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ORAU History - 2002

As part of an effort to modernize and consolidate facilities, ORAU began construction on a new 55,000-square-foot building on the main campus in Oak Ridge.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) awarded Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) a $70-million, five-year contract to manage a radiation dose reconstruction project for former nuclear workers. This project helps NIOSH determine compensation eligibility for those workers covered under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act. Working in partnership with Dade Moeller and Associates and MJW Corporation, ORAU’s work under this new contract complements its other efforts in the area of epidemiological research related to worker health surveillance.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, ORAU was called on in 2002 to bolster national security and emergency management capabilities. ORAU staff trained others in emergency response and detection and handling of radioactive materials, developed plans for responding to nuclear terrorism and bioterrorism, and supplied first responders with better radiation detection equipment.

Additionally, ORAU completed construction of a new beryllium testing laboratory, the only government laboratory that can do lymphocyte proliferation tests to screen workers for sensitivity to beryllium.

The Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards passed the $1 million mark in terms of dollars awarded during the program’s 12-year history. Each year, ORAU provides grants of $5,000 to faculty members to enhance their research during the early stages of their careers. Member institutions match the awards, raising the total amount of grant money to more than $2 million.

ORAU supported East Tennessee by helping to fund and build a Habitat for Humanity House, providing $12,000 in education grants to local schools, giving books to preschoolers, and donating $52,000 to local charities.