Treasures from the Archives
Taken from ORNL, “The News” Jan-Mar 1960
• The Homogeneous Reactor Experiment No. 2 (HRE-2) has operated for 100 consecutive days and now termed “one of the most advanced and difficult experiments in the world's nuclear power effort” showing that liquid fuel reactors can be successful and can be operated with a continuity approaching that required for a larger nuclear power plant. The use of a fluid fuel, in this case, uranyl sulfate, avoids the problem of conventional reactors that require reliable fuel elements; however, components of the circulating system at high temperatures and pressure become radioactive from contact with the fuel. Therefore, mechanical components were developed to ensure a leak tight system is maintained.
• New construction is under way for an Experimental Gas-Cooled Reactor (EGCR) at ORNL. The $ 30 million reactor is being built as a combined experimental and power demonstration reactor, designed to provide facilities for testing gas cooled reactor materials, fuels and coolants while also producing about 22,000 kilowatts of electrical power. Completion is expected in late 1962.
• ORNL placed in operation a magnetic plotting system of unprecedented speed and accuracy, making it possible to evaluate the detailed performance of a cyclotron before it is built. Measurements were used in the design of the magnet for the Oak Ridge Isochronous Cyclotron under construction at ORNL. With this precise field measuring device and computer codes it became possible to test operate the many designs for a cyclotron before the accelerator is constructed. The magnet designs can be tested for a large saving in time, effort and materials.
• Contract award was announced for construction of a new Metals and Ceramics Facility at ORNL. The applied research facility will house metallurgy activities such as metal forming, remelting and casting activities.
• ORNL scientists have added new innovations that improve a Scintillation Scanner used in preoperative diagnosis of body tumors. The scanner and the highly directional radiation counter, can pinpoint the size and configuration of a tumor, as well as its exact location in the body.