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ORNL's Communications team works with news media seeking information about the laboratory. Media may use the resources listed below or send questions to news@ornl.gov.

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Argon pellet injection text

As scientists study approaches to best sustain a fusion reactor, a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory investigated injecting shattered argon pellets into a super-hot plasma, when needed, to protect the reactor’s interior wall from high-energy runaway electrons.

St John's CyberForce team

Oak Ridge National Laboratory will give college students the chance to practice cybersecurity skills in a real-world setting as a host of the Department of Energy’s fifth collegiate CyberForce Competition on Nov. 16. The event brings together student teams from across the country to compete at 10 of DOE’s national laboratories.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have developed an experiment for testing potential materials for use in interplanetary travel. The experiment exposes prototype materials to temperatures over 2,400 degrees Celsius with only 300 watts of input electrical power. Credit: Carlos Jones, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

If humankind reaches Mars this century, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory-developed experiment testing advanced materials for spacecraft may play a key role. 

early prototype of the optical array developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

IDEMIA Identity & Security USA has licensed an advanced optical array developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The portable technology can be used to help identify individuals in challenging outdoor conditions.

As part of a preliminary study, ORNL scientists used critical location data collected from Twitter to map the location of certain power outages across the United States.

Gleaning valuable data from social platforms such as Twitter—particularly to map out critical location information during emergencies— has become more effective and efficient thanks to Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Nuclear—Deep space travel

By automating the production of neptunium oxide-aluminum pellets, Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have eliminated a key bottleneck when producing plutonium-238 used by NASA to fuel deep space exploration.

By producing 50 grams of plutonium-238, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have demonstrated the nation’s ability to provide a valuable energy source for deep space missions.

With the production of 50 grams of plutonium-238, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have restored a U.S. capability dormant for nearly 30 years and set the course to provide power for NASA and other missions.

Pellet selector

When it’s up and running, the ITER fusion reactor will be very big and very hot, with more than 800 cubic meters of hydrogen plasma reaching 170 million degrees centigrade. The systems that fuel and control it, on the other hand, will be small and very cold. Pellets of frozen gas will be shot int...