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- After two decades of successful operation the world's oldest operating nuclear reactor, the ORNL Graphite Reactor was shut-down and placed in standby on November 4 to give way to more modern systems and advanced technology in atomic energy. Dr. G. T. Seaborg, chairman of the AEC, along with other well-known scientists from across the nation participated in the special ceremony. In the beginning the Graphite Reactor served as a pilot plant for the production of Plutonium, but after fulfilling its original wartime role, the reactor became the world's only source of reactor-produced isotopes for a number of years. Unique to this facility is that personnel working in the chemical separation building needed an additional clearance in order to enter the reactor building and an extra pass for the chemical separation building.
- A large 600-gallon per hour evaporator is being built for concentrating intermediate level radioactive waste, thus reducing the amount released to the environment. This system will meet the requirements for: a high degree of separation of product from minute amounts of contaminants in the feed solution; allow for maximum protection of personnel from radiation; and provide good operational safety and reliability. The main radioisotopes in the waste are strontium-90, cesium-137, ruthenium-106, and rare earth elements. The evaporator will be operated remotely from a ground level control room. Start-up is scheduled in late 1964.
- Dr. Charles C. Congdon, ORNL Biology Division, attended the official inauguration of the Dalat Institute of Applied Nuclear Research in Dalat, Vietnam. His attendance was at the invitation of the director general of Atomic Energy Office of the Republic of Vietnam. Following the inauguration he published a paper entitled “Biological Factors in Radiation Protection and Recovery.” Compiler's Note: Dr. Congdon was a past member and long-time contributor to the FORNL History Room's mission.
- This quarter's “The News” recognized In Memorial, the passing of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States. The President and Mrs. Kennedy visited ORNL in February 1959. Dr. Weinberg at the time was a member of President Kennedy's Science Advisory Committee, and also headed a panel to compile for the President a report stressing the need for improvement in scientific and technological communication.