b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLECharts went up on the wall of the reactor Then the control for one of the steam The success of the S1W led to thecontrol room for plotting a 2,500-mile generators failed, causing the water level launch of USS Nautiluson January 21,route from Nova Scotia to Ireland, and to drop and the reactor power level to 1954, five years after design had start-the Navy men who happened to be there become erratic. Debate about shut-down ed. The Navy was proud of its innova-for training began four-hour watches. became more heated. The crew reduced tion, and the public eagerly consumedFor sixty hours, the run went well. Ththe power level to half and restored the news of its many firsts. One of theme na condenser tube began to leak, and radi- water level. In the end, the reactor occurred in 1958 when the submarineation was soon detected near it. Next a crossed the Atlantic in ninety-six became the first to travel beneath thesteam generator sprung a few small hours, but not entirely at full power. T heice at the North Pole. After the ships leaks. The Westinghouse people argue d crew had resourcefully fixed emerg i n g celebrated return, skipper Williamamong themselves: should they shut problems and kept the reactor running. Anderson sent a telegram to Idaho, pay-down the reactor? Given the location of Had there been an accident, the nuclear ing tribute to those who had engineeredthe leaks, neither public nor personnel navy might have become a political the S1W prototype.safety was at stake. The run continued. 17i m p o ss i b i l i t y. 18. during NautilusNorth Pole sub -But there was no accident, and there merged transit from Pacific to Atlanticwould be none. Rickover was well the performance of our engineeringaware of the engineering work yet to be plant exceeded all expectations. To thedone. We are having trouble with first manufacturer of naval nuclearvalves and with controls, he wrote propulsion our sincere thanks for pro -soon after the run, but we are solving viding the plant that made possible thisevery one of them, and as fast as we first transpolar crossing.20learn anything that needs modification,we are incorporating it into the In the roster of reactor conceptsNautilus. 19 proved for the first time at the NRTS,the S1W was the first to use waterunder high pressure as a coolant.Department of the Navy, Submarine Force Museum Because it succeeded so well, Rickoverand the AEC chose the same technolo-gy to demonstrate that the conceptcould support a civilian power industry.In December 1957, the ShippingportAtomic Power Station went critical inPennsylvania, operated by theDuquesne Light Company. Rickoverinvested in it the same attention todetail he had with the submarine. Heobliged the company to allow his ownrepresentative access to the controlroom at any time with full authority toAbove. The launching of USS Nautilus, January1954. Left. USS Nautilus at sea and at speed.Naval Reactor Facilities7 2'