Note: This story was updated at 8:30 p.m.
Former director Alvin Weinberg once called it the greatest technical achievement at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It was inspired by the campaign to build a nuclear-powered aircraft in the 1950s, and it was the first reactor to ever operate using uranium-233.
Now parts of the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment that are too radioactively “hot” for humans could be entombed in concrete.
For now, the idea is only under study, and there is no guarantee that any part of the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment, a nuclear historic landmark that has been dormant for decades, will be entombed.
But it’s one of the proposals being evaluated by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management. The goal is to finish the evaluation by the end of the year.
Jay Mullis, manager of the Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management, presented the proposal to the Oak Ridge City Council and Site Specific Advisory Board in two separate meetings earlier this month. The entombment proposal is one of five items being evaluated as part of a 45-day review started by DOE’s Environmental Management, or EM, program in June. [Read more…]