Thursday, August 6, 2015


We like to stop at curious places we happen to see along the way.  Like a nuclear power plant that has tours!  OK, this one is actually a historical site, not a working reactor.  Pretty neat, in fact.  After visiting the Los Alamos and Oakridge labs, it was nice to see some atomic work being done to produce useful power instead of trying to destroy things.

Entrance to the lab:

One point of pause:

An old-time TV showing 1950's video from the lab:

Hey, I know IEEE:

Looks like a movie set, but this is the actual control room:

Love the hand-created graphs:

Achieving electricity generation from the nuclear reactor in the 1950's.  They used liquid metal for heat transfer, apparently much safer (self shutting-down) compared to water-cooled.  They claim that liquid metal would have prevented several large-scale nuclear disasters around the world.  I'd like to know more about this idea and why it's not being used.

The core from the test system:

First electricity generated!  4 light bulbs (or replicas, at least):

I thought this was funny:

Now these manipulators we were allowed to play with.  John picked it up quickly, figuring out how to move objects around using the remote arm:

A bit of unexpected scientific education in the middle of the Idaho desert.

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