The University of Chicago assumed responsibility but withdrew shortly after, until in December 1947 Union Carbide and Carbon Co., which already operated two other facilities at Oak Ridge, took control of the laboratory and Alvin Weinberg was named Director of Research ORNL, and in 1955 Director of the Laboratory.
The laboratory is home to several of the world's top supercomputers including the world's third most powerful supercomputer ranked by the TOP500, Titan, and is a leading neutron science and nuclear energy research facility that includes the Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor.
ORNL hosts the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, the Bio Energy Science Center, There are five campuses on the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge reservation; the National Laboratory, the Y-12 National Security Complex, the East Tennessee Technology Park (formerly the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant), the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, and the developing Oak Ridge Science and Technology Park, although the four other facilities are unrelated to the National Laboratory.
The site was chosen for the X-10 Graphite Reactor, used to show that plutonium can be extracted from enriched uranium.
Enrico Fermi and his colleagues developed the world's second self-sustaining nuclear reactor after Fermi's previous experiment Chicago Pile-1, the X-10 was the first designed for continuous operation.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is an American multiprogram science and technology national laboratory managed for the United States Department of Energy (DOE) by UT-Battelle.
ORNL is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the Department of Energy system by surface ORNL is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, near Knoxville.ORNL's scientific programs focus on materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology and national security.ORNL partners with the state of Tennessee, universities and industries to solve challenges in energy, advanced materials, manufacturing, security and physics.The US Military funded much of its development, for nuclear-powered submarines and ships of the US Navy.In the early 1960s there was a large push at ORNL to develop nuclear-powered desalination plants where deserts met the sea to provide water.The project called Water for Peace was backed by John F. Johnson and presented at a 1964 United Nations conference but increases in the cost of construction and public confidence in nuclear power falling caused the plan to fail.