“We almost lost Detroit” during 1966 reactor meltdown — Gil Scott-Heron dead at 62 (VIDEO)

Published: May 28th, 2011 at 7:57 pm ET


We Almost Lost Detroit, Wikipedia:

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. […]

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.

Spoken word and rap pioneer Gil Scott-Heron has a song titled “We Almost Lost Detroit”, dealing with the same issue. It has appeared on his 1977 album, “Bridges”.


Published: May 28th, 2011 at 7:57 pm ET


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26 comments to “We almost lost Detroit” during 1966 reactor meltdown — Gil Scott-Heron dead at 62 (VIDEO)

  • Manifest Irony

    I lived right by Fermi 2 in Monroe, MI for about three years. Hard to believe anyone would build nuclear reactors, much less a breeder(with liquid sodium!), that close to Detroit and Toledo. I even have a handy “In Case of Emergency” pamphlet they send to everyone 10 miles around. It’s ridiculous, of course, and totally misleading. But the former incident that inspired that song is insignificant compared to what’s going on in Japan.


    well, now, the fukushima rap is just begging to be written!…dr strangleglove…if u please!

  • Heart of the Rose

    Where Did the Night Go?
    Mr.Gil Scott Heron.

    • misitu

      The ones that have the most impact for me, because few people were involved and the stories are more accessible, are Slotin and Tokaimura.

      As well as being humanly accessible stories both are notable for a reckless disregard for safety and a complete almost deliberate lack of awareness of appropriate procedures.

      Both incidents took place in experimental settings.

      Wikipedia has details.

  • AkDave

    Cooling system pumps stop at Fukushima plant’s No. 5 unit. Dang!

    • We`ve been talking about avoiding the dominoes effect…. this is getting worse and worse and worse

      • Beach Girl

        Will this get worse?

        • God only knows – its all so precarious, if the storm creates a situation where one of the meltdown progresses etc then conceivably they may not be able to complete reconnecting cooling now to number 5 – meaning we added ANOTHER out of control reactor into the mix. That would mean 5 of 6 reactors onsite are runaways and out of control. Like I said, we will just have to wait till tomorrow as usual.

          I totally believe in playing the odds and managing risk… the odds are against us and the benefits of having the reactors in place hardly seem worth the risk in the end.

          Take care.

    • Maa

      Good time to blame it on the typhoon.

    • misitu

      Number 1’s rad gauge has “broken” again


      I thought 5 and 6 were in Cold Shutdown, or is there something I don’t understand about the phrase “Cold Shutdown”?

  • http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/29/c_13899496.htm
    Cooling system stops at No.5 reactor in Fukushima
    2011-05-29 10:14:04FeedbackPrintRSS
    TOKYO, May 29 (Xinhua) — Cooling system at a reactor of the crippled Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant stopped from Saturday, the plant’s operator said Sunday.

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the pumps to cool the nuclear reactor and fuel pool have stopped at the No. 5 unit, and the operator is now working to switch to backup pumps to restore the cooling system.

    When a worker at the plant became aware of the problem at 9 p.m. Saturday, the temperature of the reactor stood at 68 degrees Celsius and that of the fuel pool at 41 degrees Celsius.

    They had risen to 87 degrees Celsius and 44 degrees Celsius, respectively, by the time TEPCO began work to restore operations shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday, it said.


    • Manifest Irony

      Both the spent fuel pool AND the reactor cooling stopped? And I’m assuming TEPCO hasn’t, in all this time, defueled No.5 reactor? Murphy comes to visit again!

      • misitu

        /cough! /bow! /Wipes eyes with hanky!
        “Tepco humbly beg forgiveness of honourable Japanese Emperor and People for forgetting to attend to other honourable units five and six due to fact that instruction books are inside locked cupboard at back of no. 3 Control Room. In two weeks we plan to announce successful plan agreed to stabilise instruction books. In the meantime, please continue to support honourable Japanese fishing, agriculture and nuclear industries. Do not worry”.

  • Basically that whole article implies one concept… If they hit 120c reactor 5 is going down…

  • Sandra

    Gil-Scott Heron was a talented musician with much to say. When he used the spoken word it was political poetry. I’m saddened that we lost him, but he will not be forgotten. For those that don’t already know him, this is an opportunity. Check out the wikipedia entry and some of his works on youtube and elsewhere.

    This was one of my favorites

    Some of his works are an intense trip back in time. He spread the word about what was going on in South Africa, another refers to landing on the moon and Richard Nixon.

    • blackmoon

      Yes, a true loss. He and Marvin (What’s Going On), they used their great talents to deliver a message of truth.

      Seem so long ago.

  • Buck-O



    Spring Brings Good News for Hedge Funds, Nuclear Power

    I don’t know about you, but I’m liking this news a lot. It means that rich people are once again seizing control of the market and plunging back head first into rampant speculation — taking bigger chances with their money and letting their greed do the talking and the walking. When greed outpaces fear, we know that we’re on the brink of another bubble. May the new bubble last as long as the old one! And may we have the presence of mind to guess a little bit earlier when it will burst! Until then? It’s gonna be fun again in Wall Street for a while. And fun is good.

    Also just as encouraging is the news that nuclear power is safe again


  • ZP


    Now I have Detroit in the mix, a 1975 Reader’s Digest mouthpiece, (controlled)outlet.

    Is this where I get my money back?

  • blackmoon

    Here is the latest interview with Geo-Scientist Leuren Moret from May 20. People, she is the ONLY SCIENTIST who is telling us the COMPLETE TRUTH.


    Fukushima Tectonic Nuclear Warfare Monitored By World Haarp Partners.


    In a few of her interviews and lectures, Leuren Moret said that Fukushima’s control center was infected with the StucksNet virus, to insure that this HAARP generated EVENT would have the maximum impact.

    Here in some info on the StucksNet virus, and judge for yourself.

    The article is titled – World encounters a new type of global terrorism.


  • blackmoon

    We discuss a lot of HEAVY topics here and sometime we might experience negative overload.
    For those of you who might like a SPIRITUAL interlude, I think that you might find this video SPIRTUALLY UPLIFTING.


  • blackmoon

    Dr. Rima Laibow from the Natural Solutions Foundation, discusses Fukushima:


    Here she gives information on how to protect ourselves from radiation: