b'C HAPTER S IXN E U T R O N S : F AS T F LU X , H I G H F LU XA N D R ICKOVERF LU XSPile research is not for usums, Fa la.Leave it for our Argonne cousins, Fa la.Engineering is for usums, Fa la.Were a bunch of dirty peons. Fa la. Ditty sung by Oak Ridge physicists to the tune of Deck the Halls, Christmas 1947A s director of the often a move closer to finding a better one.Argonne Lab in Chicago, Walter Zinn A reactor is a machine that producesran weekly seminars for his scientists, neutrons and makes heat. In reactorassigning topics such as, If you were design, much depends on just what kindgoing to cool a reactor with an organic of workor researchthe neutrons andsubstance, what substance would you heat are expected to do. The first threeuse? It wasnt academic; Zinn was reactors at the NRTS each emphasized alooking for real answers. Reactor di f ferent kind of work. The Navy wanteddesigners in the late 1940s all had more to make heat. Walter Zinn and the incipi-questions than answers. ent nuclear power industry wanted tomake heat and new fuel at the sameA few years later, Zinns staff had an time. Just about everyone wanted toopportunity to run an experiment sub- U.S. Department of Energy 201-23 bombard something with neutrons.jecting a certain promising organicWalter Zinn(a diphenyl) to irradiation to see what And everyone was impatient. After AEC would happen. They noticed right away you had a ship reactor using this partic- Headquarters finally made firm decisionsthat the material started to break down. ular material as a coolant, you couldnt about what reactors would go to Idaho,The hydrogen in the compound turned put enough barges behind the ship to the IDO was ready. Infrastructure plan-into a gas and formed little bubbles, tow away the tar. 1 ning was under control, and Johnstonseach of which stole neutrons and made group was ready with management pro-it harder for the reactor to continue its The experiment ruled out one option cedures that would govern the testingchain reaction. Then the stuff turned for cooling a reactor. Therefore, the sci- station. Unlike the field offices for otherfrom its original clear liquid into some- entists chalked it up as a success. In AEC facilities, where operations werething gummy and black. Conclusion: if science, identifying a weak idea is under the guiding vision of one contrac-4 4'