Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Carolyn Krause ()
Communications and External Relations


Chicago and St. Louis companies to design and build Spallation Neutron Source

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Aug. 25, 1998 — Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson today announced that the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn., has selected a major subcontractor to design and construct the $1.3 billion Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). The joint venture of Lester B. Knight & Associates, Inc., and Sverdrup Facilities, Inc., will be the project's architect, engineer and construction manager.

Knight and Sverdrup, based in Chicago, Ill., and St. Louis, Mo., respectively, will be responsible for the design and construction of all conventional facilities and the installation of most technical system components associated with the SNS. Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon, located in Oak Ridge, will be a second-tier subcontractor to Knight and Sverdrup. The seven-year subcontract is estimated to have a value in the range of $250-300 million and will provide at least 2200 jobs in Tennessee and a total estimated sales tax revenue for the state of $25 million.

The department's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the prime contractor for the SNS project and the proposed site for the new facility.

"The Spallation Neutron Source will provide researchers the most intense pulsed neutron beams in the world," said Secretary Richardson. "Their work could lead to advances ranging from improved medical implants to lubricants and stronger, lighter materials for tomorrow's more efficient automobiles. The world-class science made possible by the department's newest facility will make a difference in all our lives."

The Clinton administration has proposed construction funding for the SNS in its Fiscal Year 1999 budget. Provided that Congress appropriates funds to initiate construction of the SNS project in FY 1999, a detailed design and other work under this subcontract would begin in October 1998. The subcontract would continue through project completion.

When completed in 2005, the SNS would provide scientific users from universities, industry and federal laboratories with the world's most powerful and capable pulsed neutron beams for neutron scattering studies in a broad range of fields including the physical and biological sciences, as well as in engineering and medical research. Detailed information from such a bright neutron source will enable a better understanding of materials ranging from plastics to proteins and may lead to the synthesis of new materials for cleaner, more efficient technologies and more effective medical treatments.

A conceptual design of the accelerator-based neutron science facility has been completed by a collaboration of five Department of Energy laboratories led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The other members of the SNS multi-laboratory collaboration are Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory. A draft SNS environmental impact statement that analyzes the proposed ORNL site and alternative sites is being prepared. No site-specific work will be done until the environmental review process is completed.

Knight & Associates, Inc., has experience designing the recently constructed Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago. Sverdrup Facilities, Inc., is participating in the Department of Energy project to build the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, and is the technical support subcontractor at the U.S. Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tullahoma, Tenn. The journal Engineering News-Record rates Knight as one of the top 100 design firms in the nation, Sverdrup as one of the top 50 global design firms and top 100 construction contractors, and Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon as one of the top 150 design firms in the nation.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is operated by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation for the Department of Energy.