Our modern LWR reactors descend in direct lineage from Admiral Rickover’s submarine reactors. Few people realize that much of the original engineering and research work sprang from Walter Zinn’s Argonne laboratory. That is no accident. Rickover loathed the scientists and Westinghouse, the industrial powerhouse who took the design to world prominence, had a strong interest in cementing its credentials up front.
By the end of 1954, Argonne had been shoved aside and Louis Roddis, one of Rickover’s men, and John Simpson, an up-and-coming Westinghouse engineer, presented a paper on the nuclear sub reactor to the annual meeting of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. These are the only three mentions of Argonne’s role in the entire 25 pages of the paper!