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ORNL History | by oakridgelabnews
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ORNL History

1950: Low-Intensity Test Reactor


The Low-Intensity Test Reactor originates as a mockup of the Materials Test Reactor that's constructed at the National Reactor Testing Station in Idaho.


The Low-Intensity Test Reactor (LITR) experiments establish the feasibility of water-cooled reactors and become one of the design prototypes for commercial nuclear power plants. At LITR, the blue Cerenkov glow of a nuclear reaction underwater is photographed for the first time in 1950. Cerenkov radiation is important to medical imaging, spent fuel rod evaluation, and other means of detection and tracking. LITR operates from 1950 to 1968.

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Uploaded on December 26, 2018