Source: The Oak Ridger | Darrell Richardson | December 15, 2015
The community of Oak Ridge made a difference then, it’s making a difference now and it will continue to make a difference in the future.
That was the basic message conveyed Friday, Dec. 11, by Anne Harrington, deputy administrator for NNSA’s Defense Nuclear Proliferation, to a standing-room-only crowd of attendees at ETEC’s 2015 annual meeting and awards celebration in the Oak Ridge DoubleTree Hotel.
Harrington spoke on “the power of science, the power of community and the power of developing trust with one another.”
She said the National Nuclear Security Administration appreciates the support it receives from Oak Ridge, as well as the technologies developed here to make the world a safer place.
The NNSA official touched briefly but significantly on something old and something new: Oak Ridge’s recent role in the establishment of the 2015 Manhattan Project National Historical Park as well as President Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” initiative — a 1950s campaign to enlighten the American public on the risks and hopes of a nuclear future.
In a similar vein, Harrington assured the ETEC crowd on Friday, “When you say uranium in my business, you’re saying East Tennessee because that’s where the expertise is.”
She discussed the “critical” missions of Oak Ridge in regards to safeguarding nuclear materials and preventing nuclear terrorism.
And Harrington specifically lauded the capabilities of the OLEM or On-Line Enrichment Monitor technology developed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Furthermore, she alluded to how the OLEM technology is being used to monitor the enrichment levels of uranium in gaseous form at several centrifuge plants in foreign countries that have nuclear agreements with the United States.
“That really is,” she said, “helping bring peace to the world.
“THAT is extraordinary science.”
Though Harrington said East Tennessee has a lot to “feel proud” about already, she vowed that NNSA would continue its commitment to work with Oak Ridge to find more opportunities in the future.
“You are truly our partners in helping make the world safer,” Harrington reiterated.
“Just as Oak Ridge was key during the Manhattan Project, Oak Ridge will remain essential in the future.”
The East Tennessee Economic Council or ETEC is a non-profit membership organization “that focuses on bringing people together to create new opportunities for federal research, national security and environmental programs — and to support technology transfer and economic development programs.”