Experimental Breeder Reactor No. 1 (EBR-1), was the first nuclear reactor to generate usable amounts of electricity. Construction of the reactor began in 1949 at the National Reactor Testing Station in Idaho (now known as the Idaho National Engineering and Environment Laboratory. The first successful operation of the reactor took place on December 21, 1951. The main purpose of the laboratory, however, was not to generate electricity, but to prove the possibility of "fuel breeding," a process that actually creates more new nuclear fuel than it burns.
Today, EBR-1 is a National Historic Landmark that is open free to the public from memorial day through Labor Day Weekend. Everyone is invited to take a tour of the plant and learn about the events that took place here. You can even stand on top of the reactor!
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