Science: Portable Reactor

For his modern Antarctic pioneers at the South Pole, Rear Admiral George Dufek last week urged Washington to send atomic-powered heat and light. If that seemed pretty cushy for explorers, it made practical scientific sense. The polar fuel bill is huge, and along the Arctic's 3,000-mile DEW line as well, U.S. radar stations could well use small reactors instead of flying in oil.

Last week the era of such small plants began, as the 210-ton Argonne Low Power Reactor went critical, i.e., began a controlled chain reaction, at the Atomic Energy Commission testing grounds in Idaho Falls. The Argonne reactor is a...

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