1 Minute Weird: The Nuclear Accident You’ve Never Heard Of
On January 3, 1961 United States servicemembers working for the smallest known nuclear reactor entered the room that contained the control rods for the reactor. Moments later, the reactor would meltdown and kill all 3 men. The reactor was a part of an Army initiative to see if small nuclear reactors could power clandestine missions and remote locations of operation.
The reactor was designed so that a single control rod initiated the reaction and thus produced the energy needed for operations. Starting it required manual manipulation of that control rod. The operator raised the control rod too far, blasting two of them across the room and pinning himself to the roof with a control rod impalement. The fire department had to recover their bodies in shifts and they are buried in the desert in metal caskets. Their bodies remain radioactive.