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U.S. Department of Energy

Partnering with DOE to Impact the U.S. Scientific Mission through ORISE

Department of Energy sealORISE logo

ORAU has no larger or more important partnership than the one it shares with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Together, ORAU and DOE have built an unwavering commitment to addressing critical national needs in science as well as health, the environment and national security.

Through this long-standing relationship with DOE, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and supports DOE’s mission accomplishment in:

  • Strengthening the U.S. scientific research and education enterprise particularly in energy and the STEM fields to enhance global competitiveness
  • Building public trust and confidence in the management of worker and public health and environmental cleanup initiatives
  • Enhancing our nation’s preparedness to respond to emergencies related to terrorist incidents, natural disasters, and other health and security threats
ORAU technician performs radiological characterization

ORISE impacts…

Advancing scientific research and education

  • More than 8,300 students, recent graduates, postdoctoral researchers and faculty participated in ORISE and ORAU science education and workforce development programs in FY12.
  • More than 220 research institutions and national laboratories partnered with ORISE to host students and researchers from more than 1,000 universities in educational and professional development programs.
  • ORISE peer review capabilities support government allocation of and for hundreds of millions in research funding in science, energy, supercomputing, homeland security and other fields. 
  • ORISE trained thousands in health physics, public and environmental health, worker health and safety, national security and emergency management in FY12.

Improving health and environmental stewardship

Protecting our nation against threats


2012 Highlights

In support of DOE’s mission in FY12, ORAU provided expertise and services through ORISE to positively impact science education program administration, peer review, independent verification, worker health data management, national security exercise planning, technical training, and radiation emergency medicine.

Studying radiation effects on one million U.S. workers
ORAU is playing a key role in the largest-of-its-kind study in the U.S. on the effects of long-term worker exposure to low-dose radiation. The study population of more than one million workers includes uranium and plutonium workers at DOE sites, nuclear weapons test workers, nuclear power plant workers, industrial radiographers, radiologists, and other medical practitioners.

Ensuring property is safe for release following environmental cleanup initiatives
Throughout FY12, ORAU conducted independent verification of several ongoing DOE Office of Environmental Management projects—Hanford Reach National Monument, West Valley Demonstration Project and National Priorities List—to ensure that cleanup efforts have met regulatory release requirements.

Expanding weatherization training for improved energy efficiency and employment opportunities
Over the past two years, ORAU has provided training for more than 400 instructors and directors across the country funded by DOE’s longstanding Weatherization Assistance Program. By increasing skills related to improving the energy efficiency of homes, these programs are assisting low income families and providing workers with expanded employment options.

Preparing health professionals worldwide for radiation emergencies
In 2012, more than 350 medical professionals and administrators in countries such as Kuwait, Singapore and Thailand, attended 3-4 days of intense REAC/TS training on medical emergency response to radiological/nuclear events. REAC/TS also trained more than 1,750 health professionals and emergency responders across the U.S.

Preparing for the threat of dirty bombs
ORAU assisted DOE-NNSA in delivering a series of events, known as Amber Waves, which were designed to foster interagency collaboration and coordination with other community organizations in the immediate aftermath of an emergency involving radiological dispersion devices, also known as dirty bombs.