ID -- EBR-1, the world's first nuclear power plant:
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Description of Pictures: I saw a sign for this on my way through Idaho. The place wasn't opened (the sign said it would open the day after I was there) but I was curious. This information is from their official web site at http://www.anl.gov/OPA/logos20-1/ebr1.htm:
On Dec. 20, 1951, a nuclear reactor produced useful electricity for the first time.
It was barely enough to power a simple string of four, 100-watt light bulbs, but the 16 scientists and engineers - all staff members of Argonne National Laboratory, which designed and built the reactor - recorded their historic achievement by chalking their names on the wall beside the generator.
The reactor was Experimental Breeder Reactor-I (EBR-I), housed in a small building that today still sits alone on a wind-swept plain in southeastern Idaho. EBR-I spawned a huge international industry that now plays a major role in meeting the world's energy needs.
Today, more than 100 nuclear power plants provide 20 percent of the electricity consumed in the United States. More than 435 reactors provide some 17 percent of the world's electricity, and about 65 more plants are under construction around the world.
During its 15-year career, EBR-1 was the site of many historical firsts, and retired Argonne scientist Kirby Whitham was an integral part of several of them.
On that raw December day in 1951, scientists and technicians readied for the first test of the power-generating system. "We got the reactor critical, which was a rather slow process," Whitham said. "Generating steam for the first time was a problem, because we hadn't done it before. Technicians were running everywhere, measuring temperatures and so on.
"It took quite a while to get the turbine up to speed, then we had to load the generator. The generator put out 440 volts, so we used four light bulbs wired in series." ...
EBR-I's primary experimental mission was to develop and test the concept of the breeder reactor -- a vision pursued by Enrico Fermi and his colleague, Walter Zinn, ...More...
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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
Wikipedia Description: Experimental Breeder Reactor I
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-I) is a decommissioned research reactor and U.S. National Historic Landmark located in the desert about 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Arco, Idaho. At 1:50 pm on December 20, 1951, it became the world's first electricity-generating nuclear power plant when it produced sufficient electricity to illuminate four 200-watt light bulbs. It subsequently generated sufficient electricity to power its building, and continued to be used for experimental purposes until it was decommissioned in 1964.
As part of the National Reactor Testing Station (now known as the Idaho National Laboratory), EBR-I's construction started in late 1949. The reactor itself was designed by a team led by Walter Zinn at the Argonne National Laboratory. In its early stages, the reactor plant was referred to as Chicago Pile 4 (CP-4) and Zinn's Infernal Pile. Installation of the reactor at EBR-I took place in early 1951 (the first reactor in Idaho) and it began power operation on August 24, 1951. On December 20 of that year, atomic energy was successfully harvested for the first time. The following day, the reactor produced enough power to light the whole building. The power plant produced 200 kW of electricity out of 1.4 MW of heat generated by the reactor.
The design purpose of EBR-I was not to produce electricity but instead to validate nuclear physics theory which suggested that a breeder reactor should be possible. In 1953, experiments revealed the reactor was producing additional fuel during fission, thus confirming the hypothesis. However, on November 29, 1955, the reactor at EBR-I suffered a partial meltdown during a coolant flow test. The flow test was trying to determine the cause of unexpected reactor responses to changes in coolant flow. It was subsequently repaired for further experiments, which determined that thermal expansion of the fuel rods and the thick plates su ...More...
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2003 photos: Equipment this year: I decided my Epson digital camera wasn't quite enough for what I wanted. Since I already had Compact Flash chips for it, I had to find another camera which used CF chips. That brought me to buy the Fujifilm S602 Zoom in March 2003. A great digital camera, I used it exclusively for an entire year.
Trips this year: Three-week trip this year out west, mostly in Utah.
Number of photos taken this year: 68,000.
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