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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.

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. 

Motion sensing technology

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is training next-generation cameras called dynamic vision sensors, or DVS, to interpret live information—a capability that has applications in robotics and could improve autonomous vehicle sensing.

Computing—Building a brain

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are taking inspiration from neural networks to create computers that mimic the human brain—a quickly growing field known as neuromorphic computing.

Nuclear—More than the core

Researchers have developed high-fidelity modeling capabilities for predicting radiation interactions outside of the reactor core—a tool that could help keep nuclear reactors running longer.

Computing—Routing out the bugs

A study led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory explored the interface between the Department of Veterans Affairs’ healthcare data system and the data itself to detect the likelihood of errors and designed an auto-surveillance tool

Using artificial intelligence, Oak Ridge National Laboratory analyzed data from published medical studies to reveal the potential of direct and indirect impacts of bullying.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is using artificial intelligence to analyze data from published medical studies associated with bullying to reveal the potential of broader impacts, such as mental illness or disease. 

Microreactors could offer unique mobility and flexibility—opening the possibility for nuclear energy to reach isolated areas.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists are evaluating paths for licensing remotely operated microreactors, which could provide clean energy sources to hard-to-reach communities, such as isolated areas in Alaska.

ORNL nuclear engineer Chris Petrie

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is using ultrasonic additive manufacturing to embed highly accurate fiber optic sensors in heat- and radiation-resistant materials, allowing for real-time monitoring that could lead to greater insights and safer reactors.

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.