Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC), which produces heavy elements and isotopes, was recognized as a historic nuclear landmark Wednesday in an American Nuclear Society ceremony recognizing more than 50 years of isotope production and nuclear fuel cycle research.
The American Nuclear Society, a national scientific organization, identifies and memorializes sites like the radiochemical center for outstanding physical accomplishments that helped advance and implement nuclear technology and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Facility ‘at the center of some of our most important work’
“This honor is particularly timely in the Lab’s 75th anniversary year, and it highlights a facility at the center of some of our most important work,” ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia said.
The center is currently producing actinium-255 for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, which kills an estimated 10,000 people nationwide each year.
REDC is also the only place in the country that can produce nickel-63 for airport detectors and californium-252, a portable neutron source used in industry and national security applications.
The center was critical in the production of berkelium-249 used in the physics experiments that resulted in the discovery of element 117, tennessine.
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