Proving the Principle

A History of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory

75th anniversary gold badge

Proving the Principle

A History of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory

75th anniversary gold badge

Author Susan M. Stacy’s “Proving the Principle” offered an impeccably sourced and masterfully written history of Idaho National Laboratory’s first 50 years when it was published in 1999. Twenty-five years later, it remains invaluable to those seeking to learn about the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, its National Reactor Testing Station (NRTS) in Idaho, and the men and women who accomplished so much working there.

cover of proving the principle

Proving the Principle

pages 1 – 26

Shoshone and Bannock encampment near Pocatello, Idaho

Chapter One

Aviator's Cave

The battleship USS Missouri wears out the linings in its guns.

Chapter Two

The Naval Proving Ground

Chapter Three

The Uranium Trail Leads to Idaho

E.F. McDermott, Mayor Tom Sutton and Bill Holden

Chapter Four

The Party Plan

The excavation for EBR-1 began in 1949

Chapter Five

Inventing the Testing Station

Installing the reactor vessel into EBR-1

Chapter Six

Neutrons: Fast Flux, High Flux and Rickover's Flux

A portal personnel radiation monitor.

Chapter Seven

Safety Inside and Outside
the Fences

1951, EBR-I male personnel chalked their names on the wall

Chapter Eight

The Reactor Zoo Goes Critical

2 workers wearing anti-contamination clothing

Chapter Nine

Hot Stuff

ECF railcar defueling station.

Chapter Ten

Cores and Competencies

Chem Plant technician demonstrates use of master-slave manipulator.

Chapter Eleven

The Chem Plant

President Dwight D. Eisenhower before the General Assembly of the United Nations delivering his address on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, New York City, December 8, 1953.

Chapter Twelve

Reactors Beget Reactors

Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion crew poses in front of Heat Transfer Reactor Experiment No. 1

Chapter Thirteen

The Triumph of Political Gravity Over Nuclear Flight

Argonne-West. EBR-II containment dome is to the right of the Fuel Cycle Facility. Middle Butte is on horizon.

Chapter Fourteen

Imagining the Worst

Pressure vessel for Stationary Low-Power Reactor has been placed during construction. Steel plate is going up around the reactor building. Circa 1958.

Chapter Fifteen

The SL-1 Reactor

Removal of the SL-1 core from the reactor building.

Chapter Sixteen

The Aftermath

The Advanced Test Reactor Critical Facility reactor and bridge with instrument panels in background.

Chapter Seventeen

Science in the Desert

Loss of Fluid Test Facility tunnel entrance

Chapter Eighteen

The Shaw Effect...

Nuclear energy exhibit attracts Idaho Falls visitors in 1969.

Chapter Nineteen

...And the Idaho Boost

President Johnson affixes landmark plaque inside EBR-I.

Chapter Twenty

A Question of Mission

Researchers from University of Idaho examine young trees grown using thermally warm Chem Plant water.

Chapter Twenty-One

By the End of this Decade

The Raft River Pilot Plant at night.

Chapter Twenty-Two

Jumping the Fence

Chapter Twenty-Three

The Endowment of Uranium

Chapter Twenty-Four

The Uranium Trail Fades

Laser research at the INEEL Research Center.

Chapter Twenty-Five

Mission: Future

Proving the principle appendices


pages 257 – 335

Idaho National Laboratory