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ORAU History - 1977

Emission Computerized Axial Tomograph (ECAT) scanner

ORAU’s Medical and Health Sciences Division installed an Emission Computerized Axial Tomograph (ECAT) scanner in May 1977. This instrument, which utilized annihilation radiation for tomographic imaging, was one of three in the world.

In March 1977, the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Marmoset Research Center hosted the first international conference on marmosets in experimental medicine. Its purpose was to evaluate progress in the use of marmosets as experimental subjects in the study of human health-related problems.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) was established on Oct. 1, 1977, absorbing the Energy Research and Development Administration.

The ORAU epidemiology group (now referred to as Occupational Exposure and Worker Health Programs) assumed direction of DOE’s health and mortality studies of on Aug. 1, 1977. These studies, some of which were begun by the Atomic Energy Commission more than a decade ago, continuously evaluate the mortality experience of persons who have been employed in selected nuclear industry installations.

The ORAU Institute for Energy Analysis (IEA) emerged as a leader in the study and appraisal of the effect of accumulating carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels (known as the “greenhouse effect”).

The Science Education Resource Center (now referred to as Science Education and Workforce Development Programs) developed four minicourses for middle grades during the year. These curriculum supplements are learning modules that teachers can use at any time during a semester. The subjects are solar energy, electricity, conservation, and chemical energy.

In its second full year of operation, the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS) responded to 13 radiation emergency assistance requests by consultation and off-site assistance. More than 100 physicians, health physicists, and emergency personnel participated in three courses offered by REAC/TS on the management of radiation accidents.