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Photo Friday: Opening fusion’s 48-ton door (1979)

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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This 1979 photo is of a woman at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) opening a 97,000 pound (48.5 ton) door. Eight feet thick and nearly twelve feet wide, this concrete-filled door included a special bearing in the hinge that allowed a single person to open or close it. The door was used to shield the Rotating Target Neutron Source-II (RTNS-II), which scientists used to study the properties of metals and other materials that could be used inside theoretical fusion power plants.

Photo credit: U.S. Department of Energy, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Melissa C. Lott About the Author: An engineer and researcher who works at the intersection of energy, environment, technology, and policy. Follow on Twitter @mclott.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. Last Ocean Blue 5:34 am 04/4/2014

    Ah, look at those platforms & flares & the Mary Quant geometric!

    Link to this
  2. 2. 1064nm 9:45 pm 04/4/2014

    Now THAT’S what I call a panic room!

    Link to this

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