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ORAU History - 1992

ORISE’s K-12 summer education programs were designed to teach students about science and math in nontraditional settings. For example, junior high students in the MathQuest program learned how math fit into their daily lives by shopping at a car dealership for their dream car.

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) was established in 1992 to conduct activities on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy and other federal agencies and operated under a management and operating contract by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). Dr. James Drewry, vice president and general manager for Teledyne CAE, was named director of ORISE.

ORISE’s K-12 Group (now under Science Education and Workforce Development Programs) administered several innovative science and technology education programs for students and teachers.

Up until 1992, the Cytogenetics Program used classical techniques to examine the chromosomes of individuals exposed to radiation, but beginning in 1992, staff began helping to perfect applications of a technique called chromosome painting. This method helps to identify breaks or missing pieces in the chromosomes.

The Marmoset Research Center was saved from its uncertain future by transferring its ownership to the University of Tennessee (UT) Medical Center. Under the new agreement, UT assumed responsibility for the animals, facilities, research programs,and personnel. Established in 1961, the colony included at the time more than 200 cotton-top tamarins, 200 common marmosets, 15 saddle-back tamarins, and four callimico goeldii.

The Environmental Survey and Site Assessment Program (now referred to as Environmental Assessments and Health Physics) published four documents to help guide organizations through environmental cleanup activities and the associated compliance with governmental regulating agencies. These documents were cited in the April and July 1992 Federal Register Notices and are recommended resources by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The publications are:

  • Manual for Conducting Radiological Surveys in Support of License Termination
  • Laboratory Procedures Manual
  • Quality Assurance Manual
  • Survey Procedures Manual

A report prepared by an ORAU-established review panel about the alleged health hazards of exposure to extremely low-frequency electric and magnetic fields, especially those related to cancer and to reproduction and neurophysiological effects, was received in 1992 by the White House science office and was the subject of several news articles. It was called “Health Effects of Low Frequency Electric and Magnetic Fields.”