b'C H A P T E R 18T H E S H A W E F F E CT . . .By June 1965, thirty companies said There was a catch. Aerojet had little test fuel to transient bursts of energy farthey were interested in the $29 million experience in chemistry, an unaccept- surpassing the capability of any previ-contract. The Idaho Falls newspaper able weakness considering the impor- ous reactors.kept track of the titan firms visiting tance of the Chem Plant. The AECthe Site. Ginkel and his staff rented the suggested a shot-gun marriage between The second branch opened up research onElks Club for briefings and conducted Aerojet and one of the other bidders, an altogether new realm of possible acci-Site tours for the visitors. Up for new Allied Chemical. The two companies dents. In 1963 the New Jersey Centralmanagement were all three materials adjusted their bids and created Idaho Power and Light Company said it wouldtesting reactors (MTR, ETR, ATR), Nuclear Corporation (INC), with an build a 515-megawatt nuclear powertheir supporting engineering groups and understanding that Allied expertise plant because this was cheaper than allzero-power reactors, the Chem Plant, would manage the Chem Plant. Allied the other options, including coal. Generalthe Hot Shop and other TAN facilities, held a minority interest in the company Electric would build the plant for a fixedmost of the site-wide craft and other (Phillips continued to manage the STEP price and hand it over to the utility toservicesand 1,800 people ranging program as an independent contractor). operate. This turnkey contractandfrom bus drivers to scientists. The deal, Dr. Charles H. Trent from Aerojet others that followedsignaled that GEas usual, would be cost plus fixed fee. 8 became president and Bion Philipson and its chief competitor, We s tin g h o us e , his deputy. The new regime began on were ready to go commercial. The twoThe AEC liked the Aerojet General July 1, 1966. 10 companies scaled up the power plants toCorporation. The company, which had higher and higher power levels, eachbeen founded in 1942 to design and The change jolted Phillips employees, aiming to become market leader. Wi thi n build rocket engines, had managed a some of whom had been part of the another two years, they were designing project for the AEC and NASAin Phillips family for most of their careers.Nevada called NERVA, a joint effort to Suddenly, we were like an arm grafteddevelop a nuclear-powered rocket. The onto a new body, observed one of AEC liked Ae oj e them. Gradually, they adapted, althoughr t s disciplinedapproach to engineering and quality, Aerojet never re-created the Phillipswhich Aerojet.had developed in its style of benign paternalism. The FrankSpace Program operations. Aerojet also Phillips Mens Club and the Janehad the right kind of ambitions. It want- Phillips Sorority disappeared. 11ed to become a major nuclear player andhad entered the field of commercial gas- Shaw soon felt compelled by the rapidcooled reactors. Managing the NRTSonset of the commercial power industrywould give its people the experience and to reorganize the safety test programcompetencies necessary to make the (STEP) for water-moderated reactors.grade. A e roe t s proposal was managed The STEP program had progressed farjby Allan C. Johnson, who, after his post- beyond the NASAtests studying theSL-1 departure from the NRTS, had impact of ocean crashes on reactorslanded on his feet at Aerojet. As assis- launched into space. The program nowtant to A e r o j e t s chairman, he and J. involved two main branches. One wasBion Philipson, an NRTS pioneer then to continue exploring reactor excur-also with Aerojet, led the company to sions. The SPERT IV facility would bethe winners box. 9 supplanted by a much larger and moresophisticated reactor called the Power INEEL 72-2662Burst Facility (PBF). It would subject Loading fuel into PBF reactor, 1972.1 7 7'