b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEas part of the Manhattan Project had Shaw felt that the breeder programmade the worlds first plutonium, needed a large test reactor. Goals forbecame chairman of the AEC in 1961. testing fuel and components had to beSeaborg was completely committed to aggressive if the breeder was to make itthe plutonium economy of the breed- to the commercial market. The FARETer reactor. He told President Kennedy reactor was too small, the Argonne pro-in 1962 that the way for the United gram too unambitious. Instead, heStates to maintain nuclear reactor tech- chose Hanford to design a new reactor,nological preeminence in the world was named the Fast-Flux Test Facilityto perfect the breeder reactor as a safe (FFTF). The open conflict betweenand commercially viable source of Shaw and Crewe didnt help Argonne.energy. He even suggested that plutoni- In view of Crewes public antipathy forum would eventually replace gold as Shaw, the new reactor wasnt going tothe standard of the monetary system. 4 Argonne. Still, even if Hanforddesigned it, Argonne assumed the FFTF Argonne National Laboratory-West 7330Washington politics favored the AECs could still be built in Idaho. 7 Above. Original exterior of TREAT reactor building.new focus on the breeder. But many Below. Perspective drawing of the TREAT reactor.safety and engineering questions still The technical issue appeared to be theremained to be solved if breeder reac- type of fuel planned for each reactor.tors were to scale-up to commercial Argonnes efforts with EBR-II fuel toproportions. Physics and chemistry date had been to improve uranium-questions remained. As a more distantachievement, therefore, the breeder rep-resented less of a threat to the coalindustry and their opposition evaporat-ed. The breeder research programwould take many more years. 5Shaw spent 1965 considering how bestto redirect the AEC s breeder programand then decided, with AEC approval, tomanage it directly from his own offi c e . This arrangement was a departure fromthe AECs more typical assignment of contractor management to its fieldof fices. Shaws critics, among themAlbert Crewe, the director of Arg o nneNational Laboratory, publicly challengedSha w s cult of perfection in experi-mental work. If research methods livedwith the safety requirements for nuclearsubmarines, he said, so little would beaccomplished that Europe would takethe lead in breeder technology. 6Argonne National Laboratory-West Report ANL-60341 8 6'