Treasures from the Archives

Taken from ORNL, “The News” Oct-Dec 1959


      A new pilot plant (building 2527) for the reprocessing of power reactor fuel elements will be constructed over the next year at ORNL.  The principal experimental fuels to be reprocessed are from such reactors as the thorium and uranium molybdenum alloy fuel reactors, liquid metal bonded fuel elements from the Sodium Graphite Reactor Experiment and partially spent fuel returned from foreign research reactors.


      ORNL is to receive three new facilities which are:  a Radioisotope Development Laboratory to lower the production costs of radioisotopes, a Transuranium Laboratory to isolate the higher transuranic elements, as americium, curium, berkelium and californium and a building to house a 10 million electron volt Tandem Van de Graaff positive-ion particle accelerator to be used to further studies of nuclear reactions and nuclear structure.


      A new 76-inch cyclotron is to be constructed at ORNL.  It will be one of most versatile medium energy cyclotrons in the world, to be designated the Oak Ridge Relativistic Isochronous Cyclotron(ORIC).  It will be used in the exploration of the nature of matter by bombarding atomic nuclei with highly energetic particles over a broad range of energies.  ORIC will be capable of accelerating protons up to 75 million electron volts (Mev) and various ions up to about 100 Mev.


      ORNL Director, Alvin Weinberg, in his “State of the Laboratory” address covered subjects ranging from the Laboratory's concern about the problem of radioactivity control to proud reference to the successful accomplishments of the Homogeneous Reactor Experiment.  He stated the importance of the world being reluctant to take fuel systems seriously.  Demonstrating that any circulating fuel reactor could be reliably operated is considered a major triumph.