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So, What did NASA use this reactor for anyway?


there are 2 reactors here at plumbrook a 60 megawatt test reactor and a 100 kilowatt mock up reactor. they were used primarily for testing the effects of radiation on materials used in space flight. the reactors operated from about 1961-1973.


Plum Brook Reactor Facility Decommissioning
Plum Brook Station Sandusky, Ohio

Decommissioning Update

NASA is pleased to announce that reactor internals removal and reactor tank segmentation operations have begun as scheduled.  During the week of August 4, a crew from Wachs Technical Services, the segmentation subcontractor, safely and successfully removed from the reactor vessel all three components known as Horizontal Beam Tubes.  These three beam tubes contain a significant portion of all the radioactive material within the Reactor Facility and their removal will mean less radiation exposure for workers as segmentation continues.

On August 5, a specialized container, a Type A cask, was delivered to Plum Brook Station.  This cask will be used for the storage of steel liners containing cut pieces of the reactor internals and tank, and will later be sealed for shipment to a licensed disposal facility.

A Wachs crew has also completed mock-up training on the mock-up reactor (MUR), which formerly operated along with the main test reactor, acting as a simulator for reactor experiments.  The MUR is a smaller, physical replica of the main test reactor and contains extremely low levels of radiation.  This has enabled workers to gain valuable experience in virtually a non-radiation environment before beginning actual segmentation work and helps workers increase their proficiency, which will ultimately cut down on the amount of time – and thus exposure – during actual segmentation activities. A substantial portion of the MUR was disassembled during the mock-up training and the remainder of the MUR will be disassembled at a later point in time.

In addition, a work crew has completed the removal of loose equipment from the Hot Lab area of the Reactor Facility and continues to remove loose equipment from the Fan House and the Waste Handling Building.  Another crew is continuing with asbestos removal from two other Reactor Facility structures – the Compressor Building and the Service Equipment Building.

Apart from decommissioning the Reactor Facility, Plum Brook Station remains an active NASA test facility.  Occasionally, trucks with large pieces of equipment and/or empty containers, associated with NASA’s ongoing testing activities, may enter and leave the site.

Although NOT associated with NASA or the Decommissioning Project, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is continuing work on the cleanup of the former Plum Brook Ordnance Works site.


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