Science: A Year of Isotopes

One year ago last week the Clinton Laboratories at Oak Ridge, Tenn. began selling radioactive isotopes made in its uranium pile. Already, these atomic by-products have had important influences on U.S. science, and have made possible many hitherto impossible research jobs.

Telltale Tracers. Many radioisotopes are so short-lived that they must be rushed to their destinations by air and used at once, before their radioactivity has been frittered away. The Clinton Laboratories pop them into stainless steel and lead containers (weighing up to 1,600 Ibs.) and speed them by truck to the Knoxville airport. Prices vary widely. Carbon 14, one of the...

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