b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEAt Test Area North, things were hap- tion levels that might be released in My job was to measure the temperaturepening at the old ANP facilities. A new such an accident. The NRTS had simu- of the fireball if one should occur. I hadseries of reactors was going critical lated submarines in the ocean, so it was a little hoghouse, a triangular structureand destructive tests taking place as no problem simulating a rocket crash in set up at the ANPcoupling station nearscheduled. The National Aeronautics the ocean. The action on April 1, 1964, the test. We had to worry about neu -and Space Administration (NASA) was was at TAN. Richard Meservey, in trons coming out and destroying thesending satellites into orbit and imagin- charge of instrumentation, recalled: 19 instruments, so we set up paraffin anding future space exploration. It wanted cadmium shielding to thermalize theto know if nuclear reactors might pro- They took an old A N Pdouble-wide rail neutrons, and lead to stop the gammaduce electricity for heat and experi- c a r, put a huge tank on it and filled it radiation.ments on space missions. Solar cells with water. The tank had a plexiglassand chemical batteries were useful for sleeve in the center to exclude water. A fireball did develop and blew theshort missions, but for longer ventures, The reactor was placed in the center ofreactor all over the area. We used athese methods were either too low- that plexiglass sleeve. When they werefront surface mirror so that the directpower or too heavy. Reactors might ready to run the test, they used explo - radiation would not destroy theoptimize long life and light weight. Its sives to drive the plexiglass sleeve awayinfrared temperature detectors. Thedevelopment program was called so water could rush in on the re a c t o r. detectors looked at the fireball viaSystems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power, That simulated crashing into the ocean.the mirror from behind the shielding.SNAP. 18 We knew wed lose all the thermocou -ples in the fireball, so we used an opti -NASAplanned to launch its first reac- cal pyrometer to measure the heat. Ittor into space in 1965 with an Atlas- worked well.20Agena rocket. But first, it had toconsider the consequences of potential The program tested three SNAP reac-accidents. A rocket might fail, for tors to destruction. HPs went on theexample, and the payloadreactor road once more, tracing small puffs ofincludedplunge into the ocean. radioactive iodine. Photographers cap-NASAasked Phillips, which was con- tured the most informative views of theducting a safety program called SafetyTest Engineering Program (STEP), totest a mock-up of the reactor, named Left. The ANPs shielded locomotive was recycled forSNAP-10A, and determine the radia- use with SNAP transient experiments at TAN.Below.INEEL 63-5838 SNAPTRAN-3 destructive experiment, April 1, 1964.INEEL 64-3600 INEEL 64-3605 INEEL 64-360616 4'