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Volume Listing > Volume 85 > Slow boil: the story of Wisconsin's first nuclear reactor

Driscoll, David B. "Slow boil: the story of Wisconsin's first nuclear reactor"


Slow Boil: The Story of Wisconsin's First Nuclear Power Reactor: This article recounts the history of, and a visit to, the La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor (LACBWR), located on the Mississippi River just south of Genoa in Vernon County. The author went there to identify potential artifacts for the exhibition, “Living Under a Mushroom Cloud: Fear and Hope in the Atomic Age 1945–1964,” at the Wisconsin Historical Museum. Operated by the Dairyland Power Cooperative, LACBWR was approved in 1961 by the Atomic Energy Commission as Wisconsin’s first nuclear power plant. Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company of Milwaukee began building it in 1963 and, after many delays, it began generating electricity commercially in February 1971, and continued to do so until Dairyland closed it for business reasons in 1987. The first half of the essay, on the history of the plant, quotes often from reports by Dairyland Power’s general manager John P. Madgett; the second half of the article, describing the author's tour of the plant, incincludes many firsthand impressions, photographs, and quotes from engineer Mike Johnsen. (11 pages)

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Citation: Driscoll, David B. "Slow boil: the story of Wisconsin's first nuclear reactor" Wisconsin Magazine Of History. Volume: 85 /Issue: 1 (2001-2002)

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