- Two very important individuals that significantly contributed to the ending of WWII and held prominent post WWII positions visited Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Lt. General Leslie R. Groves, past director of the Manhattan Project, director for the building of the Pentagon and Vice President of Sperry Rand Corporation and Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, discover of Plutonium, Nobel Prize and Enrico Fermi Award Recipient and Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. General Groves was here to attend the Twentieth Anniversary of ORNL and Dr. Seaborg was a speaker at the Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
- The Ecology Section of ORNL's Health Physics Division conducted both fresh water and terrestrial studies in an attempt to expand information concerned with the environmental consequences of radiation. These studies were conducted primarily on the Clinch River. Since 1943 there has been the release of low-level radioactive wastes via White Oak Creek to the Clinch River and to the Tennessee River. These studies were designed to determine the quantities of radionuclides taken up by aquatic organisms (e.g., clams and fish) and how environmental factors affect the accumulation and to increase basic knowledge of stream ecosystems.
- Twenty years ago, December 2, 1942, 42 scientists succeeded in starting up the world's first “atomic pile”. This was accomplished in secrecy under the football stadium at University of Chicago. ORNL's R. J. Fox was a member of Enrico Fermi's team, dedicated to pave the way for the production of an atom bomb to halt the losses and sufferings of WWII. Fox stated, when the reactor went critical and maintained a chain reaction, “It was as though we had discovered fire,” and from this accomplishment, reactor development and construction did spread like wildfire. Now more the half of the 500 reactors worldwide are in the U.S.
- In Dr. Alvin Weinberg's annual State of the Laboratory address, he announced that ORNL's Thermonuclear Division’s creation of a stable and very dense hot electron plasma is one of the most impressive developments since the world's attempt to achieve controlled fusion. Other achievements were the advancement of radiation biology; the completion of the Oak Ridge Isochronous Cyclotron; work towards construction of the High Flux Isotope Reactor that will have the highest neutron flux in the world; and reactors that could play a crucial role in large scale desalination of the oceans.
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