Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Mike Bradley ()
Communications and External Relations


ORNL joins universities, industry in nuclear education initiative

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 8, 2007 — Oak Ridge National Laboratory has joined a group of southeastern universities and companies to promote growth of the region's nuclear technologies and education programs.

The agreement signed recently by the laboratory and the Southeastern Universities Nuclear Reactor Institute for Science and Education (SUNRISE) will spur collaboration, research and workforce development in nuclear science and engineering, said ORNL Director Thom Mason.

"ORNL is proud to team with SUNRISE to help implement this region's leadership role in reinvigorating the nation's nuclear energy, security and medical industries," Mason said.

ORNL's broad portfolio of nuclear research programs include nuclear medicine, power, materials, non-proliferation and neutron scattering analysis; internationally recognized scientific staff; and a long history of developing nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. The laboratory's state-of-the-art facilities include the High Flux Isotope Reactor, the nation's most powerful research reactor.

SUNRISE is a consortium of universities and industries dedicated to enhancing development of U.S. nuclear science and technologies. The group also supports academic programs in nuclear engineering, health, medical physics, and radiochemistry.

Farzad Rahmena, who chairs the SUNRISE Board of Directors, said ORNL's membership will boost U.S. efforts related to energy independence, global warming, nuclear medicine, nuclear deterrence and terrorism.

"We expect the combined efforts of ORNL and SUNRISE to result in many new opportunities for both organizations to advance the nation's progress in advancing nuclear-related technologies," Rahmena said.

Formed in 2007, SUNRISE is a non-profit organization designed to help government and industry utilize faculty, students and facilities of the group's members.

The consortium represents nine programs in nuclear engineering, four in health physics, two in radiochemistry and two in medical physics; three university research reactors; and some of the nation's leading nuclear industry companies.

SUNRISE university members are Clemson University; Georgia Institute of Technology; Mississippi State University; North Carolina State University; South Carolina State University; University of Florida; University of South Carolina; University of South Carolina, Aiken; University of Tennessee; Virginia Tech; and University of Missouri, Rolla.

Industry members are Economic Development Partnership of Aiken, S.C., and Edgefield Counties; General Atomics; AREVA; Fluor; South Carolina University Research & Education Foundation; and Westinghouse Electric Company.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.