Another project was the world's first light water reactor.
The materials research budget at ORNL doubled after initial uncertainty regarding Reagan's economic policy of less government expenditure.
In 1981 the Holifield Heavy Ion Research Facility, a 25 MV particle accelerator, was opened at ORNL.
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.