Enrico Fermi, the Chessel 700, and the End of an Era

On December 2nd, 1942, the Chicago Pile-1, the world’s first nuclear reactor, went critical and Enrico Fermi was christened “the Architect of the Nuclear Age”. Born in 1901 in Rome, Fermi, an innovative physicist, would emigrate to the United States where his legacy would ultimately pave the way for Robert Oppenheimer to remark in 1945, “Now I am become Death. The destroyer of worlds.”

However this brilliant man’s legacy is not bound only to the horror man divined from splitting an atom. Fermi made huge contributions to the use of nuclear power, including the discovery of transuranium elements, particle physics, statistical mechanics, and quantum theory among many others. Part of that legacy is on display today at the Fermi Nuclear Generating Station on the shores of Lake Erie, Michigan, where an analog meter known as the Chessel 700 Series has been employed for over 50 years. While the near meltdown of 1966 was not the direct fault of Chessel metering technology, the question remains: with the inaccuracy, unreliability, and subjectivity of analog meters are they really viable for the 21st century industry?

As one of the few innovative manufacturers still located in the United States, OTEK offers the NTM-4 as a 100% Form, Fit, and Function replacement for the Chessel 700 with Class 1E Safety-Related and Nuclear Qualified, as well as MIL-Spec 461,167-1, 810F, 901C, and IEE-344. The NTM-4 is equipped with a 51 segment automatic and programmable tricolor barograph and four digit LED display, as well as self-diagnostics, isolated serial I/O, 100mW@5VDC, USB or RS485, a configurable bar direction (up, down, center), and our patented input fail alarm. The NTM-4 also carries OTEK’s lifetime warranty, as well as our pledge of complete customization to your intended applications. Remember, we customize our technology to your needs!

Just as Fermi’s legacy was more than Oppenheimer’s ominous words, the analog meter’s legacy will be measured not just in its obsolescence, but in its paving of the way for a new age: the Age of the DPM Revolution. Join in by calling us today at (520) 748-7900!