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In the 50 years since Oak Ridge National Laboratory was founded, it has become a full-fledged national socio-technological institute. Its capabilities span the entire range of scientific disciplines, including the social sciences. It addresses an array of problems whose only common attribute is their significance both to the nation and the world.  

Foreword
In 1947, when the Atomic Energy Commission inherited from the Manhattan District the two scientific children of the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory—the facilities at Oak Ridge and Argonne—it decided to designate them "national laboratories." More...
Chapter 1: Wartime Laboratory
Spreading out along broad valleys cut by the Clinch River and framed by the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Oak Ridge seems an unlikely setting for events that would change the course of history. More...
Chapter 2: High-Flux Years
High-flux conditions prevailed at Clinton Laboratories after the war, when surprising decisions affecting the facility's future were made in St. Louis, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. More...
Chapter 3: Accelerating Projects
"Discovering how radiation does what it does to inorganic, organic, and living matter will benefit the entire world," declared biochemist Waldo Cohn as he speculated about the Laboratory's postwar research agenda. More...
Chapter 4: Olympian Feats
A symbol of peaceful competition first in the ancient world and then in the 20th century, the Olympics were revived after World War I, not only in quadrennial athletic performances but also in scientific competitions. More...
Chapter 5: Balancing Act
In 1961, Director Alvin Weinberg predicted that historians would view atom-smashing accelerators, fission reactors, and fusion energy machines as prime symbols of modern history, just as the Egyptian pyramids and Roman Colosseum have come to symbolize those ancient cultures. More...
Chapter 6: Responding to Social Needs
By the 1970s, after 30 years of steady progress in nuclear reactor design and technology, growing public concern over problems with nuclear waste disposal, the environmental and health effects of radiation, and the possibility of accidents at nuclear power plants had undermined public confidence in both the AEC in particular and nuclear energy in general. More...
Chapter 7: Energy Technologies
"After five years of steady decline, much personal distress, and a deep sense of frustration that obvious national problems were not being attacked," Laboratory Director Herman Postma said, "1974 is the year in which we perceive an end to such dismay." More...

Chapter 8: Diversity and Sharing
In the 1970s, the Laboratory moved beyond its war-rooted preoccupation with nuclear power to research fields embracing all energy forms. By the early 1980s, that journey was complete. More...

Chapter 9: Global Outreach
As the Laboratory approached its 50th anniversary, science—always an international enterprise— assumed even broader global dimensions. More...
Epilogue
Nearing retirement in 1992 after 50 years of service to the Manhattan Project and the Laboratory, senior staff advisor Don Trauger reflected on the lessons of a half century. More...
 
Addendum: Sprinting into the New Millenium (1993-2003)
ORNL's managing contractor, Martin Marietta Energy Systems, morphed into Lockheed Martin Energy Systems in 1995, which was replaced by a partnership between the University of Tennessee and Battelle (UT-Battelle) in 2000. More...
 
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