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ORAU History - 1984

On Sept. 27, 1984, University Isotope Separator at Oak Ridge (UNISOR) researchers completed their first successful experiment using the laser optical spectroscopy system. Staff also succeeded in putting together funds for the purchase of a nuclear orientation facility.

REAC/TS and the Cytogenetics Program frequently conferred in determining the levels of radiation exposure received by radiation accident victims.

In 1984, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) was selected to provide technical assistance to the Committee on Interagency Radiation Research and Policy Coordination (CIRRPC), which reported to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. CIRRPC provided technical assistance and service for 15 federal agencies, including DOE, in determining the nation's radiation research needs and in coordinating a policy regarding acceptable radiation levels. CIRRPC operated out of offices adjacent to ORAU's existing Washington offices.

Dr. William W. Burr joined ORAU in 1984 as the new chairman of the Medical and Health Sciences Division (MHSD) after the previous chairman, Dr. C. C. Lushbaugh, decided to return to a research role as head of the Radiation Medicine Program (now referred to as Radiation Emergency Medicine).

MHSD staff provided support to authorities investigating the 1984 Juarez, Mexico, accident, in which the cobalt-60 radiation source from an x-ray machine contaminated a junkyard, endangered the residents of a city street, and became incorporated in scrap iron projects exported to the United States. Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS), Cytogenetics, and Epidemiology were involved in evaluating the results of the accident.

In the Epidemiology program (now referred to as Occupational Exposure and Worker Health Programs), a final analysis of mortality was completed in 1984 for workers employed between 1943 and 1972 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Final analysis was completed of mortality among a subcohort of men exposed to elemental mercury between 1953 and 1963 while employed at the Oak Ridge Y-12 plant.

REAC/TS was involved in the development of a distribution system to disseminate books and videotapes to train both prehospital and in-hospital medical providers. More than 600 units of the training materials were distributed in the second half of FY 1984.

The 18-year-old Training and Technology (TAT) program closed in 1984 after new job training legislation reduced funding opportunities for the program. More than 6,500 individuals were trained for industrial-type jobs through TAT, which served as a model industrial education program nationwide.

The Labor and Policy Studies Program completed a significant major study, Personnel Requirements, Education, and Training for Civilian Nuclear Activities, 1984-2000. It was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy. Staff also initiated work on a National Science Foundation-funded project to provide an estimation procedure for counting the number of U.S. educated, foreign national scientists and engineers who remain in or reenter the U.S. labor market.

In response to a presidential executive order to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), the University Programs Division (now referred to as the Science Education and Workforce Development Programs) implemented three new activities for DOE in 1984: the HBCU Faculty and Student Research Participation Programs, the HBCU Nuclear Energy Training Program, and the Radioactive Waste Management Research Program.