Treasures from the Archives

Taken from ORNL, “The News” Oct-Dec 1961

                     Dr. Lincoln, medical writer for “The News” brought forward a principal problem that seems to lack real appreciation and this is the “...the value of seat belts.” Stated that only about one out of 30 cars are equipped with this important safety device.  Reasons besides the lack of appreciation were expense involved in the purchase and installation and the inconvenience in their use.  At this time only five percent of new automobile buyers are requesting seat belts, hoping in the next year or two this number will increase to at least 50 percent.


                     Several research teams at ORNL are responsible for the design, development and procurement of fuel elements for the AEC's Experimental Gas-Cooled Reactor (EGCR).  The reactor is scheduled to be completed in 1962.  The Tennessee Valley Authority will operate the EGCR with ORNL continuing to provide technical assistance.  Laboratories involved in providing this support were: the Metallurgy Division specified the expected practices for manufacture of EGCR fuel; fuel pellets were made by the Ceramic Laboratory, and were canned in stainless steel using techniques developed by the Welding and Brazing Laboratory.  Final tests were conducted by the Reactor Division.


                     Construction of the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) is progressing steadily with an expected operational date in 1964.  This reactor will be used primarily for production of transuranium elements for research.   The HFIR will be water cooled, designed to operate at 100 megawatts and will utilize fully-enriched uranium fuel in a flux-trap configuration.


                     Dr. Elwood Dwayne (E.D.) Shipley was the guest speaker for the Oak Ridge Section of the Instrument Society of America, to discuss “Controlled Thermonuclear Research.”  Compiler's Note:  Dr. E.D. Shipley, was my 1st cousin once removed.  He was a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Tennessee, became a staff member at ORNL, assistant Laboratory director and the first director of the thermonuclear division, later titled the fusion energy division.


                     Dr. Alvin M. Weinberg, presented the eleventh formal report on the “State of the Laboratory – 1961.”  During the preceding decade the laboratory had grown in size form 3700 (including Y-12 and K-25 support) to 5200.  He addressed the extent of the study of materials in the solid state.  Also, within nuclear energy the lab has embarked on several new and ambitious ventures, such as the transuranium elements, applications of nuclear energy to auxiliary power in space, and proposed to AEC and NASA that ORNL be assigned responsibility for investigating the radiobiology of space.