Tuesday, 20 December 2011

60 years since the world’s first nuclear reactor powered four light bulbs

60 years ago, on December 20, 1951, the world’s first nuclear reactor generated electricity to power four light bulbs! This is a nice write up about the history and the future of nuclear energy: http://energy.gov/articles/60-years-nuclear-turned-lights "At 1:23pm on December 20, 1951, Argonne National Laboratory director Walter Zinn scribbled into his log book, “Electricity flows from atomic energy. Rough estimate indicates 45 kw.” At that moment, scientists from Argonne and the National Reactor Testing Station, the forerunner to today's Idaho National Laboratory, watched four light bulbs glow, powered by the world’s first nuclear reactor to generate electricity.
Fifteen years later, in Arco, Idaho, President Johnson stood at this same site and designated the reactor a national historic landmark. He said, “We have moved far to tame for peaceful uses the mighty forces unloosed when the atom was split. And we have only just begun. What happened here merely raised the curtain on a very promising drama in our long journey for a better life.”" also see http://www.inl.gov/ebr/ for more info on this first reactor EBR-1... 
also for a video tour of this reactor see: http://www.inl.gov/research/experimental-breeder-reactor-1/

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