Idaho Travel Council - Page 48

A National Historic Landmark It was a simple string of four 200-watt light bulbs hanging in a nondescript room, but it was also the start of a new era in history. When the scientists working at the National Reactor Testing Station—now known as Idaho National Laboratory—powered that string of lights in 1951 at Experimental Breeder Reactor 1 (EBR-1), they proved that nuclear energy could be a practical source of power. The reactor ran from 1951 to 1964 before it was decommissioned and named a national historic landmark in 1966. Today, EBR-1 is a museum that people can tour seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Visitors can see the control room and stand on top of the reactor where the discovery was made, as well as a wall signed by (almost) all of the scientists, engineers and support staff that were there in 1951 when the four light bulbs were lit. It looks much the same as it did over a half century ago. In addition to EBR-1, there are three other 1950’s-era reactors on display. No appointment is needed and visitors from school groups to individuals traveling through A