• Two separate vessels arrived at ORNL for installation:

 (a)  The Containment Vessel for the High Flux Isotope Reactor(HFIR) and the Charge Machine Pressure Vessel for the Experimental Gas-Cooled Reactor (EGCR).  The HFIR stainless steel Containment Vessel arrived from its fabricator Allis Chalmers weighing nearly 40 tons.  Once installed, the 100 thermal megawatt HFIR will produce the highest neutron flux of any reactor in the U.S. and will be used in the production of research quantities of the trans-plutonium isotopes.

(b)  The EGCR Charge Machine Pressure Vessel, fabricated by the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Company, weighed more than 40 tons for designed use in the on-stream refueling operation to produce more than 20,000 kilowatts of electrical power.

  • ORNL's Analytical Chemistry Division in building 4500 received and installed a new electron microscope that provides six angstroms or better resolution and continuous magnification from 1400 to 217,000 on a plate.  Overall, this instrument will provide research assistance in microscope and diffraction studies for the Laboratory as a whole.


  • ORNL continues to study the use of nuclear power for economically desalting sea water.  A detailed examination of several promising types of reactors were planned, with natural uranium oxide fueled deuterium oxide moderated reactors and breeder reactors being the leading contenders for the most efficient operation.  Of these, staff members stated that breeder reactors will ultimately produce the lowest cost energy.  The continuous study hopes to provide economical desalination of sea water, combined with the byproduct of cheap electric power to offer arid regions of the world the hope of achieving  transformation of barren poverty-stricken nation lands to bountiful wealthy nation lands.


  •  The largest cesium-137 source ever prepared at ORNL was shipped by truck in two heavily shielded casks to Brookhaven National Laboratory for use in food sterilization.  Cesium-137 is a strong gamma radiation emitter with a 30-year half life and has been used in teletherapy units for cancer treatment.  As a food irradiator, it will disinfest grains and extend the shelf life of fruits, vegetables and sea foods.