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ORNL Today

ORNL Today

Today, the Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL) function as part of the Oak Ridge Office (ORO) of the United States Department of Energy (DOE). The ORO has expanded beyond its first mission during WWII and is now responsible for major DOE programs in science, environmental management, nuclear fuel supply, and national security. It also supports science laboratories and facilities operated by DOE throughout the United States. The ORO is made up of ORNL, the Y-12 National Security Complex, and the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP). The American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE) and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) are also located in the city.

One of ORNL’s new projects includes the Spallation Neutron Source: “The Spallation Neutron Source, when combined with the High Flux Isotope Reactor will make Oak Ridge the world's foremost center for Neutron Science. Future research will be supported by these facilities and by the Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences, which is being developed in cooperation with the University of Tennessee and the SNS Project, is designed to accommodate the thousands of users expected each year from universities, U.S. industry, and other laboratories. Follow these links for more information about Neutron Science research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.” (Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL))

Providing the most intense pulsed neutron beams in the world, the $1.4 billion SNS will be a center for neutron-scattering research. It will be completed in 2006, and Oak Ridge will continue to be a leader in scientific research, as well as industrial development. It may sound intimidating or too advanced for the general public but neutron-scattering research directly affects us. Jets, credit cards, pocket calculators, compact discs, computer disks, shatter-proof windshields, and satellite weather information for forecasts have all been improved with this type of research.

Most recently, on Dec. 1, 2005, the Department of Energy awarded a five-year, $6.3 billion extension to its current management and operating contractor, UT-Battelle, LLC, specifically for the continued operation of the ORNL. The funds will support all six of the major scientific focuses of the lab: neutron science, energy, high performance computing, complex biological systems, advanced materials and national security.

Below, some photos show more about Oak Ridge today.

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.

State Representative Zach Wamp visits ORNL.

The American Museum of Science and Energy continues to educate the community and visitors.

Exhibits of AMSE feature productive and peaceful uses for energy research.

This friendship bell signifies the good relationship between Oak Ridge and Japan.

The bell is inscribed with the dates of the Pearl Harbor attacks and the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, along with the words "peace" and "friendship."