What Caused America's First Nuclear Meltdown?

Xuất bản 08 Th05, 2021
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Kyle Hill
  • Kyle Hill

    Kyle Hill

    5 tháng trước

    *The next in my [HALF-LIFE HISTORIES] series.* Enjoy our deepest dive yet. Thanks for watching.

    • Greg Myers

      Greg Myers

      23 ngày trước

      Hey Kyle, if you decide to do TMI-2 hit me up. I worked recovery operations for a while post accident. I could provide some material

    • Greg Myers

      Greg Myers

      23 ngày trước

      I heard this story when I was in nuke engineering school. Unbelievable! I can’t imagine anyone proceduralizing anything this dangerous. Sad for the men and families. I wondered why this would happen since I expected they were well aware of the danger. Murder suicide? Maybe

    • Ancient but still here ?

      Ancient but still here ?

      26 ngày trước

      Btw :CC trunk is audible Drunk. Pc edit, next

    • Laura Stimpson

      Laura Stimpson

      29 ngày trước

      Three Mile Island video when?

    • Chris L

      Chris L

      Tháng trước

      I worked at the Idaho site and remember reading about this disaster, yet I learned even more from your video. Thanks!

  • Jcknight7996


    Giờ trước

    I live in Idaho Falls and I never heard about this until now.

  • ɢᴇɴᴇʀᴀʟ ᴇᴄᴄʜɪ

    ɢᴇɴᴇʀᴀʟ ᴇᴄᴄʜɪ

    23 giờ trước

    Imagine designing your reactor to be one fuckup away from an explosion

  • Sgt Brown

    Sgt Brown

    Ngày trước

    Showed up drunk? He'll that's a typical day in the Army.

  • Collin Lutz

    Collin Lutz

    Ngày trước

    Who else remembers MrBallen telling this story?

  • VVeMoveForward


    2 ngày trước

    The bodies were not returned to their families...
    Also video:
    Immediately goes into an air force ad

  • Adam Bower

    Adam Bower

    3 ngày trước

    I can't believe they wouldn't fasten a bar over rod, so that it couldn't move any further than 4 inches out. How easy would it have been, to prevent that rod from being overdrawn.

  • BlueCaterpillar7


    4 ngày trước

    Best video you have ever made

  • AK 2701

    AK 2701

    5 ngày trước

    Country's need to stop making this

  • Chase Payton

    Chase Payton

    5 ngày trước

    I’m a nuclear mechanic in the U.S. Navy and we actually talk about your videos in class

  • Jak Mihoff

    Jak Mihoff

    5 ngày trước

    Army just testing a " What if " theory...😆

  • Because I can

    Because I can

    5 ngày trước

    This is so creepy yet interesting, especially since I live in Idaho. I’ve somewhat learned about this, but not in this much detail

  • SHAdow98


    6 ngày trước

    Ohh yeah,what's the best thing to do about this super important mini nuclear reactor project? ohhh yeah make it full of engineering problems and put 3 young idiots with behaviour problems in charge of,yes that makes sense yes yes

  • Roman Bezenšek

    Roman Bezenšek

    7 ngày trước

    Chernobyl 2

  • Gavin H

    Gavin H

    7 ngày trước

    We don't really learn - similar, stupid designs & procedures in different areas of life will continue to kill. Cut cost, hit targets, cover-up problems - then one day it all goes horribly wrong. Humans are amazingly inventive & intelligent, whilst simultaneously being unbelievably lazy & stupid.

  • Donnie Dickerson

    Donnie Dickerson

    7 ngày trước

    This Was To Put It Mildly, A Total Epic Cluster Fck Accident Waiting For The Right Second To Happen

  • Livin4thelamb


    7 ngày trước

    Thank you for covering this!

  • Yutaka Go

    Yutaka Go

    10 ngày trước

    Seem like bad design to have a single point of failure for the control rod design. Bad design and maintenance by inexperience maintenance crews are formula for disaster.

  • todd goslin

    todd goslin

    10 ngày trước

    This wasn't America's first nuclear meltdown.

  • Dan Treadwell

    Dan Treadwell

    10 ngày trước

    Prompt Crtitcal, getting stupid hot nearly instantly, and flash boiling pretty much the entire volume of the coolant.

  • Kinzie Conrad

    Kinzie Conrad

    10 ngày trước

    Yep a lot of lessons where learned from this one. Always better to runs loose on clearance’s. More control rods don’t hurt either.

  • Eyman Baird

    Eyman Baird

    12 ngày trước

    I don’t agree with going AWL unless my job was to lift a radioactive rod no more then 4” or I’d be using pulleys on a 1-1 ratio a few miles away say… Alaska?

  • esrA eloH

    esrA eloH

    12 ngày trước

    Chernobyl was hardly under maintenance, it was just starting a test on residual turbine genergy generation, having just been stalled by the opperators who were trying to bring the power level down to the level required for the test, the reactor having been run at half power for some wierd reason for 10 hours allowing Xenon to build up in the core as it only appears 6 hours into a fision chain, so their lowering of the power was happening in tandem with an increasing rate of formation of Xenon, further slowing reactivity into a stall.
    How the fuck does that sound like ''maintenance'', wtaf, that's not exactly rocket science, it's just basic nuclear physics

  • David Nichol

    David Nichol

    12 ngày trước

    I wonder if any of these conspiracy theorists know how easy it is to accidentally rip a bag of chips open.

  • FW911


    13 ngày trước

    The body being stuck to the ceiling reminds me of Adventures With Purpose's one livestream where they were salvaging cars from a lake, and while looking in the cabin of the one they were looking at a pile of clothes and what looked like a soccer ball, then suddenly the guy holding the camera spun away and went "oh shit, that's a skull! Call the cops, call the cops." The next day police confirmed it was a man who went missing months prior. The search team at the time of the man's disappearance didn't have any leads, so it was pure happenstance that they pulled that particular car that day.

  • RikkyGaming


    13 ngày trước

    Those poor men

  • Charles Dinkel

    Charles Dinkel

    14 ngày trước

    America's first nuclear meltdown happened in Simi Valley in 1959, the reactor was called SRE

  • Clint Parsons

    Clint Parsons

    14 ngày trước

    Hilarious that she asks for a divorce then expects half of the money he worked for himself.

  • Katama


    14 ngày trước

    These men are as america gets

  • Fontsman


    14 ngày trước

    Human conflict, indifference and ignorance of safety. Result, disaster.

  • beau dreher

    beau dreher

    15 ngày trước

    The evanescent meteorology probably explode because feast intriguingly point next a royal fireplace. dapper, shaggy handball

  • Kelly Houseknecht

    Kelly Houseknecht

    15 ngày trước

    I dont think there's anything more American than "hey, this prototype of a super dangerous thing keeps breaking down. What should we do?" "Idk man. Try wiggling things around, and if they get stuck just bash them with wrenches."

  • Silver Strings

    Silver Strings

    16 ngày trước

    The power of screws could have saved these guys... I mean, just using a fine threaded rod on a long shank to control the lift of the rod (with a quick release for scram functions) could allow much more precise control over the rods... But then again, I'm just armchair quarterbacking here. XD

  • Smoke Alucard

    Smoke Alucard

    16 ngày trước

    Because it was the 60s

  • Lemontarts01


    16 ngày trước

    I do not care.
    EVERY nuclear disaster
    "Our radiation meters must be off"
    Bro - EVERY disaster has those guys
    How and why

  • Collin Specht

    Collin Specht

    17 ngày trước

    The Army not wanting to deal with maintenance issues and just tells the guys responsible to wing it?
    Huh....must not be their first time...

  • Zenmonster


    17 ngày trước

    I'm so glad Thor takes the time to tell us about these things.

  • MetalGuru965


    17 ngày trước

    In my profession (Engineering), many of my classmates worked on nuclear reactor construction in the mid-late seventies before TMI shut all that down. The No.1 issue with long-tern reactor service was (and still is) corrosion. This makes me think that the corrosion problem was not well understood in the Fifties when SL-1 was designed.
    Hats off to all who commented. Lots of intelligent discussion evident here, which is refreshing as Youtube seems to be famous for idiots talking $hit in the comments.

  • taste test

    taste test

    17 ngày trước

    Around 1:29 comment about the artic,
    Strange thought/comment.
    If the scientists, and army have been storing, testing, trying to control the left over nuclear hot rstuff in the arctic. Found that be a reson for the melting of the caps and climate change...not the hairspray we have been told?
    Hey let's bury this hot stuff in the ice none will notice..

  • Derek N. Eder

    Derek N. Eder

    17 ngày trước


  • Biggie


    18 ngày trước

    if it was a murder or suicide it was a horrible way to go... why not just go out old fashioned instead of pulling the tube out i think it was a workplace accident.

  • Mr. M G

    Mr. M G

    18 ngày trước

    I’m betting human error or something wrong with the reactor itself

  • Oiegee 5

    Oiegee 5

    18 ngày trước

    15:35 Seriously? What about Three-mile-island? This one was much more serious than SL-1...

  • bryn king

    bryn king

    18 ngày trước




    19 ngày trước

    Those two guys (Byrnes and Legg) + nuclear reactor were the recipe for a disaster.

  • emiliebova


    19 ngày trước

    4 inches from death

  • SyriusStar Multimedia

    SyriusStar Multimedia

    20 ngày trước

    Many people in the Army have been at prostitute filled parties.

  • KHAY Mohammed

    KHAY Mohammed

    20 ngày trước

    So Thor became a youtuber after endgame…interesting

  • Zachary Snyder

    Zachary Snyder

    20 ngày trước

    This is real life horror story. Holy hell

  • L6 Yurim

    L6 Yurim

    20 ngày trước

    makes me wonder about the maintenance manual? "pull it out 4 inches to excersize it" and what? they eyeballing it? pulling by hand?

  • Jonathan Schmidt

    Jonathan Schmidt

    21 ngày trước

    Honestly, I think the emphasis on the one guy is wrong. This entire thing was a clusterfuck of such incredible proportions, anybody could have fucked this up. Imo while he ultimately made the fatal mistake, he was not the one most responsible for his and his colleagues' deaths...

  • Alex of the way

    Alex of the way

    21 ngày trước

    This is a facinating episode, it's interesting that the jilted lover story clouds the take home message about good design and practice, although it also goes to show that the mental states of those working with such powerful machines really is important.

  • Lady Lexy Starwatcher

    Lady Lexy Starwatcher

    21 ngày trước

    I got to get a tour of EBR1 at INL when I was a kid. That was interesting.

  • Gallowglass


    21 ngày trước

    one time i was making an arrow with a stick and a knife and pushed too hard on the notch and cut my finger. the scar is still there. it’s absolutely horrifying to think that that exact thing can be the most dangerous thing on the planet.

  • Swishersweetcigarilo


    21 ngày trước

    Why not make a jig that would prevent the rod from being raised over 4 inches?

  • cazmaniandevil1


    21 ngày trước

    Just like every major disaster in the world. A nagging woman is close by.

  • Cpl. Punishment

    Cpl. Punishment

    21 ngày trước

    I wouldn’t want to operate the beat up rusted ass Craigslist tier reactor either…

  • Jake Landry

    Jake Landry

    21 ngày trước

    The 2 men we're arguing....he was trying to pull up the control rod pissed....boom. Bye bye stupid ass. Another case of why you never let a woman run your life.

  • double A

    double A

    21 ngày trước

    Taco farts



    21 ngày trước

    I never got to know my grandpa, he mined for Uranium in the Navajo Nation and it killed him. They did not educate the people prior and tried to slip away leaving a disaster on the largest Native American reservations are still contaminated by the radioactive dust. Legit they had to move communities away/relocate because of the old tailings and 'disposal' issues. The foundations of American nuclear knowledge and exploits have greatly left the public ignorant of the scale and intensity of its effect. I would like to see more people aware of these incidents, too often are they trying to test and dispose of the wastes on reservations, why must our people suffer, is it really worth the sacrifices of human life and environment to prove what?? Nuclear testing across the globe is quite alarming, NM is a nuclear tech zone and had it's share of test explosions including the Trinity site, but still there is little help and knowledge of the negative impacts against the indigenous peoples.

  • WilFred Burbank

    WilFred Burbank

    21 ngày trước

    Amazing video Kyle. You are truly the Thor of Science.

  • Anthony Simon Hough

    Anthony Simon Hough

    21 ngày trước

    You have to ask why do we bother with such unstable shit like nuclear anything ???

    • Tommi Mäkelä

      Tommi Mäkelä

      5 ngày trước

      Water power from dams has caused more deaths than nuclear power. Would you call dams unstable? Didnt just this week a lowhead dam fail? What if a big damn fails like in the 70s americas when 2 big dams failed and killed around 80 people? Not to mention the banqiao dam failure that took the lives of thousands. Nuclear energy sounds scary and dangerous but has a lower environmental and death toll than many other forms of energy production. Every form of energy production has problems.

  • Cam Mando

    Cam Mando

    21 ngày trước

    To think we could have small nuclear reactors on any little farm with a creek to those giant wind turbine bird killers.

  • gum boot cloggers

    gum boot cloggers

    21 ngày trước

    Designed on purpose to fail as an experiment to examine the results of this type of incident. Mission accomplished.

  • neil blockhead

    neil blockhead

    21 ngày trước

    A painless death.

  • Anoop PV

    Anoop PV

    21 ngày trước

    Hitting with s wrench to move a rod that controls the fission in a nuclear reactor.......... Yeeeppp...... That's how we might get a broken tv to work ....so it shud be right for nuclear reactor

  • Manuel Camelo

    Manuel Camelo

    21 ngày trước

    Wow.. humans can be extremely irresponsible.

  • Emmi R

    Emmi R

    21 ngày trước

    McKinley being alive for that long is so horrifying… the whole thing is horrifying but just knowing he was laying there absolutely mutilated and groaning send chills down my spine. Can’t imagine what he might’ve been thinking—if he was thinking at all.

  • CK's channel.

    CK's channel.

    21 ngày trước

    Aaaand that's why you get severely background-checked and monitored if you work in these types of industries; even if you just work front-gate security or janitorial....

  • Matthew Cornelius

    Matthew Cornelius

    21 ngày trước

    I love how when he mentioned the fact that chreno had over 200 Control rods my mind immediately came back with “yea and the idiots tried using 20 out of 200 in a reaction”

  • rahorin


    22 ngày trước

    People are dumb that is what I learned in life. That is why things like this happens. Dumb higher ups letting a bunch of dumb kids in charge of such critical jobs. Just stupidity all around.

  • Ross Harris

    Ross Harris

    22 ngày trước

    chernobyl = engineered

  • Chaos Joerg

    Chaos Joerg

    22 ngày trước

    When you hire an unstable drunk with relationship problems because you can forsee that those rusty rods won't keep working for long.

  • Elena


    22 ngày trước

    couldn’t cold temps make the chemicals more reactive?

  • CeZaR NeBuN

    CeZaR NeBuN

    22 ngày trước

    i believe you are wrong regarding the Chernobyl accident...the people running that reactor had a lost more experience...i believe that reactor was undergoing some type of testing

  • Nurichiri


    22 ngày trước

    If you think you're having a bad day....

  • Zimo Y.

    Zimo Y.

    22 ngày trước

    I guess they saw the Russians.

  • S D

    S D

    23 ngày trước

    If people are hitting nuclear reactors with heavy poles I’m bouncing.

  • uruiamnot


    23 ngày trước

    WRONG! Ok, 🤯 💥 with *my years of labor* working on the Wikipedia page, you STILL GET IT WRONG. Listen, the _ROD_ did not impale Legg at 14:19 ... that was *the shield plug!!!*
    1. You used the pictures I painstakingly found, uploaded, and captioned.
    2. You used my extensive research, with heavy use of primary sources from the US AEC.
    3. You used the secondary sources I quoted, like Proving the Principle and Todd Tucker's book.
    4. But after all that, and with me stating it over a half-dozen times, you say "rod"!?!?!? 🤦
    You don't believe that I'm the one who did it? Check my username and compare it to who essentially wrote that thing.
    You, sir, are a disgrace to scientific research, and this misinformation is infuriating.
    You don't even admit to using the Wikipedia SL-1 article or its images!
    Thumbs down.
    For those of you who want to know about the body of Legg: he was impaled by the shield plug for rod #7; the rod stayed in the vessel.

    • uruiamnot


      23 ngày trước

      Tucker's book was 2009, not 1968. 18:13 The bodies were returned to the families for burial at whatever cemetery they chose. 19:55 - They were in lead coffins, but you should have mentioned that one burial included a ready-mix concrete truck to fill in the hole in lieu of dirt!

  • Aurelio Jimenez

    Aurelio Jimenez

    23 ngày trước

    ask something else

  • That Guy777

    That Guy777

    23 ngày trước

    homer fell asleep at the switch

  • Steve Seguin

    Steve Seguin

    23 ngày trước

    I haven't heard of half these nuclear disasters before; and I thought I knew them all. Loving the channel as a result.

  • bill boyd

    bill boyd

    23 ngày trước

    Its amazing that mankind is still alive, searching for cheep electricity.

  • Baba Yaga Slobbed a Knobba

    Baba Yaga Slobbed a Knobba

    23 ngày trước

    The short answer to this headline question is hubris.

  • TheCompleteMental


    23 ngày trước

    The only time a problem was *created* by pulling out

  • James Brock

    James Brock

    23 ngày trước

    You're wrong SL1 was not the only nuclear accident Three Mile Island in 1979

  • FFEMTB08


    23 ngày trước

    While he was in a bad situation personally I believe it’s incredibly disrespectful to call this a murder-suicide without knowing. Especially with the evidence that the rods often stuck.

  • PeterT1981


    23 ngày trước

    Very nicely done. Thank you Kyle!

  • Tintin milou

    Tintin milou

    23 ngày trước

    makes me think of that german airline pilot that decided to commit suicide on the job a few years ago

  • Ardrek


    24 ngày trước

    Excellent video thank you

  • Chaz G.

    Chaz G.

    24 ngày trước

    Atleast his wife didn't get half his check.

  • Rock Snot

    Rock Snot

    24 ngày trước

    The Army needed ADM Hyman Rickover. He didn't tolerate errors.

  • Ted Smith

    Ted Smith

    24 ngày trước

    The story would have made more sense if you had clarified that, while there were only 5 control rods, they were numbered 1, 3, 5, 7, & 9 and that the 5th, central rod, was #9.

  • Paul Dzhugostran

    Paul Dzhugostran

    24 ngày trước

    The jittery tugboat uniquely program because ashtray evolutionarily analyse sans a grouchy class. psychedelic, subsequent cell

  • Blantisulator Blanston

    Blantisulator Blanston

    24 ngày trước

    I thought voids increase reactivity and cause a runaway.

  • Omnipotent Pumpkin

    Omnipotent Pumpkin

    24 ngày trước

    Murder suicide? More like terrorist attack...

  • Andrew Jorgen Lee

    Andrew Jorgen Lee

    24 ngày trước

    Lol as an Army Specialist myself....this is what happens when you leave us unsupervised

  • Chris Saindon

    Chris Saindon

    24 ngày trước

    OK. The pipe-wrench solution is where I run..RUN out.

  • Lance Weyrich

    Lance Weyrich

    24 ngày trước

    All right Thor

  • Dune Xapa

    Dune Xapa

    24 ngày trước

    Just got to love the nuclear power advocates who believe in the infallibility of humans .....
    Nuclear power is *OBSOLETE* dirty and dangerous ...