Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Billy Stair ()
Communications and External Relations


Oak Ridge National Laboratory earns top rating from DOE

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Jan. 22, 2003 — UT-Battelle and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have received the laboratory's first-ever "outstanding" rating for overall performance from the Department of Energy for fiscal year 2002.

ORNL Director Bill Madia said, "It is difficult to overstate what this accomplishment will mean to the laboratory's reputation. This ranking puts us among the elite, and I want to thank the entire laboratory staff who made it possible."

UT-Battelle, which assumed management of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in April 2000, was graded in the categories of Science and Technology, Operations & Environment, Safety & Health, and Community Service. Each of the three categories included a variety of performance criteria.

The performance rating's Science and Technology component emphasizes quality of research at the laboratory. Individual performance measures include success in constructing and operating research facilities, relevance of ORNL's research to DOE missions and national needs, and effectiveness and efficiency of research program management.

The $1.4 billion Spallation Neutron Source project was included in the Science and Technology portion of the DOE evaluation. The fact the enormous project is on time and on budget without compromising its original scope contributed to the outstanding rating. UT-Battelle also received high marks for completing upgrades on the High Flux Isotope Reactor and for competing successfully with several other laboratories to locate a new Nanophase Materials Science Center in Oak Ridge.

The Operations and ES&H category evaluates goals that include efficiency, security and worker safety. Rapid progress on the laboratory's modernization plan, including construction of five new research facilities and the demolition of outdated buildings, boosted ORNL's rating. UT-Battelle also scored high for consolidating staff from the Y-12 site to the ORNL campus and lowering the number of accidents at the laboratory.

The third category, Community Service, looks at how UT-Battelle is viewed by its neighbors and the community. UT-Battelle achieved a perfect score for the company's support of science education, including funding for high school science laboratories and the University of Tennessee's Academy for Math and Science. UT-Battelle's efforts to promote economic development in the region, including the creation of 30 new companies since April 2000, also contributed to the perfect score in community service.

The performance evaluation is conducted annually in partnership with UT-Battelle, DOE Headquarters, the DOE-ORNL Site Office and the DOE Operations Office in Oak Ridge. The evaluation is designed to determine if UT-Battelle is meeting the requirements stipulated by DOE in the ORNL management contract.

The outstanding rating enables UT-Battelle to receive a performance-based fee up to $6,654,200 on the contractor performance rating.

ORNL is a DOE multiprogram research facility managed by UT-Battelle.