ORNL Reporter

ORNL Reporter history series

Some less-often-told tales from ORNL's colorful past. "This wonderful old reactor." Veterans celebrated the Graphite Reactor's 50th anniversary in 1993.

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Labor, secrecy culminated with Graphite Reactor's 1943 startup.

'Critical reached!'


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Family lines: Multigenerations at ORNL

Over its three-quarters of a century history ORNL has employed many people in the area. It stands to reason several families have contributed more than one member to the Lab's work force -- in some cases multiple generations of the same families.

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The Tower Shielding Facility was built for a nuclear airplane project that never flew. But science soared.

Lofty ambitions

The Tower Shielding Facility is located on the perimeter of the Oak Ridge Reservation on a road blocked by a locked gate. It's still one of ORNL's more conspicuous landmarks because the two towers, from which a small nuclear reactor was at times suspended, can be glimpsed from nearby Interstate 40.

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Tom Row spearheaded prep for a culture-changing ES&H audit.

When Tiger Teams prowled

Tom Row found himself as ORNL's point person for a controversial campaign in 1989, when "Tiger Teams" descended on DOE facilities with a mission to enforce regulations pertaining to environment, safety and health.

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Liquid waste disposal was taken seriously in the 1940s.

White hat guys

Steve Stow dispels popular myths about Clinton Laboratory's liquid radioactive waste disposal in the 1940s.

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ORNL's famous 'hot' frogs had the world's attention for a while.

Amphibian assault

In the summer of 1991, radioactive giant frogs from Oak Ridge roamed the Tennessee hills, looming over tall buildings and terrorizing livestock and the public. At least this was the story that made its way into the supermarket tabloids, which took an actual wildlife-related event at ORNL and ran with it.

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