1951 EBR-I Generates Light from Nuclear Energy On Dec. 20, 1951, Experimental Breeder Reactor No. 1 produced enough electricity to power four light bulbs. 1952 MaterialsTesting Reactor The second reactor built at the NRTS, the MaterialsTesting Reactor was mankind’s first nuclear reactor for testing materials. 1953 SubmarineThermal Reactor Also known as S1W, the SubmarineThermal Reactor marked the birth of America’s nuclear navy. 1953 BoilingWater Reactor No. 1 BoilingWater Reactor No. 1 (BORAX-I) was the first of five reactors to test the safety and operating parameters of reactors using boiling water as a moderator and coolant. 1955 First City Lit by Atomic Power BORAX-III, which had been connected to a 2,000-kilowatt turbine/generator, produced enough power to light the nearby city of Arco. 1955 Special Power Excursion ReactorTest The SPERT experiments (I-IV) regularly pushed reactors far beyond normal safety limits in order to discover what the normal safety limits were.