Saturday, May 20, 2023

My Dad at INL in 1961 and the SL-1 disaster

 I picked up a pamphlet at an Idaho rest stop on the way to Pocatello, Idaho.  It was entitled, "EBR-1 - The Birthplace of Nuclear Power".

EBR-I is part of INL and so the pamphlet caught my attention as I didn't know there were any museums there.  I have often heard of INL, Idaho National Labratory, as it plays a part in my parents meeting and getting married.

I showed the pamphlet to my Uncle who I was staying with and he offered me a book he had entitled, "Idaho Falls: The Untold Story of America’s First Nuclear Accident".  It is about the SL-1 incident at INL the first American nuclear reactor disaster.  Three men perished in the incident.

I found the book quite interesting and quickly read through it.  I would recommend the book.

A couple things about the accident rang a bell with me, the location and the year.  The accident happened on January 3, 1961 at INL.  My father received US navy nuclear reactor operator training at INL in 1961.  My parents met due to my father being there for this training and they were married in 1961 in the area.  It is likely my Dad was there when the incident happened or shortly after and would have known about it as much as anyone else at INL would have known about it who was not directly involved.