Waltz Mill Reactor Accident
In 1957, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) requested that the Westinghouse Corporation build a nuclear test reactor. Westinghouse built a 60-megawatt reactor at Waltz Mill, Pennsylvania, which started operations on July 1, 1959. Its reactor had a low-pressure, low-temperature, water-cooled system. On April 3, 1960, there was a partial meltdown of some of the fuel rods. This meltdown caused radioactive krypton and xenon gases to be released into the atmosphere. After the reactor site had been evacuated, tests were run on radiation levels. Radiation levels were high at the reactor site but not elsewhere. The incident was reported to the AEC, but no public notice reached the national media. After repairs and improvements to the venting system, the reactor was restarted on October 1960. In 1962 Westinghouse shut down the Waltz Mill reactor permanently.
Washington Conference on Theoretical Physics
The Washington Conference on Theoretical Physics was an annual meeting of theoretical physicists held in Washington, DC., beginning in 1935 and lasting until World War II. It was the brainchild of Russian-American theoretical physicist George Gamow and had been one of the conditions of his employment at George Washington University. He envisaged the conference to serve the same function as a meeting place for ideas in the United States as the annual meetings at Niels Bohr's Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen. A cosponsor of the conference was Gamow's colleague and friend at George Washington University, Edward Teller. Each meeting