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February 12th, 2008
The Spallation Neutron Source is one of the world's leading centers for materials research, offering unprecedented levels of neutrons to do experiments. It also has become a symbol of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's success in the 21st century.
The $1.4 billion federal project was completed ahead of schedule and within its budget, a pretty rare feat in government circles these days, and ORNL has leveraged that to its advantage in many ways.
For instance, the project management of SNS is a primary reason Oak Ridge was chosen to host the U.S. involvement in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. It also was why Oak Ridge was chosen for the first of five Department of Energy-sponsored nanoscience centers, and the SNS played at least a supporting role in ORNL's winning of other projects, ranging from high-performance computing to development of biofuels.
For those for may have forgotten this little tidbit: The Spallation Neutron Source was developed as a partnership of six national laboratories. Besides Oak Ridge, the others were Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos and Thomas Jefferson. ORNL, of course, was the host site, and after the work was done, the lab took over as owner and manager.
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