US. Nuclear Corporation in Burbank California had a problem, without any authorization they decided to try to remove the outer casing of a Plutonium Beryllium device that produced Neutrons, a DEMON CORE that was used for training in the US Navy for sailors to train to find atomic bombs and this training was on every ship and base including at Treasure Island.
They placed the core onto a Lathe which is used to spin wood or metal to make rounded cuts into objects, just as if you were to make a staircase knob, you cut into it as it spins to make rounded objects. So naturally they decided to do this with the most dangerous thing in the world a Demon Core of Plutonium and Beryllium.
When the Atomic Energy Commission was tipped off about this incident by an anonymous source they came into the facility where the US Nuclear Corporation employees had just bought an industrial vacuum cleaner to clean up the site. They also failed to mention the accident to the AEC as required by law (see below)
Yeah that would not cut it.
The Demon Core was made popular in the movie “Fat Man and Little Boy” which combined two separate incidents where the scientists at Los Alamos were showing off and caused fission to take place killing in each case the show off scientist. It should be noted that spinning plutonium at high speed is not something that you want to do.
The Pu-Be core was made with pellets of Plutonium and the Berylium reflects the neutrons so you can create measured levels of neutron radiation, the radiation of fission found in nuclear reactors and atomic bombs. The US Navy Radiological Defense Lab had two of these devices as of 1960 which were about the size of a casing for a old movie projector and they used it to bombard ships with it to see how far into a ship the neutron radiation would penetrate, in order to make ships safer. When they turned it on they made sure everyone was in a separate building in shielding to protect themselves from the radiation. Not the public, just them. It is the same radiation found in a nuclear power plant or a nuclear detonation.
US Nuclear Corporation decided all on their own without any authorization to divide up the Plutonium into smaller amounts to make more devices.Continue reading “Burbank CA Nuclear Accident January 18 1968 Placing a Demon Core on a Lathe”