Nuclear Energy – The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

“In a vast, seven-story hole in the ground 43 miles west of Pittsburgh, massive sections of steel plate are being welded together to form gigantic cylinders. Heavy pipes for carrying superhot radioactive water are being run between the cylinders. Thousands of cubic yards of concrete are being poured to make five-foot walls around the cylinders. These great steel vessels – the largest of them capable of holding three 10-room houses plus their lawns – will contain the vital organs of America’s first full-scale atomic reactor for producing electric power.” – Popular Science, September 1956 It’s rather impressive to imagine that, exactly 60 years ago this month, this excerpt was published in Popular Science magazine.   Fifteen months later, on December 2nd, 1957, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station reactor reached criticality and began producing power to the distribution grid of the Duquesne Light Company. Located about twenty-five miles outside of Pittsburgh (yes, Pittsburgh has grown somewhat since that article was published back in the 1950’s) the Shippingport Atomic Power Station was the world’s first full-scale atomic electric power plant devoted exclusively for non-military use, and over its 25-year life the plant operated for roughly 80,000 hours and produced over 7 billion kilowatt-hours
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Nuclear Energy – The Best of Times, The Worst of Times appeared first on CTRM Center.