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ORAU History - 1978

ORAU’s Center for Epidemiologic Research

Studies at ORAU’s Center for Epidemiologic Research required processing thousands of records on demographic information.

In July 1978, the name of the American Museum of Atomic Energy was changed to the American Museum of Science & Energy. The change reflected the broadening mission of the U.S. Department of Energy and its responsibilities to the public understanding of science, particularly in the area of energy. Museum attendance was up by 20,000 from 1977, for a record 256,000 visitors.

Following a rigorous review, Oak Ridge Associated Universities’ (ORAU) medical education programs (now referred to as Radiation Emergency Medicine) were accredited by the American Medical Association in 1978. These courses in the management of radiation accidents were offered by the division at its Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS) facility. They were approved by the AMA for credit towards the Physician’s Recognition Award, which certifies that the physician is continuing his/her medical education. The American College of Emergency Physicians and the Tennessee Nurses Association also accredited the programs.

In 1978, ORAU’s Institute for Energy Analysis (IEA) began issuing a quarterly newsletter and a quarterly list of abstracts as part of its effort to keep the energy policy research community informed of its activities. Also, an agreement was reached with The MIT Press to publish a series of selected IEA monographs under the title Perspectives in Energy.

The Epidemiology group (now referred to as Occupational Exposure and Worker Health Programs) completed a mortality study of workers exposed to low levels of metallic nickel at the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant. The 1978 study showed that there was not any increase in the number of deaths due to respiratory diseases in these workers.

In 1978, Professional Training Program (now referred to as Radiation Sciences Training) staff conducted summer faculty institutes under DOE sponsorship in Energy Production and the Environment; Energy Options for the Future; Energy Conservation: Theory and Practice; and Coal Production, Technology, and Utilization. These competitive courses were attended by 109 members of college science and engineering faculties from 34 states.

Minicourses produced by the Science Activities in Energy program were very successful in 1978. More than 75,000 copies each of the Solar and Conservation courses and 50,000 copies each of the Electricity and Chemical Energy courses have been distributed. Two additional courses were produced this year: Wind, for elementary students, and Solar II, for the secondary level.

In 1978, the University Isotope Separator at Oak Ridge (UNISOR) completed an expansion of its facility a year ahead of time and substantially under budget. Improvements included two additional beam lines on the isotope separator, associated source transports and experimental stations, additional isotope detectors, and an additional computer-based data acquisition system.

In 1978, ORAU initiated a trial effort in materials science to share research equipment (ShaRE) through joint planning of experiments. A small conference was held to develop a mechanism for joint research and to recommend a research plan.

The Training Research and Data Exchange (TRADE) network was founded in 1978 to foster sharing of training and related information throughout the DOE system.