Treasures from the Archives

Taken from ORNL, “The News” Jul-Sep 1958


•                    Dr. Alvin Weinberg  was a guest of President Eisenhower at the White House to attend the presentation of the Medal  of Freedom to retiring Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Admiral Lewis L. Strauss.  Prior to the ceremony at the Admiral's final AEC Press Conference to President Eisenhower, he spoke to the status of nuclear progress, much of which was the result of research being conducted at ORNL.  The Admiral remarked that the Homogeneous Reactor Experiment was an interesting reactor due to the fact there are no fuel rods.  The fuel circulates through the reactor as a liquid or slurry, thus considered an optimum type of reactor.  He also spoke to the research on controlled thermonuclear reactions, mentioning the approach by hot-ion injection being developed at ORNL.


•                    Attending the United Nations Second International Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, at Geneva, Switzerland were 40 AEC members, 31 of which from ORNL.   Elwood D. Shipley, director of ORNL's Controlled Thermonuclear Division ( this Treasures article is written by a distant relative of E. D. Shipley ) provided the installation and test operation of the ORNL Fusion Research Exhibit.  This exhibit consisted of an experimental thermonuclear device known as the Direct Current Experiment (DCX).  The DCX was a high energy injection device in which plasma is formed by trapping energetic ions in a magnetic bottle.


•                    Dr. Ernest O. Lawrence, director of the University of California Radiation Laboratory, dies.  He was best remembered for his invention of the cyclotron, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939.  Also, besides being a frequent visitor to ORNL, he was known for his work on uranium-isotope separation for the Manhattan Project, as well as for founding the Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.


•                    The Isotope Division at ORNL placed in operation the Multicurie Fission Products Pilot Plant.  It will be used to isolate large quantities of radioisotopes for peaceful applications, principally in the industrial field.  It is equipped for the separation, purification and fabrication of kilocurie quantities of such isotopes as cesium 137, promethium 147, cerium 144, strontium 90, and technetium 99.  Master slave mechanical manipulators were used for remote control handling of the material.