This photograph shows the loading operations prior to initial startup of the HWCTR. The operation of a special tool for removing fuel housing tubes is being observed. Actual loading and unloading of fuel are accomplished by the refueling machine in the background. Radioactive fuel elements can be safely transported to a water filled storage pit within the lead shielded cylinder rising from the mechanical drive platform. Installation of the 24 fuel assembles was accomplished on March 1st and the reactor attained criticality on March 3, 1962.
Building in the background (left) is a Separations Facility at the Savannah River Plant. Chemical processing of uranium slugs takes place in this facility after the uranium has been brought from the plant reactors. In the foreground are huge concrete encased steel tanks which provide containment for radioactive by products (radioactive wastes). Only the vents can be seen since the tanks have been backfilled and covered with dirt.
The Hanford construction camp which housed 45,000 construction workers. In addition, residents of a trailer village expanded the total to 52,000 people. Project offices of the U.S. Corp of Engineers and DuPont are shown in the foreground.
Midway during construction, huge structures for manufacturing plutonium had begun to rise. Thousands of DuPont men and women had a hand in the company's largest single war undertaking. The construction force along reached a peak of 45,000 in June 1944.
This is the manufacturing (reactor) unit at the Savannah River Plant. Plutonium produced in SRP reactors in the interest of national security also has potential use as a fuel for use in power reactors to generate electric energy.