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December 26, 1959


JAMA. 1959;171(17):2340. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010350062015

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New Atomic Reactor.—  An atomic reactor, believed to be the largest ever installed in a hospital and one of the first designed specifically for medical purposes, was placed in operation at the Veterans Administration hospital in Omaha. It is housed in a vertical concrete tube 22 ft. deep and 6.5 ft. in diameter, sunk into the ground beneath the hospital. Nestled in this, it floats in 4,750 gallons of triple-distilled water which acts as a shield against escape of radioactivity. A built-in safety device eliminates any danger of an atomic explosion. The fuel rods are of a material that stops the nuclear reaction when excessive heat is generated.It is expected that the generator will simplify performance of many tests on the blood, liver, muscle, and other tissues formerly performed by tedious and time-consuming chemical methods. The specimen to be analyzed is placed in the reactor, where it

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