Historic Film on the Georgia Nuclear Aircraft Laboratory

The Georgia Nuclear Aircraft Laboratory, also known as AFP No. 67, operated from 1958 to 1971 and was a crucial facility for research germane to the Air Force's efforts to develop a nuclear-powered bomber. Most of the work done at this lab was materials engineering-related and included irradiating various materials to better understand shielding requirements for the reactors that could power the proposed nuclear bombers. A 10-megawatt reactor, known as the Radiation Effects Reactor, was installed in a manner where it could be raised and lowered from an underground containment facility, thus, it could be operated to radiate either specific materials underground or the surrounding countryside (for a limited range, and producing low levels of ambient radiation) as needed. This was the only reactor of its type on the east coast and offered Lockheed and the USAF unique capacities for studying the effects of radiation on materials and the environment. Those who are aware of the nuclear bomber program will realize that this program was brought to a halt when it was deemed unproductive in 1960, yet the Georgia lab remained in operation another decade: why was this? After the bomber program was cancelled, Lockheed continued to work for the USAF and Atomic Energy Commission in research related to general properties of nuclear power and the effects of radiation. 

The following official film was made at the onset of operations at the facility is interesting as it details a great deal about the facilities involved and work done. This site now has been reverted to forest land and all the buildings, despite seeming like a large and varied campus in the video, have been torn down except the underground facilities which are now more or less buried and filled with groundwater. Measures are taken to ensure that there is not excessive radiation present at this location and it is constantly monitored.