King Olav of Norway officially opened the world's first boiling heavy water atomic reactor at Halden, on the Oslo Fiord, Oct. 10.
King Olav of Norway officially opened the world's first boiling heavy water atomic reactor at Halden, on the Oslo Fiord, Oct. 10. By the flick of a switch, the King set the reactor's machinery in motion. Many distinguished foreign visitors were present at the inauguration ceremony. Afterwards, King Olav toured the project and inspected the control room.
Halden's Reactor has been built by the Norwegian Institute for Atomic Energy inside Meanefjellet mountain. Two steel doors guard the surrounding Halden countryside from any possible leakages. The plant is unique in that it is the first nuclear power plant designed to produce industrial heat and not electricity. Built primarily for research, it will also supply power to Halden paper mills.
The project is to be used for an OEEC-sponsored programme of research and experiment, in which Norway is being joined by Britain, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and West Germany. Some are financing construction and maintenance of the reactor - others swill 'buy' research information. The three-year building programme has cost about GBP24 million sterling. A further GBP26 million sterling will be spent in the next three years.
Work began early in 1956 and it has been working since last June at low power levels to enable fundamental experiments. Power level will be increased later to the ultimate level of 20 megawatts heat output.
Basic principle of the plant: heavy water brought near radio-active uranium is heated to steam. Steam is then led off to drive turbines, which in turn produce power for the mills.