15 1955 First City Lit by Atomic Power The Boiling Water Reactor experiments had their most public moment on July 17, 1955. Around midnight, BORAX-III, which had been connected to a 2,000-kilowatt turbine/ generator, produced enough power to light the nearby city of Arco as well as the BORAX Test Facility and the NRTS Central Facilities Area. On Aug. 12, officials announced the accomplishment at the UN’s first International Conference on Atomic Energy in Geneva, Switzerland.The Soviet Union, undoubtedly feeling upstaged, asserted that it hadn’t happened. Since then, Arco has proudly claimed the title of “First City Lit By Atomic Power.” “ It was trouble with a transmission line that caused the lighting of Arco to be delayed about two days. We also lost about as much sleep. Engineers blew out several lines before successfully lighting the town.” — Ray Haroldsen, Argonne electrical engineer