In World War II’s Manhattan Project, ORNL helped usher in the nuclear age. Today, our researchers hold leading roles in using nuclear technologies and systems to improve human health; explore safer, more environmentally friendly power; and support science discoveries that address national challenges. Around the lab, you will find researchers:
- Producing isotopes for medical research, scientific discovery, national security, and industry.
- Leading research in the entire nuclear fuel cycle, from development of advanced reactor technologies to storage of used fuel.
- Using modeling and simulation to improve operations and safely extend the life of existing nuclear reactors, while also developing capabilities to help build the next generation of reactors.
- Supporting national security through nuclear safeguards and technology, nuclear material detection, and fuel-cycle signature analysis.
- Managing and supporting US contributions to ITER, the international effort to demonstrate fusion’s power-generating potential.
- Paving the way toward a workable fusion power reactor through research in plasma physics, plasma-facing materials, plasma heating, and fuel pellet injection technologies.
ORNL has an unmatched combination of computing, reactor, radiochemical, and materials research facilities that create a rewarding and scientifically stimulating environment for advancing nuclear science and technology.