Oak Ridge, Anderson County (AP) -- The Research Reactor at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is expected to be running again in March if it passes a series of start-up tests.
Oak Ridge officials say the High Flux Isotope Reactor, the world's most powerful research reactor, has been shut down since January for installation of a cold source and other improvements.
Reactor operations were set to resume in the summer but didn't to allow more time for testing of research equipment and support operations.
The 40-year-old reactor is one of Oak Ridge's prized research tools. Scientists study the structure and properties of materials using the reactor's high concentration of neutrons.
Despite the reactor's age, Oak Ridge officials say it is expected to last for another 40 years. The lab has spent about $70 million on improvements at the reactor in recent years.
Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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