Thursday, August 2, 2012

Atomic Museum

Today we visited the EBR-1 Atomic Museum which is about 20 miles east of Arco, ID.  We were really impressed with the quality of the museum and how helpful the workers were.  The tour is self guided but they provide a nice guide pamphlet and the different stops on the tour are well marked and had excellent poster boards and descriptions.  The EBR-1 was the worlds first Nuclear Breeder Reactor and was built in the 1950’s.  This reactor is unique in that it actually produces more fuel then it consumed.  It also had a unique capability to take waste fuel from normal commercial reactors that would normally require storage for 100’s of years and convert that waste into a much shorter lived waste.  The down fall of EBR-1’s technology was mostly political.

This museum is well worth the stop if you are in the area.


Outside of the reactor buildingDSC_3760

Dean messing with the controls… not good!DSC_3734

Valerie trying her skills with a remote manipulator..  She did very well!DSC_3744

This was an early prototype of a reactor for an airplane….  Maybe not such a good idea!DSC_3758

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Craters of the Moon

Today we left the Lolo MT area heading back to southern Idaho.  It was one of those days were all the campgrounds we had planned for were not to be found and the ones you did find were either full or dry and dusty.  On a whim we headed for the Craters of the Moon National Monument mostly looking for a campground but we are really glad we made the stop.  This is a very unusual area about 20 miles west of Arco ID.  Between 15,000 and 2,000 years ago this area was full of active volcano eruptions.  The eruptions have left the area for miles around covered with lava rock and lava flows.  The park has a visitors center plus a 7 mile loop along with many hiking trails across the lava beds.  The camp sites are really unique in that they are nestled between huge lava rocks.  It was fun for us to see numerous visiting children and their families from other countries.  They were all smiles as the children were sworn in as “Junior Rangers”.  All in all it is a worthwhile stop if you are in the area.  Tomorrow we plan to tour the first Nuclear Reactor! 

There is very little plant life growing in the lavaDSC_3663



Look across the miles and miles of black lavaDSC_3683


The top of one of the volcanoesDSC_3686

Our campsiteDSC_3710

A close up of the lavaDSC_3681