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Creation's Tiny Mystery
Appendix: Reply from Dept. of Energy to Senator Sasser

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U.S. Department of Energy
Department of Energy
Washington, D.C. 20585


Honorable Jim Sasser
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Sasser:

This is in reference to your letter dated May 18, 1982, on behalf of Robert V. Gentry, a guest scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operated by Union Carbide Corporation for the Department of Energy.

At the time of his assignment at ORNL 13 years ago, Mr. Gentry's supporting sponsor was Columbia Union College. The original purpose of his research was to study pleochroic halos, an area of interest to ORNL at that time, but a field of less significance to the Laboratory's mission in recent years.

Mr. Gentry's more recent efforts in nuclear waste containment referenced in your letter are quite peripheral to the primary thrust of ORNL's ongoing waste isolation programs.

When ORNL entered into its current subcontract with Mr. Gentry, effective July 1, 1981, it was for him to continue his own research on halos, using Laboratory facilities. It was anticipated that he could finish his work during the year; no other work was authorized under the subcontract. He was advised in June 1981 that he should seek other arrangements under which to pursue his research interests beyond June 30, 1982.

Diminishing ORNL budgets require marked cutbacks in activities not directly related to its priority program areas. Unfortunately, Mr. Gentry's work does not fall in that category. Accordingly, we cannot be encouraging about an extension of his agreement at ORNL.

Thank you for your continuing interest in Department of Energy programs.

William S. Heffelfinger
William S. Heffelfinger
Assistant Secretary
Management and Administration

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