b'C HAPTER N INE TEEN. . . A N D T H E I D A H O B OOST There can be a great future for the state in atomic energy development.Idaho Governor Don Samuelson, 1967M ilton Shaw and The AEC and the JCAE were in a posi- Ideas about the worlds reserves of ura-tion, therefore, in 1964 to make a con- nium were still driving reactor develop-cession to the coal industry while at the ment ideas. The global wave of newthe AEC canceled Argoe s FA R E T same time advancing to the next level of nuclear power plants would consumenn r ea c tor. Never mind that Congress had the nuclear future, which was to bring more and more uranium, probably authorized the funds. Times had liquid-metal-cooled fast-breeder reactors depleting it if the demand for energychanged. Old breeder plans were not the to the commercial market. It could con- continued to grow. Water-moderatedright breeder plans. Atoms for peace had clude research on water-cooled concepts. reactors used uranium extremely ineff i-become a fact. Between c i e n t l y. Of the uranium1965 and 1970, utility in a reactor core, a typi-companies in the United cal commercial reactorStates ordered a hundred burned about one per-nuclear power plantsall cent, perhaps a littleof them moderated and more. The rest of thecooled by water. Shaw uraniumthe unfis-and the others felt that the sioned U-235 and the U-torch had passed to indus- 238could be recycledt r y, and water- m oder a t e d at great expense or dis-reactors should no longer carded as a contaminatedrequire federally subsi- waste. A b r e edre , on thedized research. 1 other hand, could pro-duce something valu-The national coal lobby a b l ep l u t o n i u mhad objected for years fuelout of U-238 andthat Congress subsidized thus convert it into annuclear power. Congress e n e rgy source. T h ewas unfair, it said, to dis- U.S. Department of Energy 66-7696 breeder could use nearlyplace coal plants by financing the Glenn Seaborg holding the first tiny sample of the a l l of the uranium. Besides, breedersresearch that would make commercial fissionable form of the nuclear fuel plutonium-239. had the potential of burning up a highernuclear power possible. The lobby had This sample is now at the Smithsonian Institution in percentage of the fuel to begin with. 3protested the AECs reactor demonstra- Washington, D.C.tion program. It objected to federal Therefore, Shaw and the AEC shiftedinsurance subsidies for utility compa- their resources to the breeder. Glennnies in the event of a nuclear accident. 2 Seaborg, a Nobel laureate chemist who1 8 4'