Treasures from the Archives

Taken from ORNL, “The News” Jul-Sep 1961

                    ORNL is now providing routine shipments of the radioisotope iodine-125, which will complement and eventually replace the better known iodine-131 in medical investigations.  The medical advantage over iodine-131, one of ORNL's largest selling isotopes, is the absence of beta radiation that reduces the severity of internal radiation dose when used for diagnostic work.  Additional advantage is its 60-day half-life compared to iodine-131 eight days, making iodine-125 more desirable for preparing labeled compounds.  This coupled with an extended shelf life allows for less radiation damage to compounds.


                    The largest order of strontium-90, a by-product material from chemical processing of used reactor fuel elements, was shipped from ORNL to be a power source for a Navy weather station in the Antarctic.  This 40,000-curie source will be used to produce 250 thermal watts of heat which is converted to about 12 watts of electricity for powering the weather data telemetry unit.


                    ORNL received from United Nuclear Corporation the Fast Burst Reactor (FBR), to be used as an intense source of fast neutrons for health physics and biochemical research.   The FBR, constructed of highly enriched core of uranium-molybdenum alloy, will be concerned principally with radiation dosimetry in connection with instrument development and dose determinations.  In addition, it will be available for programs involving medical uses of ionizing radiation, solid state physics, nuclear chemistry and neutron physics research.  It will located directly east of the Tower Shielding Facility.


                    **Yes, on Aug 14-17 Dr. Fred Vaslow, ORNL Chemistry Division presented a paper at the 16th Annual International Calorimetry Conference in Ottawa, Canada, titled “Calorimetric Measurements of the Heats of Ion Exchange and Related Reactions.”  Compiler's Note:  Of greater significance is that on Nov 17, 2019 this noted scientist of ORNL will turn 100 years old.  This Manhattan Project Veteran, is possibly the oldest surviving witness of the Trinity Test on July 16th, 1945.  The Atomic Heritage Foundation interview and transcript is found on web address:>profile>fred-vaslow.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!


                    ORNL's Electron Cyclotron Analogue II has demonstrated the feasibility of a high-intensity fixed-frequency cyclotron to produce protons with energies in the one billion electron volt range.  The Analogue is an electron cyclotron used in evaluating problems anticipated in design and construction of a larger proton accelerator.  A high-intensity machine of this type could be useful in basic physics for production and study of mesons, the particles that appear to hold atoms together.