b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEnecessary to survey the desert before monitoring equipment, X-ray film, andO ne method that Phillips used to the first reactor went critical and estab- instruments to record the amount ofpromote a family feeling among lish a baseline for future comparisons. radiation in the air.employees was to sponsor intra- The Branch asked biophysicists andmural athletic competitions. The biologists from Hanford, who had done With the help of IDO and USGSAugust 1960 issue of the Phillips a similar survey at that site, for help. 12 employees, samples came from loca-Philtronreports the current progress tions far beyond the boundaries of theof the teams. Ateam from Hanfords Radiological testing station. Air samples came fromN R TS I N T RA M U RA L S O FT B A L L L EA G U E Sciences Department went to the Rogers Dubois, sixty miles away, as well asHotel in May 1950 to work out the from the EBR- and MTR- constructionS T A N D I N GS AS O F A U G U S T 1 9 6 0 details of the survey. As yet, the NRT S sites. Water samples came from everyWon Lost Pct. had no laboratories, so samples had to well at the Site and from wells ingo to Hanford for analysis. In the next Pocatello, Blackfoot, Atomic City, andMTR Robins 10 1 .910 few months, a truck was sent from Idaho Idaho Falls; from wells at farm homesCF Canaries 8 3 .728 to Hanford every two weeks loaded with between the Site and the Snake River;MTR Pelicans 6 5 .700 tapes of data, vials of water, and card- and from the Thousand Springs gushingCPP Eagles 6 5 .546 board ice-cream cartons filled with plant from vertical lava-rock walls into theETR Seagulls 4 6 .400 and animal samples. Snake River Canyon down-gradientSPERT Bluejays 3 7 .300 more than a hundred miles away.Hdqrts. Cardinals 3 7 .222 The scientists in charge handed severalCPP Orioles 1 9 .100 students from Idaho State College at The Hanford laboratories counted andPocatello excellent summer jobs col- dissected and measured. Sampling con-lecting samples and classifying plant tinued from May to November becauseAs the contractor for the MTR, Phillips and animal species populating the site. of the cyclic presence of some isotopes.was responsible for hazard management They adapted one of the Navys white The findings were published in a reportand safety operations within the fence clapboard houses as a field station, and much consulted in succeeding years. 13of the MTR complex. Outside the students were seen all summer enteringfence, the IDO took over. Bill Johnston with armloads of sagebrush and other The first increase in the level of back-had decided early that safety outside plants. The little kitchen now contained ground radiation at the Site came notthe contractor fences would be a direct autoclaves and other lab-like gadgetry from NRTS experiments but from theIDO responsibility. Safety, assigned to used to prepare samples. The refrigera- detonations of nuclear weapon tests atthe Health and Safety Branch, was a tor held packets of animal parts await- the AECs new Nevada Test Site inbroad concept and included employee ing the next truck to Hanford. 1951. The NRTS and other air monitor-health, operational safety, radiological ing stations in southern Idaho detectedprotection, and environmental protec- The samples came from 107 plots of the fallout from these tests. One secrettion.ground, staked at intervals of a quarter Nevada test generated readings so highof a mile in two perpendicular transects at the Idaho Falls airport that an airportOne of the first tasks of the Health and across the testing station. In the official, as yet unaware of the test,Safety Branch was to discover the pre- kitchen, the students weighed out a decided that the detection equipmentreactor level of background radioactivi- twenty-gram specimen of each plant, was malfunctioning. On another occa-ty in the Sites environment. The put it into a fresh carton, daubed it with sion, a truck loaded with spent fueloperation of reactors and the Chem a drop or two of formaldehyde, and from Hanford was headed for thePlant would certainly release radioac- labeled the carton. Elsewhere in the NRTS and passed through a rainstormtivity into the air, soil, and water. It was house were stores of air filters, air- between Boise and Twin Falls. The rain5 8'