b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEto the absolute limit of our fiscal capa- restricted to educational, research, and the MTR was surplus even for non-bilities. 14 government functions. Idaho had to pay government research. 18the MTR contractor full costs (whichThe IDO cooperated. Aerojet, the MTR ranged in the multi-millions) and the The fight was over. The MTR teamcontractor, brought the reactor critical AEC would contribute nothing. 1 6 broke up. Dr. Robert Brugger eventual-one more time for forty-eight hours in ly left Idaho to run the nuclear physicsAugust 1970. Governor Samuelson Dr. Libby urged the governor to take program at the University of Missouri,went to observe. The scientists loaded the deal, but Rutledge and the INEC which possessed one of the swimmingthe old machine with a thousand sam- board knew that without commercial pool reactors that had inspired theples of pheasant, fish, grasses, mutton, business, the state and the universities SPERT program. Others remained atbeef, and pork from all around the could not develop an income stream the NRTS, but they had to redirectstate. The publicity was good. The fast enough to make the MTR a going themselves to other work.results were good. The Fish and Game concern. Even maintaining it in a stand-Department decided the mercury prob- by condition would quickly drain Idaho The failure to keep the MTR alive waslem had been localized and temporary. resources. The state was hardly not a failure of heart or drive. TheThe pheasant season opened on sched- wealthy; in 1970, its population base effort to save it was a creative foray toule that fall. 15 was only about 713,000 people. 17 retain a research mission that had madethe NRTS worthy of the name nationalAt last, the AEC offered Governor The last, faint hope for the MTR dis- laboratory, even if the Site did notSamuelson a chance to rent the MTR for solved when the NSF said that reactors possess the name. Money didnt materi-$1 a year. If Idaho didnt want it, the at eastern facilities were sufficient for alize, partly because demand was noAEC would establish a minimum any likely demand. Nuclear research in longer growing as it had earlier; exist-acceptable bid and sell the MTR to the environmental matters, crime abate- ing capacity elsewhere was sufficient.highest commercial bidder. The terms ment, cancer, and biology was not The message from GE had made thiswere difficult. MTR use had to be expected to exceed their capabilities, so clear. National nuclear reactor researchwas beginning to decline, and the lossof the MTR was an early sign of it.Possibly, there was the political realitythat the national power base for basicresearch was vested at the universitiesof Chicago, California, Princeton, andothers. Funds for a new western uni-versity research center would havereduced these universities slices of thebudgetary pie. The NRTS, lacking astrong champion within the AEC, waspoorly equipped to compete with thepolitical delegations of Illinois andAfter the MTR was decommissioned, its floor spacewas available for other uses. This 1982 view showsa mockup of the CPP New Waste Calcining Facility.INEEL 82-17761 9 6'