It would be hard to illustrate the myriad ways that the technology behind nuclear power has advanced since its inception in the 1950s, but this video does a pretty good job.Produced for Westinghouse and released in 1958, it provides an overview of the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, billed as the "world’s first full-scale atomic electric power plant devoted exclusively to peacetime uses.” The footage offers a glimpse into the design process and technical challenges overcome during the breeder reactor's 4.5 years of design and construction. It includes scenes from the reactor's fuel fabrication, plant construction, fuel loading and operation. There is nary a computer screen or digital display in sight.Finished in 1957 near Pittsburgh at the same site as the current Beaver Valley plant, Shippingport was in operation until 1982.
Note the feedwater lines connected to the bottom of the reactor vessel.
Does the "breeder reactor" refer to the role of the fuel blanket in converting U238 to plutonium? The final core in this plant was designated LWBR and converted Th232 to U233. The film shows the way we were, white shirts, ties, combed hair, smoking and all. I worked at the Bettis plant in the 60's and 70's. Until the President Carter edict concerning energy use in Government owned buildings, the work spaces tended to be overheated through the winter.