The Army's Nuclear Power Program: The Evolution of a Support Agency

By Lawrence H. Suid | Go to book overview

SM-1 in operation, the Engineer Power Group would soon have faced the expense of modifying the plant to meet projected AEC safety standards.63

As it had done with the SM-1A, the Engineer Power Group initiated an Environmental Assessment of the decommissioning process of the SM-1. On December 1, 1972, the EPG proposed the same basic plans for decommissioning the Fort Belvoir facility that it was following with the SM-1A. Like the Fort Greeley plant that was to remain in operation, albeit as a conventional power plant, the SM-1 building was to continue to be used as a training facility, an office area, and a museum. Consequently, the report provided for a careful decontamination of the building and the sealing off of all radioactive areas.64

Following approval of the Environmental Assessment and subsequent decommission plan, the SM-1 was shut down for the last time on March 16, 1973, with four of the original crew members participating in the ceremony. The plant's training functions were taken over by the reactor simulator and fuel-handling training facilities at Fort Belvoir. Following the completion of the decommissioning process in April 1975, the Engineer Power Group dedicated the plant's Visitor's Center and began using the building as a museum, providing movies and exhibits to tell the history of the Army's first nuclear power plant.65

With the shutdown of the PM-3A, the SM-1A, and the SM-1, only the Sturgis remained in operation, although not strictly in a military capacity. With its nuclear mission down to a bare minimum, the Engineer Power Group found itself with only one assignment, the Nontactical Generator Program with the limited objective of rehabilitating and storing small, conventional power plants. At this point, events and circumstances came together to give the EPG new life. Its new assignment allowed it to use its expertise in the power field not only to maintain the NTG Program, but to broaden its activities in related areas.


NOTES
1.
Interview with Gen. Kenneth Nichols, April 24, 1963.
2.
Project Charter, Floating Nuclear Power Plants, Oct. 15, 1963
3.
Interview with Ernest Fortino, Nov. 20, 1980.
4.
Interview with Col. James Lambert, Feb. 16, 1963; Nichols interview; News Bulletin # 1, Sept. 7, 1961; News Bulletin # 2, Nov. 17, 1961.
5.
News Bulletin # 1, Sept. 7, 1961; News Bulletin # 2, Nov. 17, 1961. Additional information on the building of the MH-1 came from the Stugis files, Box 5, ANPP.
6.
News Bulletin # 2, Nov. 17, 1961.
7.
News Bulletin # 5, Feb. 15, 1962; News Bulletin # 10, Aug. 7, 1962; News Bulletin # 12, Nov. 15, 1962.
8.
News Bulletin # 14, Feb. 5, 1963.
9.
News Bulletin # 15, April 25, 1963; News Bulletin # 16, June 21, 1963.

-113-

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The Army's Nuclear Power Program: The Evolution of a Support Agency
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles In Contributions in Military Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Chapter 1 The Beginnings 1
  • Notes 16
  • Chapter 2 Organization of the Nuclear Program 19
  • Notes 27
  • Chapter 3 Building the Prototype 29
  • Notes 38
  • Chapter 4 Fort Greely 41
  • Notes 55
  • Chapter 5 The Nuclear Power Program in Full Bloom 57
  • Notes 79
  • Chapter 6 The Nuclear Program in Decline 81
  • Notes 93
  • Chapter 7 Transition 95
  • Notes 113
  • Chapter 8 Facilities Engineering Support Agency (FESA) 117
  • Notes 126
  • Bibliographical Essay 127
  • Index 128
  • Index 129
  • About the Author 131
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