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After earning numerous decorations and citations for its service during World War II, the USS Indiana was mothballed.

More than 200 tons of the ship's foot-thick armor plates were shipped to the University of Utah in 1963 for a radiation-free room near the school's medical center.The room, buried in the ground and lined with lead, served for 25 years as a radiation and cancer research laboratory.

In the late 1980s, when the university needed a building site for the Eccles Program in Human Molecular Biology and Genetics, it picked the spot just south of the hospital. That meant the room constructed from the Indiana's armor had to be removed.

Roy Mayor Glade Nielsen, who served on the Indiana, tracked the steel plates to Batelle Scientific Center, Richland, Wash.

The massive armor plates again were used to build an underground room for radiation research.