An Account of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Thirteen Research Reactors

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The Oak Ridge National Laboratory has built and operated 13 nuclear reactors in its 66-year history. The first was the graphite reactor, the world's first operational nuclear reactor, which served as a plutonium production pilot plant during World War II. It was followed by two aqueous-homogeneous reactors and two red-hot molten-salt reactors that were parts of power-reactor development programs and by eight others designed for research and radioisotope production. One of the eight was an all-metal fast burst reactor used for health physics studies. All of the others were light-water cooled and moderated, including the famous swimming-pool reactor that was ... continued below

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Rosenthal, Murray Wilford August 1, 2009.

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Description

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory has built and operated 13 nuclear reactors in its 66-year history. The first was the graphite reactor, the world's first operational nuclear reactor, which served as a plutonium production pilot plant during World War II. It was followed by two aqueous-homogeneous reactors and two red-hot molten-salt reactors that were parts of power-reactor development programs and by eight others designed for research and radioisotope production. One of the eight was an all-metal fast burst reactor used for health physics studies. All of the others were light-water cooled and moderated, including the famous swimming-pool reactor that was copied dozens of times around the world. Two of the reactors were hoisted 200 feet into the air to study the shielding needs of proposed nuclear-powered aircraft. The final reactor, and the only one still operating today, is the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) that was built particularly for the production of californium and other heavy elements. With the world's highest flux and recent upgrades that include the addition of a cold neutron source, the 44-year-old HFIR continues to be a valuable tool for research and isotope production, attracting some 500 scientific visitors and guests to Oak Ridge each year. This report describes all of the reactors and their histories.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2009/181
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/970897 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 970897
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc930555

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • August 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Nov. 21, 2016, 6:54 p.m.

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Rosenthal, Murray Wilford. An Account of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Thirteen Research Reactors, report, August 1, 2009; [Tennessee]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc930555/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.