The point here is that they built the first reactor far from civilization—so that if anything went wrong, the loss of life would be minimized. And sure enough, something went wrong. On November 29, 1955, the reactor melted down. But, thanks to its location, the effect on non-hermit human life was minimal. Actually, the local story is that there remains a weird ant species out there—which was genetically altered by the meltdown. It's the joke they tell on the visitor tour... at least I hope it's a joke.
Story continues... read on to see the nuclear-powered plane experiment...
Yes, you can still tour the EBR-I facility. But it's a long drive from anywhere. Again, that's for a good reason... it seems nuclear power folks were smarter about these things back in the day.
Then again, maybe not. If you tour EBR-I you can also see the nuclear-powered airplane engines they built. No kidding! Imagine, a nuclear-powered plane, packed with radiation, flying over our cities. What could go wrong?
Below is a photo of the nuclear airplane engine... and a satellite view of the EBR-I facility.
View EBR-1 in a larger map