Talk:X-10 Graphite Reactor

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recording issues about alternative names for site[edit]

This note to record that some issues/questions about alternative names for the site, reflecting some info in recent back-and-forth edits and edit summaries, in which Orlady and i were trying to get it right. It seems some more references would be needed to cover all alternative names; this note to record the issue for someone else later to address perhaps.

It is usual in wikipedia articles to state alternative names for a given site in the intro. Guidelines at Wikipedia:Official names covers this, and note various issues including that there may be competing official names for the same site. Currently this article is named X-10 Graphite Reactor and the intro includes former or alternative names Clinton Pile and X-10 Pile. I added redirects as necessary so those alternatives redirect to this article. For this article, X-10 Reactor is another official name for the site, as the official name of the NHL program and of the NRHP program. More specifically those programs both use X-10 Reactor, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. I added a redirect from X-10 Reactor to this article. "X-10 Reactor" is not now stated as an alternative name for the site, although the full long name is (properly) given as the title of the NRHP/NHL infobox. Orlady has noted that "X-10 Reactor" may be a misnomer, because X-10 may refer to the larger site which includes or included other reactors. I tried editing in the following, suggesting: "It has also been referred to as the X-10 Reactor although X-10 describes the larger site, including other reactors." but that was removed, as possibly being wp:OR.

For the future:

  • I think it would improve the article to include some statement about the X-10 larger site, if that is different than just this reactor. Such statement could usefully include mention of how many reactors are in the larger site. Relationship of the site to the whole Oak Ridge National Laboratory (is X-10 the whole thing, or are there other numbered sites within the whole laboratory?) could be clarified.
  • It could improve compliance with wikipedia MOS to state the alternative name X-10 Reactor in the article intro. Such mention could include a footnote or other clarification that X-10 Reactor is technically a misnomer, if it is.
  • The official NHL/NRHP name X-10 Reactor, Oak Ridge National Laboratory should remain in the NHL/NRHP infobox, as that is the NHL/NRHP title.
  • Note, if the NHL/NRHP name is in fact a misnomer, it would be possible to notify the NHL/NRHP programs and inform them of their error. I have previously notified them of other name misstatements in NHL program webpages about other sites. In at least two cases where there were quite blatant errors, the NHL names were corrected by the NHL program.

That's all for now, i am happy to leave this now. doncram (talk) 19:38, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Date for Shutting down x-10[edit]

I suggest adding the year 1963 as the year x-10 was closed and unloaded. this could be inserted as a sentence just before the sentence indicating its designation as an historical landmark in 1966. I located this information on website "The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture" on a page dedicated to X-10. If you like the idea, please proceed with the addition. thanks. Logcabiny (talk) 04:51, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

I think the article definitely needs that information. I was shocked, after reading about all the radioactive products produced, that the control room is now open to tourists, with no indication at all that the reactor was not still in operation. I'm adding the information and reference you suggested.--Jim10701 (talk) 18:36, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Air Cooling[edit]

This article lacks discussion of the choice and consequences of air cooling.

Few reactors have continued the use of air cooling because gasses, with low density and poor heat conduction, require reactors designed to run at higher temperatures in order to achieve adequate heat transfer to the coolant. This poses problems in turn for materials choice and equipment design. At the Metallurgical Laboratory ("Met Lab") of the University of Chicago, where all US work on nuclear reactors was transferred in 1942, gas cooling was also initially considered for the reactors to be built at the Hanford site, but gas cooling was abandoned in favor of circulating water. The gas was to have been helium, because the ability to sustain a chain reaction was then uncertain, and helium absorbs no neutrons.

Reference for the Met Lab helium plan, where Eugene Wigner supervised the reactor-engineering and nuclear physics work: Weinberg, Alvin M. "Eugene Wigner, Nuclear Engineer. Wigner led the design of the Hanford nuclear reactors and founded a school to teach reactor physics to people working in industry." Physics Today 2002, 55(10; October), pp. 42-46.

Weinberg seems a trustworthy source. He rose to be Director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (then the Clinton Laboratories), where Wigner was Research and Development Director from 1946-47. The two men were also colleagues at Met Lab and coauthors.

Shall we add an air cooling paragraph like the one above?

I note in passing that the X-10 graphite reactor role is often neglected as the "Fermi to Hanford" story is generally told. And in the Wikipedia 2010, the role of Eugene Wigner in designing what were to be the Hanford graphite reactors B, D and F is slighted. DuPont entered the reactor project as contractor around Sept. 1942, and adopted Wigner's designs. "Wigner was responsible for reviewing every blueprint that DuPont drew of for Hanford. This was a tedious job that Wigner and his group took most seriously. Hanford, as built, was based on blueprints approved by Wigner." (Weinberg ref above)

We're all busy -- go ahead to comment here or improve the article and I'll also try to check back later. Jerry-va (talk) 13:43, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

File:X10 Reactor Face.jpg[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:X10 Reactor Face.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on June 9, 2014. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2014-06-09. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:26, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Picture of the day
X-10 Graphite Reactor

Workers load uranium slugs into the X-10 Graphite Reactor '​s concrete face. Built as part of the Manhattan Project, X-10 was the first-ever production reactor, and acted as a proof of concept for the reactors that would produce materials for the first nuclear bombs. The concrete face is 44 by 44 feet (13.4 by 13.4 metres). Part of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, since 1966 it has been a designated National Historic Landmark.

Photograph: Ed Westcott / US Army
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