INTRODUCTION: RICHLAND OPERATIONS OFFICE RECORDS PRODUCED BY PACIFIC NORTHWEST NATIONAL LABORATORY BACKGROUND MATERIALS FOR RADIOACTIVITYAMD HEALTED A HISTORY by Roger M. Armiers Office of Human Radiahon Experiments Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning andl Administration Assistant Secretary for Environment, Sefery and Health February 1997 The Department of Energy and lt Heritage: The Department ofEnergy (DOE)is one of the most diverse agencies im the Paderal povernment. U wes creed in 1977 from a score of organizational entities froma dozen departments arul egencies. DOE encourages the development of energy technologies in several areas--soler, geothermal, fosal fuel, and nuclear. 1 develops technologies aimed at promoting conservation of energy rescurces. DDE is one of the largest Federal agency supporiers of basic scientific research aml manages a research complex that includes some ofthe nation's premier laboratories. DOE helps formulate national policiesfor energy use and development. Perhaps surprisingly vo many, DOE also runs the nuclear weapons research, development, and production complex as well ag associated dianantlement and clean up activities. DOE's suclear heritage comes from the World War Tl Manhattan Project which built the atomuc bomb. The threads ofDOE's iwobverment with nuclear issues and programs run through the following agencies: the Manhettan Engineer Dhetrict (1942-1947), the Atomic Bnersy Commission (1947-1975) and the Enerey Research and Development Admunistration (197519773. TROE not only tock over functions, cultures, and traditions trom these agencies, 1 alec inherited records from then. Of these agencies, the longest ived and most controversial was te Atomic Enerry Commission (ABC). The Atomic Energy Commission: From its meeption m 1947 until its abolition in 1975, the ALL carried out a Congressional mandafor a large federal role m atomic enerey development.