Vindy.com, the web site of The Vindicator from Youngstown, Ohio, published an article titled Nuclear plant reaches age 50 on Sunday December 16, 2007. I am glad that the publishers gave me two days warning for the actual anniversary date when the reactor first produced grid power of December 18, 2007.
It will give me some time to do some more research and perhaps even produce an anniversary episode of The Atomic Show Podcast. In my opinion, the Shippingport story is one that is worth repeating and understanding. In the few minutes since I first read the Vindy.com article, I have found several good sources already that I will share with you once I have a chance to digest their contents.
In the meantime, if there happen to be any Atomic Insights readers who were involved in the project, or if you know anyone who was there, please get in touch with me (rod_adams(at symbol)atomicinsights.com) as quickly as possible. I am going to try and put something together before Tuesday as a way to help the world remember that it was once possible in the United States to build a good sized nuclear plant from scratch in about 3 years.
One final thought before I go off to do some more research and reading – the vindy.com headline is a bit misleading for a rather sad reason. The Shippingport SITE may be celebrating a 50th anniversary, but the original plant is nowhere to be found. In our haste to figure out what to do with nuclear power plants that may have used up their initial design life, the pioneering Shippingport reactor was destroyed twenty years ago and its site turned back into a greenfield. I personally believe that was a bit hasty – it could have made a great museum and educational site where young people could learn just how simple and safe a PWR can be.