William Brockenbrough Taylor Sr (born 1925)
BS, US Military Academy, West point, NY, 1945.
MS Engrg (EE), Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore MD, 1951.
Dir, Global Systems; US Army Engr Topo Labs, Ft. Belvoir, VA; Supervised R&D of SECOR (geodesic satellite system) and UNAMACE system (computerized photogrammetry for satellite photography), 1960-62.
Office Manned Space Flight, NASA, 1962-67.
Asst Director, Engineering Studies
Director, Apollo Applications.
Office, Chief of R&D, US Army, 1967-69.
Scientific Advisor, Missiles & Space.
1990 Book - "The Army's Nuclear Power Program : Evolution of a Support Agency"
1990-the-armys-nuclear-power-program-evolution-of-support-agency-lawrence-suid.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1NYGKwj1GODg06vABuEwkXmUz5Z5A4mNk
"While I received many suggestions and much constructive criticism of the manuscript during and after the writing, I felt that the new version needed one more reading. As a result, I turned to two of the people who had provided me with information and then read the completed book. William B. Taylor worked within the Army’s nuclear power program almost from its inception and in later years served as a consultant to the nuclear power program. He read the manuscript with considerable care from the perspective of a person who had been there and simply wanted to insure accuracy of the story."
Chapter 1 - The Beginnings
Pages 7 to 17
In the approved Memorandum, dated July 22, 1952, Collins assured Secretary Pace that he "strongly" concurred that the Army should have a "dynamic program"in the area of nuclear energy. To accomplish this, the Chief of Staff proposed that the Army immediately enter into a contract with a qualified research group to begin work on a program that would produce a mobile or semi-mobile atomic power source within a four- to eight-year period. The Memo acknowledged that the cost of producing power from the first nuclear plant would probably exceed that from a conventional power source. Consequently, the Army would have to justify its expenditure of funds on the basis of logistic savings in transporting fuel to remote areas. Secondarily, the service would have to justify the program as providing an impetus for the development of the commercial nuclear power industry and so offer great potential value to the nation as well as having "a major indirect military benefit."20
The Memorandum went on to explain that the research contract would not only be feasible, "but very timely in light of the progress made to date in reactor development and in light of the studies that are being made by the power industry."
To initially finance the Army’s Nuclear Power program, Collins proposed that the Army provide approximately $250,000 to the Chief of Engineers to administer the contract. During the 1953 fiscal year, Collins said that the Chief of Research and Development would need an additional $1 million to continue the Program, to be obtained either by reallocation of his budget or by appealing to the Secretary of Defense’s emergency fund. According to the Memo, Dr. Hafstad agreed that the Corps of Engineers should initiate the project. Once it had developed a firm military requirement and defined a specific reactor project, the Army would consult with the AEC "to determine the best way for proceeding with the engineering and construction phase."21
Collins explained that the initial contract would be expected to accomplish three goals. It would determine the nature of the Army’s requirements for power sources to be provided by power plants. It would ascertain the most effective type of reactors to meet those requirements and provide a preliminary design analysis to show the scope of the effort required. Finally, it would arrive at a proposed program that would include a probable time schedule, estimated cost, and organizational structure recommended to carry out the project.
The Chief of Staff singled out the immediate need to assign an officer to the project who could carry it forward with "dedicated vigor, determination and continuity." He reported that the Chief of Engineers had agreed to assign an officer to the program for as long as needed. Collins said he was prepared to approve and he urged Pace to recognize that "the officer selected for this position shall be permitted to remain with it so long as assignment appears desirable." On the other hand, decisions regarding size of the support staff and whether it should include in the area of nuclear energy. To accomplish this, the Chief of Staff proposed that the Army immediately enter into a contract with a qualified research group to begin work on a program that would produce a mobile or semi-mobile atomic power source within a four- to eight-year period. The Memo acknowledged that the cost of producing power from the first nuclear plant would probably exceed that from a conventional power source. Consequently, the Army would have to justify its expenditure of funds on the basis of logistic savings in transporting fuel to remote areas. Secondarily, the service would have to justify the program as providing an impetus for the development of the commercial nuclear power industry and so offer great potential value to the nation as well as having "a major indirect military benefit."20
The Memorandum went on to explain that the research contract would not only be feasible, "but very timely in light of the progress made to date in reactor development and in light of the studies that are being made by the power industry." To initially finance the Army’s Nuclear Power program, Collins proposed that the Army provide approximately $250,000 to the Chief of Engineers to administer the contract. During the 1953 fiscal year, Collins said that the Chief of Research and Development would need an additional $1 million to continue the Program, to be obtained either by reallocation of his budget or by appealing to the Secretary of Defense’s emergency fund. According to the Memo, Dr. Hafstad agreed that the Corps of Engineers should initiate the project. Once it had developed a firm military requirement and defined a specific reactor project, the Army would consult with the AEC "to determine the best way for proceeding with the engineering and construction phase."21
Collins explained that the initial contract would be expected to accomplish three goals. It would determine the nature of the Army’s requirements for power sources to be provided by power plants. It would ascertain the most effective type of reactors to meet those requirements and provide a preliminary design analysis to show the scope of the effort required. Finally, it would arrive at a proposed program that would include a probable time schedule, estimated cost, and organizational structure recommended to carry out the project.
The Chief of Staff singled out the immediate need to assign an officer to the project who could carry it forward with "dedicated vigor, determination and continuity." He reported that the Chief of Engineers had agreed to assign an officer to the program for as long as needed. Collins said he was prepared to approve and he urged Pace to recognize that "the officer selected for this position shall be permitted to remain with it so long as assignment appears desirable." On the other hand, decisions regarding size of the support staff and whether it should include liaisons at various AEC reactor sites could be deferred until the completion of the initial contract."22
In concluding, Collins raised the issue of how the Program would be classified for security purposes. He "earnestly" proposed that the project be unclassified except for details "that must be classified in accordance with the regulations of the AEC as required by the Atomic Energy Act." Collins justified this position by voicing a theme that would run through the life of the Army’s Nuclear Power Program. It offers "a fruitful source of effective publicity on Army support of peaceful application of atomic energy."23
While Collins’ Memo was passing upward through the chain of command, Gen. Nichols continued to establish the groundwork for the future Nuclear Power Program. On July 17, Dr. Dunning called to say that Columbia "would be very interested in doing the job but could undertake it only if it is to be a long-range thing." He explained that the school would have to reassign people to the contract from other work, from other institutions, and from other contracts with industry. Since Columbia had a firm policy that it would not handle any project on a subcontract basis, Dunning suggested that if the Army wanted the university to work with a private research firm, it would have to give prime contracts to both and have it cross-referenced to each.24
On July 29, 1952, Secretary Pace responded to Collins’ Memo by giving the Chief of Staff’s proposal his "complete approval and support." He expressed his gratification at "the specific steps proposed, or already taken, to accelerate the Army’s participation and action in this most promising area of research and development." He hoped that Collins could select a contractor "at an early date" to initiate the research phase of the Program. The Secretary also gave "hearty endorsement" to the concept of selecting an officer to run the Program on a long-term basis, calling it a "most forward-looking one."25
In conclusion, Pace wrote that he agreed the Army "should strive to accomplish this program on an unclassified basis as you propose. The far-reaching benefits of this program in terms of peaceful application should be made known as fully and as rapidly as possible to the American public." He also asked to be kept "closely informed as to the progress in the vigorous execution of this program." To this end, he suggested a meeting with Collins on the subject in early October. In the meantime, he said his office would be available to provide assistance "in the furtherance" of the project.26
On August 4, responding to the Secretary’s approval, the Chief of Engineers Gen. Pick, with Gen. Nichols’ concurrence, selected Col. James B. Lampert to head the Army’s Nuclear Program. Lampert had first become involved with atomic power in 1946, when, as a promising young engineer officer, he received an assignment to the Manhattan District as a Corps of Engineers’ replacement to the wartime staff. A long tour of duty had enabled him to become familiar with atomic energy activities. Subsequent assignments as District Engineer in Charleston from 1949 to 1950, and in a civil works capacity in Tulsa at the time of his new appointment, had given him administrative experience. Arriving in Washington in the middle of August for his initial briefing, Lampert found the Program "was on an extremely tentative state."27
In their first meeting, Gen. Nichols told Lampert he hoped the Army’s Nuclear Program would follow the pattern established by Rear Adm. Hyman Rickover in developing the Navy’s nuclear submarine program. Rickover held a position as an Assistant Chief of the Navy’s Bureau of Ships and as a head of an operating program within the Atomic Energy Commission. In addition, the then-captain operated with a Navy budget and an AEC budget to finance the nuclear submarine program. Although Lampert ultimately created a similar organization, he first had to overcome resistance within the AEC to "the idea of establishing another military program within [its] bosom."28
In the meantime, as Lampert was beginning his initial exploration of his new assignment, the Army formally designated the Corps of Engineers as the supervisory agency. By the time the Colonel had completed his move to Washington in early September, the Corps of Engineers had begun discussions with the Atomic Energy Commission on procedures for getting the program quickly underway. The AEC "recommended very strongly" that the Army follow the same procedures that the Navy and Air Force had used with their nuclear reactor programs. Like his counterparts, Col. Lampert would receive dual assignments, as head of the Army’s program and a position in the Reactor Division of the AEC. This arrangement would enable him to be in immediate touch with all aspects of the Commission’s reactor development program. The AEC also suggested that the Army officially express to the Agency its interest in starting a reactor program so that the AEC would have a basis for active cooperation in the Army’s program.29
To accomplish the last item, Secretary Pace wrote to Gordon Dean, Chairman of the Commission, on September 10, 1952, outlining the Army’s interest in developing a nuclear power capacity. According to Pace, at some point in the future the Army would have sufficient need for a power source free from conventional fuel requirements that would justify the additional cost of a nuclear power facility over a conventional power plant. The Secretary asked the Atomic Energy Commission for "advice and assistance" in selecting a contractor for the feasibility study and cooperation with the research group so that the study would benefit from the work of the AEC’s Reactor Division. Pace also asked that the Commission accept Col. Lampert on a dual assignment basis in its Reactor Division."30
In his response on October 7, 1952, Dean agreed to cooperate with the Army in its study of possible military uses of nuclear energy. He pointed out that the AEC had already done studies on the economics of operating small nuclear reactors. As a result, he thought the Army should avail itself of the information on hand before extending a contract for an independent feasibility study. In fact, the AEC Chairman thought the Commission should retain responsibility for the study of any new reactor design to avoid duplication and confusion. Dean did agree that Lampert should work closely with the AEC’s Division of Reactor Development in evolving any Army reactor program.31
Meanwhile, Gen. Nichols had been working with Col. Lampert to establish a viable foundation for the Army’s program. On September 17, Dr. Dunning had come down from Columbia University to go over the project with them, and on September 22, they had met with Thomas Murray, one of the AEC Commissioners, to discuss the proposed program. Murray followed up the meeting on October 9, when he called Gen. Nichols to find out if Dean’s letter to Secretary Pace "fit the bill." He also suggested Nichols and Lampert meet with him again to talk about the mechanism of the Army’s program after Lampert had spent a week in the Commission’s headquarters. In turn, on October 16, Nichols advised Pace that Dean’s letter "may furnish an adequate basis for initiation of the program" even though it contained "certain reservations" the AEC had in "relinquishing any jurisdiction in the reactor field."32
Strategically, Nichols did not think the Army "should raise any issues concerning procedure and justification at this time." Instead, he thought Lampert could work directly with Dr. Hafstad to develop plans for the best means of initiating the Program. In fact, Nichols informed Pace that Lampert had already established a liaison with the AEC through Hafstad and had begun his work. He also provided the Secretary with a draft reply to Dean’s letter, which advised the AEC Chairman of the arrangement.33
Initially assigned in the Chief of Engineer’s Office to the Assistant Chief of Engineers for Troop Operations, Lampert had begun working with Hafstad in the AEC’s Reactor Development Division on an informal basis. Hafstad provided him with a desk in the Civilian Reactors Branch in order to give him access to nuclear experts both in the government and in private industry. Lampert also quickly approached Adm. Rickover but obtained an interview only with some "difficulty."
As Lampert recalled, the Admiral greeted him by saying, "I understand you want to build nuclear power plants for the Army. My advice to you is that you don’t know what you’re getting into and the best thing you can do is get out of it in a hurry." Despite the coldness of his introduction, Rickover did provide Lampert with a great deal of technical materials from the Naval Reactors Group Library and had one of his assistants brief him on the progress of the Navy’s reactor program. 34
For the most part, Lampert’s first months of work consisted of a series of data gathering meetings. At the AEC, he continued to encounter resistance in part because the Army still had not demonstrated a formal requirement for a nuclear power plant and the Commission was very reluctant to allocate funds without such a justification. At the same time, because the AEC was encouraging private industry to begin work on commercial nuclear power plants, Lampert was told to wait until he could use the results of their investigations. From other people whom he met, however, Lampert found a "rather affirmative attitude." The consensus of opinion was that the Navy’s reactor program offered no immediate economic payoff in the field of energy production. Consequently, there was an interest in seeing another government nuclear program started that would offer the potential for the development of military nuclear power plants on land and could contribute to the advance of commercial nuclear power.35
Apart from gathering information and receiving encouragement to move ahead, Col. Lampert’s efforts received a boost when he obtained an assistant, Capt. William B. Taylor, who had been working in the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project. Arriving in October, Taylor initially devoted his attention to studying the military procedures for starting a new technical program. He and Lampert also began surveying the Army’s power requirements as well as the power requirements of the other armed services for which the Chief of Engineers had responsibility. By November 10, when the Nuclear Power Division was formally activated within the Office of the Chief of Engineers, Lampert and Taylor had concluded that the key to getting the Army’s Program underway was to get an official statement from a high level in the Pentagon stating that a military requirement existed for the development of nuclear power plants. According to Lampert, this "charter," based on the early Army memoranda and his many discussions, proved "invaluable ... because I was never bothered by anybody in somebody’s outer office trying to say, ’You can’t talk to my boss because you haven’t come through channels.’ I think that if I had not had that sort of a general license to operate freely, it would have been much more difficult than it was to get started."36
While Lampert and Taylor were conducting their preliminary technical and feasibility studies, Gen. Nichols continued his own efforts to advance the Army’s Nuclear Program. Following the 1952 presidential election, Nichols visited Adm. Lewis Strauss in New York on December 3, to describe his initiatives toward developing an Army atomic power project and to seek Strauss’ support after President Eisenhower’s inauguration. Strauss, one of the original members of the AEC and then an adviser to the President-elect on nuclear affairs, gave his "hearty concurrence"‘ to the Army’s plans. Later, this interest and encouragement translated into valuable assistance when the Army’s Program ran into serious AEC objections in the spring of 1953.37
In the meantime, Lampert and Taylor pursued their research with the assistance of the Engineer Strategic Planning Group, the Operations Research Office of John Hopkins University, and several engineer officers, who had relevant scientific backgrounds and were on temporary assignment in the Chief of Engineer’s Office. The survey of military requirements focused on power needs in remote areas—in the Mediterranean and the Middle East—the feasibility of floating nuclear power plants, and the use of mobile power plants for direct support of tactical units. To Lampert and Taylor, the most convincing argument in favor of military nuclear power plants related to the logistics of producing electricity and steam in remote areas. As Lampert saw it, once a power plant was in place and running, the military "would then have electricity practically indefinitely and [it] would not have to bring any fuel to keep the plant going."38
To justify the requirement to the AEC, the two officers decided to pick out locales where the Army was then generating electric power, but at high cost and with great difficulty due to the transportation problems. Their preliminary comparisons between the cost of conventional power and nuclear power led them to look specifically at military bases in such places as Northern Greenland and Alaska, where the logistical problems of delivering diesel fuel suggested that nuclear power plants might be a viable alternative. Because the Air Force had bases in such remote areas, it became involved in the study and supplied the Nuclear Power Division with much of its preliminary logistical information. Although the Navy ultimately expressed an interest in the Army’s Program because of its base in Antarctica, the service provided few leads during the initial research phase because its overseas bases were accessible to the sea and usually in moderate climates.39
With Lampert’s preliminary studies well under way, on February 2, 1953, the Army Nuclear Power Division issued an Interim Report titled Army Nuclear Power. In it, Lambert and Taylor concluded that a military requirement did exist for electric power plants for use at remote bases and in prospective theaters of operation. Their research indicated that nuclear power plants might be technically feasible as well as both militarily and economically justified to fill a specific portion of this requirement. Although they acknowledged that the construction cost of a nuclear power plant would he more than that for a conventional plant, diesel or oil delivery costs could exceed the first-cost differential after only a few years of operation at some remote military bases. They said that further study was needed to ascertain the required characteristics of military nuclear power plants and this could be accomplished through the current research. In addition, they recommended that a technical feasibility study of reactor concepts and designs be undertaken in order to select one concept for development and to set forth the building program. They suggested that this study should be done, preferable on a contract basis in the "immediate future."40
Lt. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis, the new Chief of Engineers, approved the Report and sent it up the chain of command to the Military Liaison Committee. The Committee concurred with the findings in the Interim Report and transmitted it to the AEC on March 23, 1953. Moreover, the new Secretary of the Army, Robert Stevens, advised the Chief of Staff on April 13, that he "wholeheartedly" subscribed to the Corps of Engineers’ objective to "explore vigorously all possibilities of atomic application in meeting military requirements." Consequently, he offered "full support to all programs" in the field.41
In turn, Gen. Nichols helped prepare the letters that formally established Col. Lampert’s position and authority and then wrote the letter to Gordon Dean and the AEC, which accompanied the Interim Report. Nichols recalled that he wrote the letter "in such a fashion that I felt that it would not be turned down." It proposed that the Army offered to pay for the nuclear project, let the AEC pay for it, let the AEC run it, let the Army run it, or run it in the way Adm. Rickover was running the Navy nuclear submarine program. Nichols recalled that the Army "did not prescribe any procedure for doing it, with the idea that we did not want to get into an argument with the AEC about how it be done or how it be funded." Nevertheless, the Commission rejected the Army’s proposal, according to Nichols, because some of the Commissioners were worried that the Engineers were getting back into atomic power.42
In analyzing the situation in order to respond to Secretary Stevens, Brig. Gen. Kenner F. Hertford, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development, concluded that the turndown "apparently arises from the current importance of the general industrial atomic power picture in both the executive branch and the Congress as well as from a feeling that the AEC must keep the initiative in this field." At the same time, Hertford cited President Eisenhower’s statement in a National Security Council meeting in late March in which he said that he didn’t want Defense Department funds used to develop nuclear power plants that could be used for industrial purposes and so compete with present commercial power plants. Hertford also mentioned the controversy over the future course of nuclear power development and suggested that until the Legislative and Executive branches of the Government had established a national policy, it was "considered inadvisable" to ask the AEC to take any further action in regard to the Army’s program.43
Despite the reluctance of the AEC to allow the Army to become involved in nuclear power, the Commission did direct Dr. Hafstad to push studies of small reactor designs that would be applicable to the Army’s interest. As a result, Hafstad was proceeding with a technical study at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which would provide analyses to meet the Army requirements and to which Lampert would have ready access because of Hafstad’s "strong personal support" of the Engineers’ investigations. Consequently, although the Army’s proposed research contract to study the feasibility of a military requirement for nuclear reactors could not be given out, Hafstad’s Oak Ridge Study was expected to provide Lampert with most of the information he would need.44
The Oak Ridge Laboratory expected to complete its study by late summer. The Army would then be able to establish a firm military commitment for its program. In addition, Hertford noted in his analysis to the Chief of Engineers that the AEC would be under new management by then and the Army could expect that "decisions concerning AEC policies in the nuclear field may be somewhat clarified." Furthermore, he explained that the whole question of the future course of nuclear power development is highly controversial. Some factions believed the AEC should demonstrate the feasibility of several types of reactors because of the multimillion dollar investments necessary. Other factions believed the current Atomic Energy Act should be changed to get the government out of the nuclear power development business. In any case, until a national policy was established, Hertford did not think the present AEC would support an Army contract with private industry to develop small nuclear plants for military use.45
On his part, following up on the AEC’s rejection of the Army’s proposal, Gen. Nichols met with Adm. Strauss on May 13 in an attempt to obtain his assistance in reversing the decision. The President’s adviser on energy matters suggested that the Army should prepare the studies recommended by the AEC in order to prove more precisely the military’s need for atomic power plants. According to Nichols, Strauss’ counsel of continued research and patience resulted from the Admiral’s knowledge that he would become an AEC commissioner or the Commission’s chairman in the near future. He would then be in a position to give the Army’s Program a more a favorable reception.46
Nichols also reported the situation to Secretary Stevens in a letter dated May 27. Agreeing with Hertford’s analysis, he told Stevens that the Commission was undergoing changes in composition at the same time as the Atomic Energy Act was in the process of legislative review and revision. He also explained that the Department of Defense had also "indicated a general unwillingness to support military atomic power projects unless there is a clear-cut military requirement for some." He did, however, cite the Army’s progress to date, including the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s study of small nuclear reactors of the type the Army needed, the liaison established between Col. Lampert and the AEC, and Lambert’s continuing research into the military’s justification of nuclear power plants. Finally, Nichols reported to Stevens on his meeting with Adm. Strauss, saying that the Admiral had indicated that nothing in the Administration’s nuclear power policy would prevent the Army’s Program from proceeding if it could demonstrate "an economic gain to the use of atomic power in lieu of more conventional power for selected military applications."47
Nichols’ progress report proved inadequate in satisfying Steven’s request for information on the status of the Program. In a Memorandum to the Army Chief of Staff on June 11, 1953, Under Secretary of the Army Earl D. Johnson described Nichols’ Memorandum as revealing "very little progress" and claimed he could find no record of being advised of the Army’s negotiations with the AEC or the Agency’s refusal to authorize the Engineers to proceed with the project. Responding to Johnson on June 18, Nichols suggested that there had apparently been a "considerable misunderstanding that should be clarified."48
In attempting to clarify the status of the Program, Nichols did acknowledge that it "had not progressed as rapidly as I would desire." However, he maintained that work had gone forward and Secretary Pace had not indicated any dissatisfaction at his last briefing on January 12, 1953, before leaving office. After summarizing developments since then, Nichols repeated the current status of the Program as described in his May 27 memo to Secretary Sevens. He explained to Johnson that Col. Lampert was following Adm. Strauss’ advice to determine whether nuclear power could be economically justified over conventional power for selected military application before again approaching the AEC with a request for support. Nichols also indicated that the Program was "assuming that the justification must essentially depend on this alone and not on the basis that the work we would be doing would be of general value in promoting industrial power." Denying that Secretary Pace had not been kept informed, Nichols concluded that "progress made to date is reasonably consistent with the difficulties encountered in carrying forward military work under the present Atomic Energy Act."49
In the meantime, to establish the Army’s requirement, Lampert had sought help from the AEC, the Army, and the academic world. He received "a very friendly reception" at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) run by the AEC. Evolving from the Manhattan Project’s wartime Clinton Laboratories, ORNL in effect became a technical consultant to the Nuclear Power Division. The Laboratory’s director, Dr. Alvin Weinberg, had been one of the early enthusiasts for the development of nuclear power plants for general use; he felt the Army’s Program offered considerable promise in helping to develop commercial power. As a result, ORNL became, in effect, a technical consultant to Lampert and the Army’s Nuclear Power Program. Working in conjunction with Dr. Hafstad at the AEC Reactor Division, Weinberg agreed to set up a small team within the Laboratory staff to examine the existing nuclear reactor technology and develop some very preliminary designs for suitable power plants. In addition, the team would provide estimates of the plants’ characteristics and construction costs.50
While the ORNL research progressed during the summer, Lampert received additional inputs from six engineer officers with scientific backgrounds on temporary duty at OCE. They formed a military study group assigned to the Nuclear Power Division to conduct a detailed examination of the military situation around the world in order to determine sites that offered promise as locales for nuclear power plants. The survey focused on power needs in remote areas, such as the Mediterranean and the Middle East, the feasibility of floating nuclear power plants, and the use of mobile power plants for direct support of tactical units. In addition, the Operations Research Office of Johns Hopkins University, working under a contract with the Army, provided assistance to the research effort by setting up a group to do a detailed study of the economic advantages to using nuclear power in remote areas.51
While these studies proceeded, Adm. Strauss became Chairman of the AEC on July 2, and on July 13 he asked Gen. Nichols to become General Manager of the Commission. Before deciding to accept the appointment, Nichols went to Gen. Matthew Ridgeway, the Army Chief of Staff, to discuss the offer. He explained that he was happy with his current assignment but would accept the position if Ridgeway thought he could better serve the nation in that capacity. Within the Army, some people thought Nichols should remain in the service and serve as the General Manager while still on active duty. Neither Secretary of Defense Wilson nor the AEC approved this option. Ultimately, President Eisenhower made the decision that Nichols should resign from the Army and serve in the AEC as a civilian. He did remain in his military position throughout the summer, then retiring on October 31, and beginning his new job the next day.52
Until he left the Army, Nichols had monitored Lambert’s work and, on August 13, he provided Secretary Stevens with an up-date on developments since his June report. Because of the slow progress of Congressional hearings on the development of commercial atomic energy, Nichols wrote that the Atomic Energy Law would not be revised until 1954, with a corresponding delay in any private action to build nuclear power plants.53
In assessing the status of the Army’s Program, Nichols said research had indicated "that under various conditions there would be a substantial military advantage to the use of nuclear plants in lieu of conventional plants." He noted that capital costs of a nuclear plant could be within a reasonable range of a conventional facility, operating costs would be lower, and savings in logistics would be substantial. He explained that the ORNL investigation had produced a design that could probably be built for $3 million and he estimated that design and construction of a prototype plant would take three to six years. Nichols therefore concluded that the studies done so far justified continuing and expanding the Army’s Program with the objective of building a nuclear facility based on the ORNL work.54
Nichols then provided the Secretary with a two-phase plan for accomplishing this goal. He said all design work could be done in twelve months at an estimated cost of $500,000. The actual construction would require about two years and cost $2 to 3 million. As soon as the Nuclear Power Division had completed its next report at the end of September, Nichols said he would discuss it with Lewis Strauss and at that point the AEC could determine how much of the actual work it wanted to control vis-a-vis the Army’s responsibility.55
Following the Secretary’s concurrence with the plan on September 1, in his last report before retiring, Nichols provided the Army Chief of Staff with additional information. He said the Nuclear Power Division’s Report, now scheduled for completion in October, would recommend that the Army support the design of a prototype nuclear plant that would produce about 1,000 kilowatts of electrical power and sufficient additional steam to heat an arctic installation having a 200-man garrison. According to Nichols, the justification for building such a facility "lies in the fact that 75% of the total logistic support required for such a station would be eliminated by the use of a nuclear power plant." He conceded that this saving would not pay the additional cost of the nuclear plant over a conventional facility in a peacetime situation, but argued that "in time of all-out-war, dollar savings and the assurance of continued operations without dependence on regular deliveries of oil would be an important justification."56
Chapter 2 : Organization of the Nuclear Program
pages 21 to 24
With the Second Interim Report, dated October 30, 1953, Colonel Lampert and the Nuclear Power Division formally established a military justification for the design and construction of a nuclear power plant. The Report concluded that the Army’s proposed Nuclear Power Program was compatible with national policy and with commercial interest in the subject. It cited military power and heat requirements that nuclear power plants could meet in remote areas. According to the Report, the small nuclear reactor that ORNL had designed was technically feasible and could be built without delay at comparatively low cost, with a minimum risk. Adapted from Rickover’s submarine reactor, the chosen design was a pressurized, watercooled and water-moderated reactor, fueled with enriched uranium. Although not cheaper than a conventional facility in most locations, the Report argued that a nuclear plant could be justified in certain high fuel cost areas on an overall dollar basis. Moreover, in wartime, a nuclear plant could gain a significant advantage because of logistical problems in supplying conventional power plants.1
The Report recommended that the Army build a prototype plant at a site in the United States at an estimated cost of less than $5 million. The initial facility should be quickly followed by a field unit constructed in an arctic location with completion scheduled for late 1958. Although cost of the second unit would depend on the site, the Report estimated $2 to $3 million per year as sufficient funding for the Program. Finally, the Report called for continuing studies to apply advancing nuclear technology to evolving military requirements.2
The Second Interim Report quickly made its way up the chain of command. On November 10, Col. Lampert briefed the Military Liaison Committee about the Nuclear Power Division’s research and conclusions. On November 13, the Army requested that the Defense Department provide an appropriation of $500,000 to initiate the design of the prototype nuclear plant during fiscal year (FY) 1954. The service also recommended to the Joint Chiefs of Staff that it establish a military requirement for the development of such a nuclear reactor. In advising the Military Liaison Committee of its actions on December 4, the Army’s Research and Development Office requested that when the Joint Chiefs of Staff approved the requirement, the Committee should forward the Second Interim Report to the AEC with the recommendation that it undertake the development program. The Research and Design (R&D) Office also recommended that the Defense Department ask the AEC to undertake the development of the reactor at Commission expense, but explained that if necessary, the Army "is prepared to assist the Commission in funding, or to accomplish the development by direct contract with Commission approval."3
As expected, on December 9, the Joint Chiefs of Staff established the requirement for a military nuclear power plant. On December 14, the Military Liaison Committee advised the Atomic Energy Commission of this action. Nevertheless, the problem of how to fund the Program became an issue almost immediately. On December 16, Donald Quarles, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Development, stated, "We understand that the Atomic Energy Commission is financing the nuclear power plant design project and accordingly we are withholding the requested funds without prejudice to the planned project." But, on February 11, in acknowledging the Liaison Committee’s letter, the Atomic Energy Commission indicated it "presently has no funds available" to spend on the project. Instead it suggested the Army should transfer funds to the Commission "to permit initiation of this work without delay."4
In anticipation of working out funding problems and in accordance with the Joint Chiefs of Staff action, on January 11, 1954, the Chief of Engineers activated the Nuclear Power Branch at the Engineer Research and Development Laboratories (ERDL) at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. This Branch was to act as the Corps of Engineers field agency for the Nuclear Program. The Branch’s first chief, Maj. Joseph Bacci, remained resident engineer for both the Army and the AEC during the construction of the prototype nuclear plant from 1954 to 1957. The Branch itself came directly under the technical supervision of the Nuclear Power Division in the Office of the Chief of Engineers.
Under Col. Lampert, the Division operated as part of the Corps of Engineers Directorate of Research and Development, where it remained until an Army re organization in 1962. Capt. Bill Taylor served as Lampert’s first assistant from October 1952 to September 1953, at which time he contracted a very severe case of polio as a Major, retired from the Army, and was absent until January 1955, when he rejoined the program as a civil engineer. His loss was at least in part offset by the arrival of Lt. Col. William C. Gribble, whom Lampert described as having provided the Program "tremendous support and assistance."5
Col. Gribble had worked in the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory as a metallurgical engineer from 1948 to 1952, while on loan from the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project. Toward the end of his assignment, he became aware of the Army’s developing interest in nuclear power. He also learned that the AEC had given the Army a slot in its new training program in reactor technology located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Discovering that the Army’s position had not been filled, Gribble applied through the Chief of Engineers to attend the one-year course at the Oak Ridge School of Reactor Technology and became the first Army officer to enroll in the Program. In January 1953, half way through the course, Gribble met Col. Lampert, who was visiting the ORNL as part of his continuing research. Lampert discussed with Gribble his interest in reactors, the extent of his knowledge of nuclear technology, and asked if he would provide assistance in the development of the Army’s Program. As a result, during the balance of Gribble’s attendance at the school, he maintained contacts with Lampert and Taylor, for the most part receiving information about the Army’s interest in small nuclear plants and helping to screen lists of prospective students from Army personnel applying to the school. Before he had ended his year’s study, Gribble received orders assigning him to the Nuclear Power Division.6
Gribble’s arrival inWashington brought Lampert’s staff to four, including his secretary. During the next several months, he helped prepare the Second Interim Report. Replacing Taylor as Lampert’s right-hand man, Gribble then assisted in implementing the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s decision to support the Army’s Nuclear Power Program. It received official approval on February 10, 1954, when Secretary of Defense Charles Wilson confirmed the Joint Chiefs of Staff development requirement "for nuclear power plants in supplying power for heat and electricity at remote and relatively inaccessible military installations." Wilson also formally designated the Army as the "cognizant agency" in carrying out the requirement.
By this point, the AEC was finally ready to agree to the Army’s original request to establish a joint Army-AEC program as it had done earlier with Adm. Rickover and the Navy. With the help of Dr. Hafstad, the AEC and the Corps of Engineers officially recognized the informal working relationship of the previous 18 months, on April 1, 1954, with the establishment of the Army Reactors Branch in the AEC’s Division of Reactor Development. Lampert staffed the Branch primarily with Corps of Engineers personnel and liaison officers from the Air Force, Navy, and other Army technical services. The AEC also allowed Lampert to take initial steps toward establishing a small budget within the Commission, which enabled him to begin recruiting a cadre of civilian technical people on the AEC payroll. At the same time, Lampert worked out arrangements so that his military people were accepted within the AEC as technical members of the Branch.8
On the Army side of the organization chart, the Corps of Engineers concurrently established, on April 1, the Army Reactors Group, also with headquarters at the AEC as a focal point for the military side of the Program. For administrative purposes, the Group was attached to the Engineer Center at Fort Belvoir, but reported directly to the Assistant Chief of Engineers for Troop Operations. In fact, it remained a relatively small office with the majority of people in the Army’s nuclear program working full time in the AEC.9
In practice, the Army Reactors Branch was generally responsible for the research and development of nuclear power plants for land use. Reflecting the increasing importance of the Program, the Chief of Engineers redesignated the Nuclear Power Division, Lampert’s initial office, as the Office of Special Assistant for Nuclear Power. The OCE/military element in the dual organization structure became responsible for coordination of Army requirements, dealing with Army and Engineer staff matters relating to nuclear power plants, and planning operational aspects of the Program. Because of his dual role as head of both the Army Reactors Branch and the Office of Special Assistant for Nuclear Power, Lampert was able to provide close and continuous coordination of the program.10
Before beginning actual work on the prototype nuclear plant, Lampert still had to resolve the matter of funding. In advising the Secretary of the Army of the AEC’s position on providing money for the military Program, Maj. Gen. John P. Uncles, the Army’s new Chief of Research and Development, explained that the service felt it "highly desirable that this project be contracted on a lump sum basis inasmuch as there had been a strong indication that potential contractors may be willing to undertake this effort at cost or less than cost in order to get established in this field." However, he advised that the service’s Nuclear Power Program had never expected a financial commitment of such magnitude in FY 1954 "even though it has been recognized as an important long range development which the Army should certainly support." Gen. Uncles noted that the Program was, in fact, an all-military requirement, that the Second Interim Report was completed by the time FY 1954 budget-planning had been finalized, and that the AEC should normally be expected to fund a nuclear program such as the Army’s. Consequently, he advised Secretary Stevens that "justification existed for requesting that the Secretary of Defense’s emergency funds be made available for financing the program."11
Pages 128 to 131 in
Facilities Engineering Support Agency (FESA)
As the Engineer Power Group had become an agency in search of a mission by the end of 1973, the Corps of Engineers was seeking an agency to undertake a new assignment. In addition to its civil and other military engineering assignments, since the end of World War II the Corps had supplied Engineer officers as post engineers to operate utilities and maintain facilities on Army bases. For the most part, in the decades of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, the officers assigned to these positions were not of the caliber of those who had or were to later receive the important assignments necessary to advance to positions of high command within or outside the Corps.1
Given this reality, the assignment as a post engineer seemed to be a "kiss of death" to a career even if the records showed the officer’s performance as post engineer rated as high or higher than his other assignments. In addition to any lack of talent, the post engineer seldom had an adequate staff in quality or numbers to provide him with the professional assistance he needed. When these shortcomings were combined with the lack of resources in funds and engineering support from the Corps itself, a low level of post maintenance usually resulted. Such deficiencies in men and actions gave rise to a bad image for the Corps within the Army itself.2
In 1968, in recognition of this and related problems, the Army Chief of Staff had initiated a study to provide a comprehensive analysis of the total management of the service’s real property maintenance activities. Lt. Gen. L.G. Lincoln headed the study group that examined all reports of previous investigations and did its own research and analysis. Unlike the earlier studies whose recommendations "were rarely if ever carried out," according to Lincoln, his work gave new impetus to the operation and maintenance of the Army’s facilities. A subsequent study described the Lincoln recommendations as giving "new direction and impetus" to the Army’s operations and maintenance of its Real Property and "a ten year benchmark" for subsequent analysis.3
To deal with the need to provide engineering support for post facilities, the Lincoln Study Group recommended that the Army allocate funds to be controlled by the Chief of Engineers. This money would then be further allocated to districts, which would enable facility engineers to obtain engineering assistance without payment from their own resources. In regard to the facilities engineer, as Gen. Lincoln and his Study Group chose to rename the position of post engineer, the Study Report recommended that the selection of the officer be made on the same basis as any Engineer officer being assigned to a Corps of Engineers district. Not only would the man be "one of the best," according to Lincoln, but he would also subsequently be given the same consideration in personnel evaluation as an officer who had served in a district. The ultimate effect of this change would be to provide a better caliber of officer who would then be perceived in a better light by both peers and superiors, would have a reason to make a record for himself while in his assignment, and would be able to acquire engineering expertise that would he useful in his later career.4
To accomplish an assignment, however, the facilities engineer would also need support from an organization capable of providing broader assistance in emergency situations such as the breakdown of electrical-generating equipment and heating plants. In implementing the Lincoln Study Group proposals, Lt. Gen. W.C. Gribble, the Chief of Engineers, had the logical candidate to assume the assignment: the Engineer Power Group had capabilities he knew well after a long relationship.
Gribble had joined Col. Lampert and Maj. Bill Taylor in September 1953, during the research and start-up phase of the Army’s Nuclear Program and had become the number-two man in the organization. He was later the Alaska District Engineer responsible for the construction of the SM-1A and, in the mid-1960s, had become the Director of the Army Reactors Group. Consequently, in response to Chief of Staff Gen. Creighton Abrams’ order to implement the Lincoln Study and upgrade facilities on Army bases, Gen. Gribble knew where to turn. Moreover, he appreciated the possible resistance within the organization to the shift in mission to what many considered a less glamorous assignment. Nevertheless, with the Nontactical Generator Program its only significant mission, the Engineer Power Group was clearly in a situation where it had to take on additional activities, particularly if it was to maintain its individual identity in the Corps of Engineers.5
In announcing its new mission to the Engineer Power Group staff meeting on January 14, 1974, Maj. Mark Magnussen, then the Deputy Commander and Director of the Agency, explained that the organization would now be under the Facility Engineering Directorate in OCE instead of in the Military Construction Directorate. The change meant that the Power Group would "become more facility engineering oriented." To help set up the new assignment and its operation, Magnussen told the staff that the Chief of Engineers was sending to the headquarters Bill Taylor, Col. Lampert’s assistant during the birth of the Nuclear Program, to study the current state of affairs as a consultant and make recommendations. 6
Gribble, the Chief of Engineers, had initiated the changes in organization by deciding to create the Facilities Engineering Directorate within the Corps of Engineers headquarters organization, elevating it from division status with the Military Construction Directorate. Up to that time, Military Construction had the responsibility for both the Army’s new construction and for the operation and maintenance of Army facilities. By making the Facilities Engineering Directorate a separate entity, Gribble thought it would be better able to cope with the complex requirements of facilities engineering on the Army’s installations worldwide.7
The first director of the new Directorate, Brig. Gen. William Wray, had been Officer in Charge of the initial SM-1 crew that operated the plant under ALCO’s supervision. He had taken part in the original nuclear engineering training program, had worked with Lampert and Gribble in establishing training procedures for power plant crews, and then served as the Nuclear Power Program’s first Chief of Operations and Training. As a result, he was sensitive to the changes the Agency had undergone through the years. From Gribble, Wray received guidance about areas on which he should concentrate in his new assignment, particularly in applying the talent that existed in the Engineer Power Group to the problems faced by the facility engineers on Army installations. With Bill Taylor’s help in examining the Agency and with his recommendations, Wray reorganized the power Group and gave it a new mission.8
1957-jan-to-dec-us-army-information-digest.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1MiYpJfbGfe7m7jDd_YzkIXu6zaiCGuye
See August 1957 issues of "Army Information Digest", page 15 : "Nuclear Power Program by William B. Taylor"
2011 (April 3) - William B Taylor Sr. Passes
William B. Taylor Sr., 86, a director of research and development for the Army Corps of Engineers when he retired in 1981, died April 3 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital in Alexandria of respiratory failure.
Mr. Taylor started his career with the Corps of Engineers in 1945 after he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He was briefly assigned to the Manhattan Project, the Allies’ effort in World War II to build an atomic bomb.
He left active duty in 1955 and, during the late 1950s, was a civilian engineer and research manager with the Army Nuclear Power Program. From 1962 to 1967, he was director of NASA’s Apollo Applications Program before he rejoined the Corps of Engineers at the Pentagon.
William Brockenbrough Taylor, a native of Norfolk, received a master’s degree in engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1951. During the 1980s, he was an alternative energy consultant for engineering firms in the Washington region.
His honors included the NASA Superior Achievement Award and the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award.
He was a member of St. James Episcopal Church in Alexandria and had lived in Alexandria since 1951.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Nancy Aitcheson Taylor of Alexandria; five children, William B. Taylor Jr. and Anne Cregger Patterson, both of Arlington, Paul K. Taylor and Katharine C. Taylor, both of Manassas, and David A. Taylor of Washington; and 10 grandchildren.
2011-st-james-church-mv-obituary-wb-taylor.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1NqjRKp7q_pC4AuAMLy6S6Vh7GbMBG-OQ
WILLIAM B. TAYLOR,86, a long time Trustee of St. James passed away on Sunday, April 3, 2011.
A founding member of this parish, he and his family attended the first service in July of 1958 in the Woodley Hills School. He was elected to serve on the first Vestry and has over the years served on several Vestries and has been Senior Warden multiple times. Bill was the chair of the Finance Committee responsible for the building of our original church building.
Bill’s interests have always supported outreach and mission. He rallied this parish to support programs such as the Advent Episcopal Mission/Church in the Philippines, as well as projects in Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Africa and many others.
For the fiftieth anniversary of this parish, Bill put together a history of the parish with many pictures and interesting stories about the building and the people of St. James’ Parish. His attention to detail and sense of humor shine through the pages.
Bill was active at the Diocesan level also, serving on the Diocesan Standing Committee, the governing body of the Diocese and on the Search Committee that called Peter James Lee to be the Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia.
He has lived an amazing life of service to his county as well as his church. Bill graduated from West Point in 1945 and was commissioned in the Army Corps of Engineers. He served in the rebuilding of Austria, the Manhattan Project and nuclear weapons testing and reactor studies in the Pentagon following the war. Bill contracted polio in 1953 and after being retired from the Army with his disability and intensive physical therapy, he returned in 1955 as a civilian engineer in the Army –AEC program at Fort Belvoir. Bill was Deputy Director of the Geodesy, Intelligence and Mapping R&D Agency; Director of NASA’s Apollo Applications; Scientific Advisor to the Chief of Army R&D; Technical Director of the Army Mobility Equipment R&D Center and Director of R&D for the Army Corps of Engineers. After retiring from Civil Service, he did Engineering Consulting .
Bill will be remembered as a competent professional soldier, engineer and manager; a trustworthy and loyal friend; a devoted husband, father and grandfather; and a faithful Christian. Bill is survived by his wife of 65 years, Nancy, and five children: William, Jr., Anne, Paul, Katharine and David, their spouses and ten grandchildren.
Bill was larger than life, involved in so many areas of the church, and will be missed by all. He was an example of leading a faithful life. St. James has been blessed by his presence.
2019-10-findagrave-com-84711958-william-brockenbrough-taylor-sr-1925-2011.pdf / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1MDXYQAU-rAzSgfZ_RH6fCV7uPrEPAQFe
William Brockenbrough Taylor, Sr
DEATH 3 Apr 2011 (aged 86)
BURIAL Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA) - Friday, April 8, 2011
William Brockenbrough Taylor, 86, passed away Sunday, April 3, 2011.
He was a U.S. Army veteran and was manager for the Army Corps of Engineers and NASA Apollo program. He was a founder of St. James' Episcopal Church.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy Aitcheson Taylor; his five children, William B. Taylor Jr. (Deborah), Anne Taylor Cregger Patterson (George), Paul Kenneth Taylor (Robin), Katharine Taylor, David Aitcheson Taylor (Lisa); his sister, Betsy Tazewell (John); 10 grandchildren, Dan, Zach, Jake, Sam, Chris, Mary Morgan, Max, Dana, Taylor and Ian.
A visitation will be Saturday, April 9, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Demaine Funeral Home Springfield, and a service will be Sunday, April 10, at 3 p.m. at St. James' Episcopal
Church at Mount Vernon Alexandria.
Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
His family is deeply grateful for the friendship and skilled care of Joshua Elliott and his
2012 (Dec) - John K Aitcheson Jr. (Bill B Taylor Sr's Brother-in-law) passes
John Kenneth Aitcheson Jr. is the brother of Nancy (Aitcheson) Taylor - Wife of Bill B Taylor Sr.
He was also the father of Tipper Gore .
July 8, 2015 - Passing of wide "Nancy Taylor"
Taylor Nancy Taylor (Age 90) died peacefully at her home on July 5, 2015 after a short illness.
She was an accomplished artist and singer, avid gardener and lover of nature, and a warm and generous friend to all who knew her. She was active in the life of St. James Episcopal Church from its founding in the 1950s, and sang in the church choir, a strong clear voice in the soprano section until just months before her passing.
With her husband Bill, Nancy enjoyed seeing new places. Over the years they traveled to 47 states, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Barbados, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Luxemburg, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Spain. Many of these she commemorated in her art.
Born February 19, 1925 in Alexandria, Virginia, to Virginia Dare and John Kenneth Aitcheson, Nancy had an older brother, John Kenneth Jr. She attended Alexandria public schools, graduating high school in three years due to hard work and an accelerated schedule at the start of World War II. In high school, she played varsity basketball. She graduated from Mary Washington College (now University of Mary Washington) in May 1945 with a bachelor's degree in Art. She and Bill married that June. She worked in the art department of the Hecht Co. and as an art teacher in Alexandria public schools.
She was an active artist all her life, exploring all subjects in media ranging from charcoal and oil painting to pastels and watercolor. She illustrated several books of poetry authored by Roberta Newton Taylor, her mother-in-law. Nancy raised five children, imbuing them with a love of beauty, strength of purpose, and caring. In the fall of 1953 Bill contracted polio, and in many ways she assumed the duties of head of household. For a year that Bill spent in an "iron lung" at Walter Reed Hospital, she visited him daily, driving through Washington, DC and back to their home near Mt. Vernon to care for three small children. When Bill came home from the hospital and pursued a demanding recovery regime of physical therapy, Nancy supported him fully. He said later that his adjustment to life after that "would never have been possible without the daily support and love of my wife, Nance."
She is survived by five children and their spouses (William B. Taylor, Jr. and Deborah Furlan Taylor, Anne Taylor Cregger Patterson and George Patterson, Paul Kenneth Taylor and Robin Lee Taylor, Katharine Clarke Taylor, and David Aitcheson Taylor and Elizabeth L. Smith). She also leaves ten grandchildren and their spouses: Daniel (and Meg Hopkins) Cregger, Zachary, Jacob and Samuel Cregger; Christopher and Mary Morgan Taylor; Maxwell (and Amanda Sue) Taylor and Dana Taylor; and Mathias and Ian Nace; along with two great-grandchildren. Her family is grateful to the devoted care and friendship of many, especially Joshua Elliott. A memorial service to celebrate Nancy's life will be held on Saturday, July 11 at 2 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church, 5614 Old Mill Road, Alexandria. Interment with her husband at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in her memory to the church. www.demainefunerals.com
Published in The Washington Post on July 8, 2015