We Almost Lost Detroit

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We Almost Lost Detroit, a 1975 Reader's Digest book by John G. Fuller, presents a history of Fermi 1, America's first commercial breeder reactor, with emphasis on the 1966 partial nuclear meltdown.[1][2] It was republished in 1984 by Berkley.

It took four years for the reactor to be repaired, and then performance was poor. In 1972, the reactor core was dismantled and the reactor was decommissioned. America's first effort at operating a full-scale breeder had failed.[3]

Reception[edit]

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists felt it "doesn't live up to the promise of the subject or the title, but it is a significant book and it is well worth reading." They felt it explained how the accident happened but not why.[4] Kirkus Reviews called it "the heaviest broadside against the Atomic Energy Commission in years".[5]

Cultural impact[edit]

Spoken word and rap pioneer Gil Scott-Heron has a song titled "We Almost Lost Detroit",[6] dealing with the same issue. It has appeared on his 1977 album, Bridges. The song is covered by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. on their album It's a Corporate World.

This song was also covered by Ron Holloway on his album, Groove Update, which features Gil Scott-Heron on vocals.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gerald H. Clarfield and William M. Wiecek (1984). Nuclear America: Military and Civilian Nuclear Power in the United States 1940-1980, Harper & Row, New York, p. 469.
  2. ^ Nuclear Power pp.185-186.
  3. ^ Gerald H. Clarfield and William M. Wiecek (1984). Nuclear America: Military and Civilian Nuclear Power in the United States 1940-1980, Harper & Row, New York, p. 354.
  4. ^ "We Almost Lost Detroit (Book Review)". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: 48. Nov 1975. 
  5. ^ "We Almost Lost Detroit (review)". Kirkus Reviews. Oct 13, 1975. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  6. ^ We Almost Lost Detroit, by Gil Scott-Heron on YouTube, concert in London, 1990, on YouTube
  7. ^ http://www.ronholloway.com/cds

Further reading[edit]

  • Hough, Raymond L. "We Almost Lost Detroit" (Book Review), LJ: Library Journal; 10/1/1975, Vol. 100 Issue 17, p1808