World-Wide Fire News

Issue 9 and Volume 109.

World-Wide Fire News DEPARTMENTS Fatal Atomic Plant Metals Blast Evidence of the hazards introduced by modern metals used in atomic plants (and elsewhere) was given this spring when several drums of a reportedly “obscure metal” used to insulate atomic reactor fuels at a top-secret plant in Oak Ridge, Tenn., exploded, fatally injuring two men and critically injuring a third. The non-nuclear blast sent dust and black smoke billowing skyward and its shock waves were felt in the city of Oak Ridge, four miles away. It was explained that the explosion had “nothing to do with any atomic explosion or chain reaction.” The drums of scrap zirconium and zirconium oxide, source of the blast, were being stored under water in 50-gallon drums for reprocessing. Three employees, said to be with the Carbide Nuclear Co. which operates the plant for the Atomic Energy Commission, were standing about 30 feet from the drums…

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