Treasures from the Archives

Taken from ORNL, “The News” Jan-Mar 1962


      Installation of ORNL Physics Division's High Voltage Laboratory’s new Tandem Van de Graaff accelerator has been completed, successfully undergone acceptance tests and now in operation.  Designed primarily for research, the accelerator is capable of producing protons at energies of two to 12 Mev.  With accessories, the Tandem can produce neutrons at energies up to 30 Mev.  The particle accelerator will study compound nucleus formation and explore direct interaction processes with heavier nuclei and facilitate experiments involving acceleration of heavier particles such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen.


      The Bare Reactor Experiment in Nevada (BREN), formerly called Fast Burst Reactor, took place at AEC's Nevada Test Site (NTS).  This experiment was performed with ORNL's Health Physics Reactor (HPRR), placed atop a 1500 foot tower.  The experiment continued a study initiated in 1956  to evaluate radiation doses received by persons exposed to the nuclear weapons used in the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.  Upon completion of the NTS study, the HPRR was returned to ORNL where it was used in permanent health physics research  concerned with radiation dosimetry  instrument development and dose determinations.


      ORNL was visited by over 16,000 persons during 1961.  Principal facilities toured were the Graphite Reactor, Bulk Shielding Reactor, Oak Ridge Automatic Computer and Logical Engine (ORACLE), and the radioisotope area.  In addition , “Open House” was initiated for employees and immediate families of ORNL and organizations associated with ORNL.


      ORNL's Reactor Chemistry Division completed a very significant development in crystal research, the growth of the world's largest known ingot of lithium-7 fluoride.  This ingot was produced from highly purified and dehydrated lithium-7 powder.  Analysis by emission spectroscopy showed the only impurity was the less than 0.01 percent of magnesium.   An important benefit is that the crystal faces are available for study without the necessity of cleavage and used as a standard for calibrating shrinkage of X-ray film.