A glowing event at ORNL

19348279183_03056eb4ac_kWorkers remove a fuel element from the High Flux Isotope Reactor during the defueling and refueling activities earlier this month at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory facility. The lab released a series of remarkable photos taken at HFIR during the event. The fuel cycle at the research reactor is about 26 days, depending on how the reactor is loaded for experiments. The blue glow is due to Cherenkov radiation as electrons move through the water faster than the speed of light. (ORNL photos by Jason Richards, above, and Genevieve Martin, below)


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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.