|Two men responsible for decommissioning
the Oak Ridge Graphite Reactor
reunite for the first time in 30 years.
Thirty years after working together as part of a team created to decommission the Oak Ridge Graphite Reactor, the only two living team members were reunited. The gathering was in honor of the scientists that originally designed the reactor.
The Graphite Reactor was established in 1942 for the sole purpose of demonstrating the feasibility of producing plutonium from uranium – the first milestone in the creation of the atomic bomb that ended World War II.
After the war, the Graphite Reactor produced the first electricity from nuclear energy, using a thimbleful of water, a tiny generator, and a single light bulb.
Decommissioned in 1963, the Graphite Reactor is now a National Historic Landmark.
Of the forty-two member team that worked to decommission the reactor, only Bob Jacobs and Phillip Eddings survive today. Although they had been told that the work on the Graphite Reactor posed no health risk it appears to have had an affect on both individuals.
The WHO developed intense interest in the situation, but after accepting an undisclosed sum from the Oak Ridge Tourism Commission both men claim all their health problems result from self-mutilation (sources close to Mr. Jacobs claim the settlement was near the equivalent of 2000 Yen and a month of free Keystone beer).