Source:  EM Update| Vol 9, Issue 31 | January 31, 2017

EM is taking steps to link the capabilities of DOE national laboratories supporting the agency’s nuclear cleanup mission.

EM Acting Assistant Secretary Sue Cange charged Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), EM’s corporate lab, with establishing and leading the EM National Laboratory Network. It will be chaired by the SRNL lab director and co-chaired by the director of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory at the Hanford Site.

The Oak Ridge, Los Alamos and Idaho national labs are also part of the network. They are co-located at large EM cleanup sites and have extensive technical knowledge about those sites.

“We are strengthening historic partnerships and relationships with individual labs to take advantage of the synergies of a larger network supporting the EM program,” said EM Laboratory Policy Office Director Mark Gilbertson said.

Lab representatives met in December to refine the approach to the network, which subsequently underwent review by EM field office and headquarters officials. Creation of the network responds to recommendations from the independent Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories to maximize value in the labs’ world-class capabilities.

The network will work with EM headquarters and sites to leverage investments in training and technology. Students in traineeship programs working in specialized areas could focus on EM applications for their research through partnerships with lab counterparts. Network members will advise EM on new approaches to the agency’s mission and help with issues that cut across their specialties.

The lab team will offer EM leadership a sounding board on decisions to help reduce technical and program risks.

“These are labs with a stake in our success,” Gilbertson said. “Their stakeholders are our stakeholders. Their community is our community.”