Skip Navigation

ORAU History - 1957

In commemoration of Thomas Edison’s birthday, Oak Ridge Institute for Nuclear Studies (ORINS), the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) presented tours of the museum and ORNL for 1,164 students from 22 high schools on Feb. 11 and 12, 1957.

The AEC established a new one-year fellowship program in nuclear energy technology. As administrator of the program, ORINS processed the 300 applicants received and awarded 117 graduate students with fellowships, to begin in September of 1957. Today, these kinds of programs are now administered by our Science Education and Workforce Development Programs.

The 10th Oak Ridge Regional Symposium in Atomic Energy was held at the University of Puerto Rico from Jan. 24 through 28, 1957. The attendance was enhanced by the use of closed-circuit television in classrooms. Held on the Rio Piedras and Mayaguez campuses of the University of Puerto Rico, this marked the first time the symposium took place outside the continental United States.

The Mobile Radioisotope Laboratory, designed by ORINS and donated to the International Atomic Energy Agency by the U.S. government, made its way around the world. Here the lab is traveling through Mexico as part of a three-month tour of the country’s training establishments and universities where professors used it as part of courses in the techniques and applications of radioisotopes.

In 1957, the Medical Division completed the first and second phases of the thyroid uptake calibration program, which was begun in 1955. Half-body mannequins with artificial thyroids containing an iodine substitute had been sent to scientists around the country and in several European countries for measurement by various methods. After comparing and analyzing the results, a standard system of calibration was established, thus ensuring more accurate results in measuring the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland.

In the spring of 1957, the Special Training Division (now known as Radiation Sciences Training) conducted the first radiation chemistry course at ORINS. Seventy-eight scientists from 21 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and India attended the two-week course.

With a grant from the AEC, the Special Training Division helped establish the University of Puerto Rico’s new Spanish Language Nuclear Training Center in 1957. ORINS’ staff helped in outlining and preparing a syllabus for radioisotope techniques courses. The new training center drew on several former participants from Special Training Division courses as lecturers.