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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Genoa in Vernon County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor

 
 
La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 7, 2009
1. La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor Marker
Inscription. In 1961, the Joint Congressional Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) approved Dairyland Power Cooperative's proposal to construct and operate Wisconsin's first nuclear-fueled power plant. This reactor was part of a pilot program to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of nuclear reactors for rural electric cooperatives and small utilities.

The Allis-Chalmers Company of West Allis began constructing the La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor in 1963.

On July 11, 1967, at 7:39 p.m., the reactor achieved its first sustained chain reaction, ushering both Wisconsin and cooperative electrification into the nuclear age. The reactor attained full-powered operation on August 1, 1969. After several modifications and tests, inspectors declared the reactor commercially operational on February 1, 1971, with a rated capacity of 50 megawatts.

Dairyland acquired full ownership of the facility from the AEC in August 1973, but ceased reactor operations on April 30, 1987, due to economic conditions. Dairyland currently operates a coal-fired power plant on this site.
 
Erected 2008 by the Wisconsin Historical Society. (Marker Number 223.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society marker series.
 
Location.
La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor Marker <i>[left side]</i> image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 7, 2009
2. La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor Marker [left side]
43° 34.031′ N, 91° 13.733′ W. Marker is near Genoa, Wisconsin, in Vernon County. Marker is on Great River Road (State Highway 35) 0.3 miles south of Main Street (State Highway 56), on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is at a highway pull-off. Marker is in this post office area: Genoa WI 54632, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dams on the Mississippi (here, next to this marker); Wisconsin's First Nuclear-Fueled Electric Generating Station (approx. half a mile away but has been reported missing); Site of Red Bird's Village (approx. 3.8 miles away); Black Hawks Outpost (approx. 7.3 miles away); Battle of Bad Axe (approx. 7.7 miles away); Black Hawk War (approx. 7.7 miles away); Head of Battle Isle (approx. 7.7 miles away); Black Hawk and Winnebago Trail (approx. 9.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Genoa.
 
More about this marker. This historical marker memorializing Wisconsin's entry into the nuclear age was constructed about a half a mile north of the original marker. The previous marker was located on private property of the Dairyland Power Cooperative and, due to increased security requirements of having a closed nuclear plant, was no longer accessible to the public. At the request of the Mississippi River
La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 7, 2009
3. La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor
Dairyland Power Cooperative
Genoa Generating Site
[photo taken from highway pull-off]
Parkyway Commission, Dairyland paid for and installed this new marker, with updated text. The plant closed in 1987, which was not reflected in the text of the previous marker. The new marker is available to the public 24 hours a day.
 
Also see . . .
1. Dairyland Power Cooperative History. (Submitted on October 15, 2009.)
2. Photo of the crew erecting the marker. The original 1976 marker was located at the power plant. This 2008 marker at this new location resolved security concerns associated with having a public-access marker on Dairyland property. Dairyland paid for the new marker, supplied the construction materials and erected it in 2009. (Submitted on October 22, 2009, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable Events
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 839 times since then and 10 times this year. Last updated on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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