Advertisement

SP5 John Arthur Byrnes III

Advertisement

SP5 John Arthur Byrnes III

Birth
Utica, Oneida County, New York, USA
Death 3 Jan 1961 (aged 22)
Butte County, Idaho, USA
Burial Whitesboro, Oneida County, New York, USA
Plot Block 4 Row 2 (between grave 1 & 2)
Memorial ID 154385419 View Source

Nuclear Incident Fatality. On January 3, 1961 at 9:01pm, alarms sounded at the fire stations and security headquarters of the U.S. National Reactor Testing Station where the reactor was located in rural Idaho. Investigation found two operators dead with a third dying two hours later, and detected high radiation levels in the building. This was the world's first fatal nuclear accident; the single control bar was manually removed rapidly causing a small, 3MW experimental BWR called SL-1 (Stationary Low-Power Plant No. 1) to be destroyed by exploding . Besides Byrnes, Army Specialist Richard McKinley and Navy Electrician Mate Richard Legg were killed. Since the bodies were contaminated with life-long radio-active isotopes, each were buried in a lead-lined coffin, buried extra-deep, and covered with many feet of concrete as their bodies were radioactive. The graves are to stay undisturbed unless prior approval of the Atomic Energy Commission. After a two-year investigation, it was determined that there would never be one single control rod used to employ in an atomic pile; modern ones have scores of rods. The incident was not determined an accident or an act of sabotage.

Bio by: Linda Davis


Family Members

Parents
Siblings

Flowers

In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees

Sponsored by Ancestry

Advertisement