b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEThe Semiscale heat source was electri- using computer models. Therefore, the For all of the delays, Shaw had blamedcal but created the same high tempera- testing program at the LOFT reactor in Phillips. Idaho scientists resented thistures as a reactor. Between November Idaho should verify the accuracy of the unfairness. Shaw himself had authored1970 and March 1971, a series of tests codes. With reliable codes, the regula- the delay. The quality-oriented delaysdemonstratedunexpectedlythat tors could confidently evaluate pro- were particularly irritating. Why shouldafter certain accidents, steam pressure posed power plant design proposals. 28 standards that would protect the crewin the coolant pipes prevented any of a submarine apply to short-termemergency water at all from gaining For the LOFT team, it was like starting experiments in a remote, isolatedaccess to the core. If this was a picture ov r desert? But the conditions of work ate . Reorienting the project took timeof what might happen in a large reactor, and required more money. The reactor the NRTS had changed. Scientiststhe problem was serious indeed. The needed more elaborate piping and instru- began torealize that the early tradi-margins of safety that had previously mentationall quality assured. The pro- tions were giving way. The outcome ofbeen assumed for commercial emer- ject slipped its schedule repeatedly. T hethe LOFT struggles showed that theygency core cooling systems would have completion date moved out to 1971, were losing their early freedom toto be revised downward. 26 then 1972, 1973, and beyond. Phillips, define their own research problems. 3 0and then Aerojet, could not get fabrica-The findings provoked the AEC to hold tors to supply the major primary pump In 1971 when it was time for the IDO tohearings on the matter. Semiscale scien- and heat exchangers on schedule. Thnegotiate anew operating contract,etists from Idaho traveled to Washington standards were set so high that vendors Aerojet took over completely, subcon-to explain their findings before people refused to bid on the secondary coolant tracting with Allied to run the Chemwho were reluctant to believe that the pump. Code specifications for piping Plant and assuming the STEP pr o gr a mSemiscale results could be extrapolated and steam generators changed, and this from Phillips. The name changed fromto large reactors. Nevertheless, Idaho caused more delays. Construction haltedresearch was solid and persuasive.The completely from May 1968 to October An artists view of LOFT circa 1964 shows reactorAEC adopted a set of requirements 1929inside domed containment building.7 0 .more conservative than had been thecase before. They were InterimAcceptance Criteria, a set of safetyrequirements that a utility company hadto meet in order to obtain a licensefrom the AEC. The Criteria went intoeffect immediately, without the custom-ary time elapsing for further comment.NRTS work thus had an impact onsafety requirements for commercialreactors. 27Milton Shaw finally decided how hewanted to redirect the LOFT program.The AEC regulators needed to examineplans for emergency cooling systems,predict their performance in an acci-dent, and then decide whether or not toapprove the plans. With such complexsystems as a nuclear reactor, they wereINEEL 64-64611 8 2'