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ORAU History - 1989

ORISE’s training professionals design, develop, deliver, and evaluate training materials and learning activities of all types, including on-the-job training, desktop reference tools, computer-based training, multimedia and distance learning systems, and train-the-trainer sessions and materials that allow a client’s instructors to deliver the training themselves.

More than 200 medical personnel from 18 countries and 26 states who were involved in radiation accident response and treatment of accidentally irradiated patients—including some who dealt with the Chernobyl and Goiania, Brazil, accidents—came to Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) in 1989 for the Second International Conference on the Medical Basis for Radiation Accident Preparedness.

In 1989, the Institute for Energy Analysis (IEA) was given the responsibility for the overall assessment of the impact of carbon dioxide and the suggested methods for coping with it. The task completed, IEA, later called the Institute for Energy and Environment Analysis and part of ORAU’s Energy/Environment Systems Division (now referred to as Environmental Assessments and Health Physics), broadened its focus toward finding ways for the nation to realize maximum benefits from minimum costs for energy systems implemented in today's environment.

ORAU began a new program in 1989 to help eliminate some of the barriers that keep minority students from pursuing careers in technical fields and to motivate them to study science and mathematics. The Minority Challenge Program was open to students in seventh grade and above. Through a prescribed system of mentoring and enrichment activities, research internships, and college scholarships, participants were nurtured from precollege years to completion of college degrees.

In 1989, the Energy/Environment Systems Division supported the Shippingport Station Decommissioning Project (at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania) by providing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with independent verification of the adequacy of the decontamination efforts. ORAU staff spent almost three years taking soil and concrete samples from around the plant and analyzing them in ORAU laboratories to ensure that the radiation level limitations at the site were met. This nuclear station was the only nuclear installation that had been demolished so far.

In 1989, the Science/Engineering Education Division (now referred to as Science Education and Workforce Development Programs), through DOE and other federal agencies, sponsored 150 postgraduate fellowships at 26 federal laboratories, 100 graduate students, 50 teachers in summer research experience, and 200 high school teachers and 300 students for two-week workshops.

The Science and Mathematics Action for Revitalizing Teaching (SMART), a series of week-long summer workshops for teachers of grades K-8, kicked off in 1989. SMART involved entire communities—schools, businesses, and parent groups—to strengthen science and math education in three Tennessee school systems.

Dr. William G. Pollard, founder and retired executive director of ORAU, and ordained Episcopal priest, died on Dec. 26, 1989, in Oak Ridge after a long battle with cancer.