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What's in a name? -- PNL goes national

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October 26, 1995 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — The Pacific Northwest Laboratory has added the word "National" to its name to reflect more accurately the laboratory's role as a major research facility that is working on many of the nation's toughest science and technology problems.

The announcement was made in Richland today by Dr. Martha Krebs, director of the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Research in Washington, D.C. Krebs, who was conducting her annual review of the laboratory's work, said that the lab now officially will be known as the "Pacific Northwest National Laboratory." Previously, the lab was the only one of the nine DOE multiprogram labs not to have the word "National" in its name.

"The name change is partly a recognition of the way the laboratory has been working to meet national science, energy and environmental needs in the past, but also is an expectation of the major role the lab will play in the future," said Krebs. "This is well deserved. I am pleased to participate in this change."

Krebs added that "it's important for everyone to understand that the laboratory is a full partner in the national laboratory family and that it will contribute to the nation's environmental and energy agenda and missions."

Laboratory Director Bill Madia explained that because of its former name, many outside the scientific and DOE communities erroneously believe the laboratory is a research facility working solely on regional issues, such as cleanup at DOE's nearby Hanford Site.

"Across the country, our peers in the science community recognize the laboratory as the provider of choice for many aspects of science and technology -- especially environmental science and technology," said Madia. "While we contribute to finding solutions to regional problems, such as Hanford, the majority of our work is designed to meet national needs and solve national problems. The new name reflects the national scope of our work.

"Additionally, DOE and others have recognized recently our efforts as a leader among U.S. government agencies, facilities and contractors in reducing costs through process improvements and in aligning ourselves to work on America's priorities."

In making the announcement, Krebs and Madia pointed to the many awards won by the laboratory and its researchers. The laboratory has won more Federal Laboratory Consortium Awards for technology transfer than any other national multiprogram lab and has won 30 R&D 100 Awards since 1965.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated for DOE by Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio. It employs nearly 3,800 staff members and has an annual budget of more than $500 million.

The laboratory was created in 1965 when the government's research laboratory at DOE's Hanford Site was separated from Hanford operations. Its original mission was focused on nuclear technology and the environmental and health effects of radiation.

Over the years, its mission greatly diversified. The laboratory now conducts research in nearly every field of basic science to solve national problems in the areas of the environment, energy, health and national security. It was named a national laboratory in the mid-1980s to reflect its diversified mission but the lab's name was not changed at the time.

Tags: Energy, Environment, National Security, Operations, Facilities

PNNL LogoPacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on signature capabilities in chemistry, earth sciences, and data analytics to advance scientific discovery and create solutions to the nation's toughest challenges in energy resiliency and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit PNNL's News Center. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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