Nuclear power before the appearance of nuclear power plants

 
3r3-31. 67 years ago, on December 2? 195? the experimental fast EBR-1 reactor became one of the first nuclear power sources. The photo shows ??? W bulbs that he “lit” that day. Before the launch of the first-ever nuclear power plant in Obninsk, about 3 years remained. 3r3105.  
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By the memorable date, a small story about the appearance of this reactor, a photo of what is with it now, and an explanation of why it is not considered a full-fledged nuclear power plant. 3r3105.  
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Nuclear power before the appearance of nuclear power plants 3r3105.  
The first electricity from the EBR-1 reactor in 1951. Photo: DOE 3r3102. 3r3105.  
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The reactor was designed and built in the late 1940s in Idaho by a team from the Livermore laboratory at the site for testing atomic reactors. Later this place became
The Idaho National Nuclear Laboratory (INL) 3-3-3102. and about 50 nuclear installations were designed and tested here, including reactors for the US Navy and even experimental aircraft nuclear engines and power plants. 3r3105.  
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A modern view of the site where the building of the EBR-1 reactor (center) is located, and on the left - two experimental reactors of the Aviation Nuclear Engine program (3r330. Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion
), Closed in 1961. 3r3105.  
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Students on the background of one of the HTRE-3 aircraft reactors (3-33339. For reference, anyone can read a 210-page report on their tests 3-3-3102. Photo: 3-333101. EBR-1 Facebook page 3-33-302. 3r3-305.  
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In total, the EBR-1 reactor, using a turbine and a generator, produced up to 200 kW of electric power out of 1.4 MW of thermal energy (to put it mildly, it didn’t have the highest efficiency), which it created in an active zone the size of a football. And let now on its facade there is an inscription stating that this is the first nuclear power plant in the world, formally it was not a nuclear plant, since the generated energy was used only at the industrial site, and not transferred to the network. 3r3105.  
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Tourists on the background of the building EBR-1 with a proud sign, calling it "the world's first nuclear power plant." Photo: EBR-1 Facebook page 3–3–3102. 3r3105.  
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The first full-fledged nuclear power plant in the United States (3-3369. Atomic Power Station Shippingport 3–3-3102. With a single reactor with a capacity of 68 MW) did not work until 1958. And the first in the world nuclear power plant, which issued a current to the common power grid in 195? was the Soviet Obninsk nuclear power plant. Its power was 5 MW. 3r3105.  
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The first nuclear power plant in the US - Shippingport NPP. Photo:
Wikipedia
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But EBR-1 was built not so much to get energy (no one doubted that this was possible), but to confirm the possibility of creating a breeder reactor. A breeder is a reactor in which, during operation, more new nuclear fuel (plutonium) is produced than is consumed (uranium). Theoretically, this was understandable earlier, but the possibility of building such a reactor (with a fast spectrum of neutrons and a liquid-metal coolant) appeared only after the Second World War. Two years after the launch of EBR-? in the experiments of 195? the properties of the reactor breeder were confirmed. 3r3105.  
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Another group of students at the University of Idaho with the EBR-1 control panel. Photo: EBR-1 Facebook page 3–3–3102. 3r3105.  
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Similar experimental fast reactors in the USSR appeared later, in the same Obninsk in the BR series of reactors, and later this direction grew to industrial power reactors of the BN series at the Beloyarsk NPP. 3r3105.  
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The EBR-1 was stopped in 196? and in 1966 it was visited by US President Lyndon Johnson and granted him the status of National Attraction. Now at the site of the EBR-1 operates a museum of atomic energy, opened in the summer season
every day for everyone
. At other times - for groups by appointment. The first nuclear power plant in Obninsk is now also a museum, but it works only for groups by appointment. 3r3105.  
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In front of the EBR-1 museum. Photo:
EBR-1 Facebook page 3–3–3102. 3r3105.  
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