UT, ORNL Form Neutron Sciences Institute (424)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — The Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences was made official Wednesday in a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy, signed at the WATTec 98 banquet.

 “JINS is destined to be extremely important to the future of neutron science in Tennessee and the nation,” said Bill Appleton, associate director for the Spallation Neutron Source at ORNL. “Neutrons play an increasingly significant role in the science and technology we come in contact with almost every day, helping us develop materials for the electronic industry, discover defects in fighter aircraft wings, and develop new materials.”

 UT President Joe Johnson called the institute “a new landmark in the unique and valued relationship between UT and Oak Ridge.”

“The Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences will be among the finest user facilities in the world,” Johnson said. “It will increase international recognition of research in neutron sciences conducted by the University of Tennessee and ORNL.”

 UT-Knoxville Chancellor Bill Snyder said, “The new institute will give the university a special opportunity to work with ORNL to build interdisciplinary programs in neutron sciences across many science and engineering disciplines.”

 James C. Hall, manager of DOE’s Oak Ridge Operations, said, “Oak Ridge and the University of Tennessee have a long standing, mutually-beneficial relationship. This agreement will have an important role in the further development of that partnership.”

 Appleton said the U.S. Department of Energy has an almost unique responsibility in designing and operating facilities such as the $1.33 million Spallation Neutron Source proposed for Oak Ridge, with its primary purpose being to provide neutron science capabilities to the scientific and industrial communities.

 The ORNL High Flux Isotope Reactor has a more than 30-year history producing neutrons for scientific experiments, he said. Improvements to HFIR, currently underway, will boost the reactor’s value as a research tool.

 “JINS will become the intellectual focus and gateway to neutron facilities at ORNL for scientists from all over the world,” Appleton said. “It is likely to become the gathering place for ORNL and UT neutron scientists with their colleagues from all over the world.”

 The institute will be jointly managed by UT-Knoxville and ORNL and housed in a state-funded facility which the institute will manage along with a user-services program. JINS also will develop joint programs in neutron science with a special emphasis on partnerships among government, university, and industrial laboratories.

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 Contact: Joe Culver, ORNL (423)576-0235 or Dr. Lee Magid, UT (423)974-4228,(423)974-3141