b'C H A P T E R 17S C I E N C E I N T H E D E S E R TOne project that shut down in 1963 was could operate at low pressures, signifi- advanced features. By December 1962,the Organic Moderated Reactor cantly reducing the risk of leaking. 14the facility was nearly complete. ThenExperiment (OMRE). The art of the AEC canceled the program, decid-diphenyl isomers had advanced since A California company, Atomics ing the concept could not improve onArgInternational (AI), had proposed and the performance of breeder or water-o nne s tar-making days, and thislow-cost experiment ($1.8 million) had co-financed OMRE, the first such part- cooled reactors. The EOCR was neverused something called Santowax-R as nership between the AEC and the pri- loaded with fuel and never went criti-the coolant. The reactor operated for six vate sector at the NRTS. The HPs often cal. The building was recycled for stor-years, proved itself with a succession of recalled the California roots of the reac- age and office space until the 1980sdifferent cores, and served its purpose. tor because some of the process gauges brought another recycle as a trainingThe advantage of the waxy substance were located outside the building. To center for the Sites security forces. 16was that it liquefied at high temperatures examine them on a typical Idaho winterbut didnt corrode metal as water did. It day required bundling up for the cold. 15 Nevertheless, the concept had onechance elsewhere in the United States.The AEC decided to refine the OMRE The town of Piqua, Ohio, had respond-concept and scale it up. The ed to AECs Power DemonstrationExperimental Organic Cooled Reactor Reactor Program and applied for a pro-(EOCR) went up next door, equipped ject. Its 11.4-megawatt reactor had beenwith special testing loops and other modeled after the OMRE and went crit-ical in 1963. The town had to shut itdown three years later when wax builtup in the reactor core, making it hard toLeft. EOCR reactor facility in 1978. Below left. OMRE maintain and operate. Irradiation hadas it looked in 1978 prior to demolition. This was changed some of the wax, which melt-the first demolition as part of the official ed at higher temperatures. 17decontamination and decommissioning (D&D)program initiated by EG&G Idaho. Scientistsresearched D&D methods, tools, and procedures.Below right. OMRE area in 1980 after D&D.INEEL 78-3866INEEL 78-1697 INEEL 80-50163'