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Chapter 7: Energy Technologies

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OAK RIDGE'S ENVIRONMENTAL PARK

Environmental scientists use treetop samplers to study the transport of airborne materials to forests and their soil.
Environmental scientists use treetop samplers to study the transport of airborne materials to forests and their soil.

A park nearly surrounds the original X-10 site today. Established in 1980, the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park offers 12,400 acres of protected land for environmental sciences research and education. One of six Department of Energy environmental research parks located at sites across the nation, itaffords opportunities for scientists to investigate the ecology of the forests of southern Appalachia. 

The Laboratory's Environmental Sciences Division for many years has used the park area for research, creating a large base of information that is available to guest researchers. In the park, the Laboratory encourages research relating to energy, ecosystem dynamics, contaminant transport, and bioremediation. Scientists from universities, industrial firms, and other institutions submit their research proposals to the Laboratory for advance review and in selected cases qualify for funding assistance. Visited annually by 20,000 students, ranging in class level from kindergarten to college, the park contributes substantially to environmental education in the United States. 

Because it forms a broad forested band nearly encompassing the original X-10 site, the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park also guarantees a continuation of the rural flavor that has characterized the Laboratory's history. 

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