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Medical News & Perspectives
August 31, 1964

Nuclear Reactor Will Assist In Study of Radiation Effects

JAMA. 1964;189(9):34. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070090066041

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A nuclear reactor to be used for biological research has been put into operation at the Argonne National Laboratory. The reactor, a conventional water-modulated, aluminum tank-type, will be used to study effects of radiation on living organisms.

Simultaneous experiments in both high and low levels of radiation are made possible by a unique design feature. Eccentric location of the reactor core, plus variations in the thickness of the graphite blanket, permit a difference in radiation levels at two faces located on opposite sides of the reactor.

Intensity in the low level radiation room can be as little as 0.1 units of absorbed radiation (rad) per week. In the high intensity room, about 100 rads per minute is available.

The reactor, built at a cost of $717,600, achieved criticality on Aug 12. Design and construction required five years. It is located in an annex to the biology building at the Argonne

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