Today we said goodbye and left baby Sasquatch in our little oasis in Arco. We had to backtrack on our path and in doing so, passed by the EBR-I museum again. I confessed that I was a little bummed that we didn’t get to check it out, and Andy entertained my fancy even though we had the trailer in tow and lots of ground to cover!
The museum is what remains of Experimental Breeder Reactor No. 1. The plant generated electricity using uranium and powered the town of Arco for about an hour, and continued to supply power to its own building for 12 years. There were lots of cool things for the kids to do, including operating a robotic arm, powering a lightbulb with a stationary bike, tables of science activity things and the favorite – an ovaltine-like secret decoder! We all grabbed a thermal color changing pencil and a postcard to send home.
Ethan declared that he marked something off his bucket list because he used the bathroom at a nuclear reactor plant! The boy cracks me up… He also got to push the SCRAM button, which we were told stands for Safety Control Rod Axe Man. At one point, the way to deactivate the reactor was to cut a rope to drop the rod in. I can’t imagine having that job!
Outside were a couple of nuclear powered plane engines that (quite literally) never left the ground. In order to keep the crew safe and carry the engines, it would have been a massive plane that took 4 miles of runway, so the concept was abandoned.
We spent a bit longer than we anticipated at EBR-I, but it was very much worth it! After more not-so-scenic driving, we made it into Utah and pitstopped for the night.