600 feet away from the about emergency planning. Plannersleaks, failed welds, and other problems. SL-1 compound. The walls of the silo, and operators at other AEC labs andAfter its four-day March 1963 run, for the power conversion and fan-floor commercial nuclear power plants usedinstance, the crew found that the equipment, the shielding gravel, and the it as a training device for years after thecoolant, nitrogen gas, had been leaking contaminated soil that had been gathered accident. Manufacturers of detectioninto the moderator water. By the time during the clean-up all went into the instruments increased the upper limit toof its final shut-down on May 29, 1964, pits. Three feet of clean earth shielded 1,000 R/hr. Makers of respiratorsthe ML-1 had accumulated only 664 the material. An exclusion fence withhours of operation. 15 hazard warnings went up around thearea, the only monument to the reactor. 1 7At the end, Aerojet disassembled theML-1 reactor at the TAN Hot Shop todiscover the reason for its last failure.Temperatures over 1,200F had corrod-ed the steel pipes containing the gas.The ML-1 concept was too advancedfor the materials available.Right. Foundation piers and gravel were all thatThat finding came in 1965. The escalat- remained by 1962. Debris went to a special SL-1ing war in Vietnam forced the Army to burial ground. Below. Dismantling the SL-1evaluate its spending and research pri- foundation piers required the use of shaped charges.orities. The Armys prototype reactors Here crew wires caps to charges.in Greenland and elsewhere had acquit- INEEL 62-1710ted themselves well, and it appearedthat the life-time cost of a nuclearpower plant was lower than that of aconventional plant. But the initial costwas far higher. As it set war-time bud-gets, the Army opted for low first-costalternatives. Economists suggested thatthis was false economy, but the Armycanceled its program in 1965 and neverrestored it. The reactor skid, control rodshields, and other ML-1 parts ended upin the NRTS Burial Ground. 16The remains of the SL-1 building didnot go to the Burial Ground. After aban-doning early thoughts of restoring thebuilding, GE concluded that hauling thecontaminated debris to the BurialINEEL67-25871 5 5'