ORNL Review v17n2 1984.pdf

ORNL Review v17n2
  • State of the Laboratory—1983 In the following updated report based on his January 31, 1984, address to staff, Herman Postma discusses technical achievements related to global environmental concerns, an improved alloy for artificial hip joints, human problems of abandoned mine lands, magnets for fusion, the Breeder Reprocessing Engineering Test, altering an enzyme to improve crop yields, radiation effects on matter, diagnosing heart disease in children, measuring indoor air pollution, protecting high-voltage lines, measuring fission product release from reactor fuel, new applications of lasers, and fusion plasma fueling.
  • Making R&D Pay Off: How ORNL Interacts with Industry. Recently the federal government has removed impediments to the transfer of government-sponsored technology to industry. As a result, ORNL has new staff consulting and patent policies and has established a fund to promote technology transfer. Efforts also have been made by the federal government, Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc., and ORNL to stimulate and support the creation of small businesses to help the economy.
  • Communicating Health Risks to the Public. The public is worried about low-level effects of environmental agents on health. Its perception of the health risks involved, however, is often different from the actual risks. The scientific establishment, the new media, and culturally ingrained fears and expectations may well be responsible for this discrepancy. That was the consensus of a recent workshop on communicating risks.
  • ORNL and the Environment: Views of State and Federal Regulations. In 1983 the State of Tennessee sought for the first time to acquire the right to regulate ORNL's discharges to the environment. Recently the state conducted a compliance evaluation inspection and recommended that ORNL take action to solve its environmental problems. In this second part of a series, the authors discuss steps that ORNL is taking to respond to the inspection report and the legal issues pertaining to environmental management at the Laboratory.