INTRODUCTION: RICHLAND OPERATIONS OFFICE RECORDS PRODUCED BY PACIFIC NORTHWEST NATIONAL LABORATORY SELECTED EXAMPLES OF REACTOR SAFETY RESEARCH by Roger M. Anders Office ofHuman Radiation Experiments | Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Administration Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety and Health February 1997 The Department of Energy and Its Heritage: The Department of Energy (DOE)is one of the most diverse agencies in the Federal government. It was created in 1977 from a score of organizational entities from a dozen departments and agencies. DOE encourages the development of energy technologies in several areas--solar, geothermal, fossil fuel, and nuclear. It develops technologies aimed at promoting conservation of energy resources. DOEis oneofthe largest Federal agency supporters ofbasic scientific research and manages a research complex that includes someofthe nation's premier laboratories. DOE helps formulate national policies for energy use and development. Perhapssurprisingly to many, DOEalso runs the nuclear weapons research, development, and production complex as well as associated dismantlement and clean up activities. DOE's nuclear heritage comes from the World War II Manhattan Project which built the atomic bomb. The threads of DOE's involvement with nuclear issues and programs run through the following agencies: the Manhattan Engineer District (1942-1947), the Atomic Energy Commission (1947-1975), and the Energy Research and Development Administration (19751977). DOEnotonly took over functions, cultures, and traditions from these agencies, it also inherited records from them.- Of these agencies, the longest lived and most controversial was the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). The Atomic Energy Commission: Fromits inception in 1947 until its abolition in 1975, the - AECcarried out a Congressional mandate for a large federal role in atomic energy development.