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ORAU History - 1952

The Medical Division-designed cobalt-60 teletherapy machine was delivered to Oak Ridge in 1951 for testing before being shipped to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Hospital at the University of Texas by the end of 1952.

The Special Training Division (now known as Radiation Sciences Training) staff assisted in the production of a series of 15 motion pictures on radioisotopes for the Army Signal Corps under the auspices of the Surgeon General’s office.

Through the Teletherapy Evaluation Program established in 1952, researchers developed a rotational teletherapy unit. This particular unit used cobalt as a source of radiation in treating patients.

A new five-year contract was signed with the Atomic Energy Commission in June 1952.

The Teletherapy Evaluation Program was organized in 1952 in the Medical Division with 22 cooperating medical schools. Researchers examined the most promising isotopes as externally administered radiation sources. Work began on a rotational teletherapy unit that would use cobalt, europium, or cesium as the radiation source.

In 1952, the Medical Division abandoned gallium-72 as a treatment isotope for bone tumors and turned its research effort to gallium-67.

The Medical Division received some radioactive isotopes of very high purity and concentration from the Oak Ridge Y-12 area in 1952. The Medical Division’s program was the first in which very high levels of radiation from isotopes were employed continuously in medical practice. The Medical Division treated 189 patients that year.

During 1952, the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies (ORINS) and its programs were featured three times in Time magazine and twice in Newsweek. The links below will take you to Time’s archives of two of these stories.

The Great Search for Cures on a New Frontier

Lessons from Oak Ridge

The 1,000th participant, Robert Christian, University of Wichita, completed the Special Training Division’s Radioisotope Techniques course in 1952.

In the Oak Ridge Resident Graduate Program, three fellows completed research in Oak Ridge facilities and were awarded Ph.D.s in 1952. Today, this kind of programs is now administered by our Science Education and Workforce Development Programs.

During 1952, more than 200,000 people visited the American Museum of Atomic Energy, later renamed the American Museum of Science and Energy. Admission was 50 cents.