Sunday, March 4, 2018

This Week in Science History: Nuclear Power Plant in Antarctica


In March 1962, the Atomic Energy Commission announced that the first nuclear power plant in Antarctica, named the PM-3A Naval Nuclear Power Unit was operational at McMurdo Sound. There were many problems to get the plant operational and even after it was built, it underperformed and frequently experienced power failures.Years later in 1972, after a leak in the reactor's pressure vessel was discovered and a closer look uncovered cracks throughout the reactor, the reactor was closed and dismantled. The nuclear power plant was replaced by a diesel electricity generator.

Image Credits: https://www.wired.com/2011/03/0304antarctic-nuclear-plant-mcmurdo-sound/

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