Environment News Service

AmeriScan: November 8, 2001

NATIONAL LABORATORY GETS CLEANUP PROGRAM GRANT

RICHLAND, Washington, November 8, 2001 (ENS) - The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) $8.4 million in grant funding for research to support the department's Environmental Management cleanup program.

The grants, which fund research initiatives to develop new approaches for dealing with the disposal of high level waste and the decontamination of facilities, are part of 45 research grants totaling $39 million.

PNNL is a multiprogram laboratory that conducts basic and applied research to solve problems in the environmental, energy, health and national security areas. The lab employs about 3,500 people and has an estimated annual budget of about $540 million.

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said the DOE plans to extend its contract with the Battelle Memorial Institute to manage and operate the PNNL for an additional five years.

"Battelle has done an extraordinary job operating PNNL over the years," Abraham said. "The Department of Energy and Battelle will be negotiating the details over the next several months, but we look forward to a continued partnership that will lead to further scientific advances benefiting our country."

Abraham authorized the DOE's Richland Operations Office to begin negotiations with Battelle. DOE decided to extend the contract with Battelle after evaluating several factors, including past performance and potential impacts from a change in the contractor.

Battelle has received "Outstanding" ratings for the past three years from the DOE. The current contract expires in September 2002.

Environment News Service (ENS) 2001. All Rights Reserved.