Site of SL-1 fatal nuclear reactor accident

Site of SL-1 fatal nuclear reactor accident (Google Maps)
No Thumbnail
No Thumbnail
Google Maps Google Maps Bing Maps Bing Maps Yahoo Maps Yahoo Maps
View in Google Earth
By kjfitz @ 2006-04-03 17:45:00
The SL-1, the Stationary Low-Power Reactor Number One, was a U.S. experimental military nuclear power reactor. It was destroyed in the first nuclear power plant accident in the United States. Part of the Army Nuclear Power Program, during design and build it was called the Argonne Low Power Reactor (ALPR). It was intended to provide electrical power and heat for small, remote military facilities, such as radar sites near the Arctic Circle, and those in the DEW Line. The design power was 3 megawatts (thermal). Operating power was 200 kW electrical, 400 kW thermal, for space heating. For testing it was located approximately forty miles (60 km) west of Idaho Falls, Idaho, in the National Reactor Testing Station.

On December 21, 1960, the reactor was shut down for maintenance, calibration of the instruments, installation of auxiliary instruments, and installation of 44 flux wires to monitor the neutron flux levels in the reactor core. The wires were made of aluminium, and contained slugs of aluminium-cobalt alloy.

At 9:01 pm on January 3, 1961, after a shutdown of eleven days for the holidays, and during maintenance procedures, the SL-1 went prompt critical. In four milliseconds, the heat generated by the resulting enormous power surge caused water surrounding the core to begin to explosively vaporize. The water vapor caused a pressure wave to strike the top of the reactor vessel. This propelled the control rod and the entire reactor vessel upwards, which killed the operator who had been standing on top of the vessel, leaving him pinned to the ceiling. The other two military personnel, a supervisor and a trainee, were also killed. The victims were Army specialists John Byrnes and Richard McKinley and Navy Electrician's Mate Richard Legg.
Views by date
Rate as 1Rate as 2Rate as 3Rate as 4Rate as 5Rate as 6Rate as 7Rate as 8Rate as 9Rate as 10
5.8 (4 votes)



Please log in if you don't want to post anonymously (anonymous users cannot post links)

Please enable images and enter code to post
Nearby maps
SL-1 Debris Cleanup Site
Atomic Motor Raceway
Atomic City
Advanced Test Reactor
Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory
EBR-1 - The first breeder reactor
Materials and Fuels Complex, Idaho National Laboratory
Naval Reactors & Expended Core Facility
Snake River Speedway (abandoned)
Idaho National Labs Test Area North
Pickle's Place
Conning tower from the USS Hawkbill (SSN 666)
Similar maps
'Into the Wild' - location of the abandoned bus
1947 Roswell Crash Site; UFO
Alma tunnel where Lady Diana died
Site of Hitler's Berghof
AA Flight 191 crash site
World Trade Center Site
Former Nazi German Concentration Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau
Wreck of the Battleship USS Utah (BB-31) sunk during attack on Pearl Harbor
Princess Grace of Monaco accident site
Chernobyl Power Plant
Flight 93 Crash Site
Café Van Gogh