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ORNL earns DOE pollution award


Donating an old particle accelerator and converting scrap wallboard into fertilizer has helped Oak Ridge National Laboratory save $5 million and earn a Department of Energy “Best In Class” Pollution Prevention Award for a third consecutive year.

ORNL Director Jeff Wadsworth said 75 ORNL staff members in five directorates and seven divisions contributed to winning the award, which recognizes lab strategies to reduce legacy waste material hazards.

“Our pollution prevention philosophy is quite broad based,” Wadsworth said. “The cost savings and the recognition by D-O-E reflect the success of our programs.”

One of the more innovative initiatives was donation of an accelerator from ORNL's former Surface Modification and Characterization research center to Alabama A&M University. The donation was part of a lab effort to recycle or reuse 150 tons of potentially hazardous materials, save landfill space and avoid disposal costs.

 

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