Molten salt reactor decommissioning, 2003

Molten salt reactor decommissioning, 2003

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Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory/US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Molten salt reactor decommissioning. The Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) was operated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA, from 1965 to 1969. It was an experimental molten salt reactor, generating energy from nuclear reactions in a molten salt mixture. In this case the fuel and coolant was a mixture of uranium and a fluoride salt. After shutdown, the reactor was believed to be safe, but in the 1990s sampling showed that radioactivity was spreading. This led to a 5-year clean-up operation from 2003 to 2008. Photographed on 12 March 2003.

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