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- 17

According to his summary, "Syd Ball took the MSRE prompt supercritical. It was no big deal. It ran up, and came right back down. Strong negative temperature coefficient.".

A prompt supercritical event seems to me like it would occur much too rapidly to allow for even the highest feasible negative temperature coefficients to stand a chance of keeping the reactor together as the heat would still be localized as the prompt neutron generation would grow out of control. Perhaps the neutron multiplication was very very low, or perhaps this was simply an exaggeration; regardless more information could shed some light on this possible mishap.

If this did indeed occur, it would be fascinating to know more. I tried reaching out directly to Syd with no luck at this time. If anyone has any information, please share it.