After graduating Washington State University in 1950, Carl Higby was recruited to work at Hanford as an operations supervisor for the reactors. Higby discusses some of the problems that arose when the reactor was online, and explains how impurities in the coolant water could plug some of the sensor tubes and force them to shut the reactor down. Higby also discusses the innovation of the Ball-3X System, a safety method that included a hopper of small boron steel balls that would be dropped into the reactor and fill up the vertical rod safety channel, shutting the reactor down and preventing a critical meltdown.
Everett Weakly arrived in Hanford in 1950 after graduating from the University of Idaho as a chemical engineer. Weakley was hired by DuPont to can fuel elements in the 300 Area at Hanford. Weakley discusses the different techniques used to extract uranium and explains the methods behind the “triple-dip” process and the “lead-dip” process used to can the uranium fuel elements. Weakley also discusses how the uranium was shipped from Hanford and recounts the safety measures DuPont put in place to protect its workers.