Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - March 6, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Fish Bowl Era" Over at Nuclear Plant; Even Arnold Needs Badge
By Phyllis Fleming
Nobody enters the Duane Arnold Nuclear Anergy center near Palo without the proper badge, and that includes Duane Arnold.
The badge Arnold, chairman of the board and president of Iowa Electric Light and Power, wears clears him for the administration building without an escort. If he wants to go elsewhere in the building he must have an escort.
This gives an indication of the kind of security that exists at the plant as it nears commercial operation.
Arnold said, “Now, with fuel going into it, the fish bowl era is at an end. Public access to the plant is over.”
Reporters visiting the plant Tuesday to watch the loading of nuclear fuel which started last Wednesday got a taste of that security.
Everyone filled out two forms oik' gave personal information such as date of birth, age, social security number, home address, firm represented; the other asked if you had ever been exposed to radiation.
Each reporter and photographer then got a badge with a visitor designation which meant that they had to be escorted at all times.
Once outside the administration portion of the building, hard hats were required wear.
In the area of the reactor itself everyone had to wear the following garb: yellow coveralls, rubbers on the feet, a white cap on the head, thin white gloves. Pens, notebooks, cameras and lights had to be tied to wrists; glasses had to be secured with a band across the back of the head: all loose items had to be removed from pockets. A clip which monitors radiation went into a pocket of the coveralls.
All this care is designed to keep things from falling into the fuel chamber when people bend over to look into the cavity. If something had fallen in, loading of fuel would have stopped until it was found and removed.
Though with escorts, reporters moving into the reactor area went through one security check. Coming out of the immediate reactor area, hands and feet were checked for possible radiation.
Two More Chec ks
Each went through two more radiation checks and checked out through the security officer before returning to the administration portion of
Debra Caftan Heads ll. I. Student Senate
IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa Student Senate Tuesday elected Debra Cagan of Dubuque as its president by a 14 to 6
Cagan, a representative of the Better Days party, defeated Independent Keith Gormezano and .Jim Balmer, a candidate from the Progressive Libertarian party, the conservative party on campus.
Miss Cagan’s election followed last week’s Student Senate election in which the liberal Better Days party turned back a major conservative attempt to gain control of tin4 student senate.
The liberals gained ten seats, the conservatives five seats and the five other seats went to independent candidates.
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the building. The badge was turned in just before leaving the building.
The chance to take a good look at the loading process was worth going through the security process:
Loading of the 368 fuel bundles is expected to be completed later this week. As the pictures indicate the bundles were lowered by machine into the cavity, which contained about 12 feet of water.
Each bundle had to go into a certain location, because of varying fuel enrichments in the rods.
Start Next Week
Next week a highly radioactive device will be moved into the reactor to start it safely. The device is currently being stored in a 10-ton leaded cask. The storage cavity will be flooded, it will be removed from the cask mechanically and moved under water into the reactor which will also be filled with water.
When it is in place, control rods will be withdrawn and the first chain reaction should take place. An Atomic Energy commission crew will be on hand to see this.
More power tests will follow. Actual generation of electricity on a trial basis is expected in the April, with commercial generation hopefully, in May.
While under construction the Palo plant has been the object of numerous hearings and has generated both praise and criticism. The latter has
come from persons who worry about the possible dangers involved in having a nuclear plant close to a populated area and those who worry about the effects such a plant might have on the environment.
In comments related to the first concern, IE officials Tuesday referred to an explosion at the Quad Cities nuclear prvver plant near Cordova, 111.
The explosion occurred Saturday in a gaseous waste treatment system. It blew out a filter but released no measurable radiation, according to Commonwealth Edison and the AEC.
IE’s Jerry Ward said that pipes through which these non-condensable slightly radioactive gases move are designed to handle explosions. He said they are stronger and have rupture discs.
Ile said he thinks a charcoal system used in the IE plant to reduce the radioactivity in the gases reduces the potential for such small explosions.
Ward said similar explosions have happened some 12 times at plants around the country. He said the AEC investigates each explosion as a matter of course.
As indicated earlier the days of the public visiting the plant — as some 30,000 of them did during construction — are over. IE expects to
close to the public the road leading to the plant later this year.
Only employes and authorized visitors will be admitted and the number or lack of it on each badge will indicate where each person can go without an escort. Only those with No. I on their badge will have unlimited access to all portions of the plant.
No. 2 Badge
Thpse with No. 2 on their badges can go most places in the plant. And only those wearing a No. 2 badge can act as escorts.
Arnold definitely sees the nuclear plant as a necessity. He said, “The only way to sustain and improve our way of life is to have an adequate source of energy. In Iowa there arc only two sources— coal and nuclear.” He sees a mix of the two as the best solution for the future.
He doesn’t foresee a cutting down in the use of electricity; instead he sees a doubling of the use. “I think we are heading into an electric economy. I want Iowa to have an abundant supply of electricity. Young people can’t improve their way of life without energy.”
The plant, now estimated to cost $200 million, is owned by three power companies: 70 percent by IE; 20 percent by Central Iowa Power Cooperative of Marion and Creston and Corn Belt Power Cooperative of Humboldt.
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THIS LINEUP shows persons who participated in the press tour of the plant Tuesday looking down into the reactor chamber as nuclear fuel was being loaded. All wear the required garb for the reactor area.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Wed., Mar. 6, 1974 KA ---------------- — »e
Manager Form Is Rejected in Burlington Vote
FILINGTON (AP) • In ii ri’ I I.. _l ______ ll__unrl fmw I (mr rinmtnlsai/wii
BURLINGTON (AP) In a heavy turnout. Tuesday, Burlington citizens voted to return the city’s government to the commission form, replacing council-manager system.
The result was 4.411 in favor of the commission form to 3,607 for the current council-manager system or about 55 percent in favor of a change.
The new municipal government plan will go into effect in January, 1976.
The city had a commission form of government from 1910 through 1967 when it was defeated by an 82-vote margin.
Tuesday’s election was the result of an Iowa supreme court ruling handed down in January. TTse court ruled it would have been legal to hold a referendum on changing the form of government in the fail of 1972.
Two groups — Citizens to Protect Our Freedoms and Citizens for a Greater Burlington — had appealed a lower court decision after the city government said under the new Iowa home rule aet an election could not be held before the fall of 1973.
Under the commission plan, lone commissioner will be may-I or in charge of public affairs
and four other commissioners would supervise parks, public safety, streets and finance. The
commissioners would be employed full time.
The election to select the five commissioners will be held in the fall of 1975. The city currently has a five-member council with members serving part time.
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