Just before Walter Zinn, the creator and reactor-meister of Argonne, left for the private sector in 1956, his most treasured experimental reactor, EBR-I (a breeder), melted down on a remote Idaho reservation. Zinn had forewarned the Atomic Energy Commission that this might happen, because he was running a final, risky test on it. Afterwards, analysis of debris helped establish an important. . .
One of the most remarkable historical records of the Twentieth Century is the seven published journals (so entertaining, insightful, and elegantly written!) of David Lilienthal, often described as an architect (among many) of Roosevelt’s New Deal. He was the first chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, from late 1946, and although he only served in that post for just over three years. . .
Functionaries—office bearers in state institutions or corporations—often disappear in histories, overwhelmed by more prominent actors. The second American utility to sign a hefty contract for a nuclear power plant, Commonwealth Edison (headquartered in Chicago) has left little trace on why it did so in 1955. It seems I could examine its annual reports over the late 1950s in the Library of. . .