Heliophage


How they used to do things
March 22, 2009, 3:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The exhibit hall at the Palais des Nations, 1958

The exhibit hall at the Palais des Nations, 1958

As I said, seeing a vast turbine blade in the hall at the Cpenhagen meeting, and three pretty vast blades revolving at a stately pace outside, was quite impressive. Pales a bit compared to the displays available at the Second International Conference on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy in Geneva in 1958, though. As Dan O’Neill sets the scene in The Firecracker Boys:

A full scale cutaway model of the Shippingport reactor core towered forty feet above conference-goers “in the centre of a rotunda where the story of the U.S. atomic energy program was told with numerous large, color transparencies,” according to an AEC report. Over the first five days of the conference, a team from the AEC’s Argonne National Laboratory assembled, in the full view of visitors, an operating nuclear reactor. In a special ceremony on the sixth day, former AEC chairman [Lewis] Strauss brought the ten-kilowatt reactor to criticality by inserting a radioactive “wand” into a control device.

Now that’s what I call an exhibit… There’s more in the AEC’s press release (pdf)

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