Published: Jan 1954
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Radioactive tracers and radioactive measurements will not replace ingenuity, determination, and common sense in either the laboratory or the factory, but they have greatly increased opportunities for economy, accuracy, and understanding. The purpose of this paper is to discuss whether we are taking advantage of these opportunities. The paper by G. D. Calkins has reported some of the uses of the now abundant radioactive tools. The authors' task is to show how and where these fit into the ASTM work. A brief review of the volume of isotope distribution is needed in order to show the strides that have already been taken. As of June, 1953, well over 35,000 shipments of isotopes have been made from Oak Ridge for all purposes, but only approximately 2500 shipments have been made to industrial concerns for use in research and process control. Industry certainly carries on more than 7 per cent of the technical effort in this country, and therefore, proportionately, industry has not employed these new tools to the extent they have been employed by the medical and biochemical fields. Why is this so? There must be many reasons, but only a few can be given here. A primary reason is that there has been undue fear in the handling of these new tools and that industry, by and large, has not yet fully appreciated the potential value of the radioactive and stable isotopes that are now readily available and the simplicity and safety attending their use. The primary purpose of this Symposium is to furnish a little more than an academic acquaintance with these new tools. All the answers, of course, will not be obtained from the Symposium; it is hoped that industry itself will eventually supply the important answers by applying radioactive materials to its problems. However, the time is ripe to start industry thinking along this new road of discovery.
Elliott, O. M.
Sun Oil Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
Kuranz, J. L.
Nuclear Instrument and Chemical Corp., Chicago, Ill.