Friday, December 16, 2016

ORNL is focus of 'Inside Tennessee'

Thom Mason
Climate change, super computers and 3-D printing.

Those are just a handful of the issues addressed during Sunday’s edition of “Inside Tennessee” on WBIR 10News.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the focus as Director Thom Mason discusses energy research, national security and science, all connected to an operation that employs more than 4,500 and costs $1.5 billion annually to operate.

“That’s why you have national labs – to tackle things where you need sophisticated equipment, large teams of people with different sorts of expertise you can mobilize,” said Mason, director since mid-2007. “We’re an instrument of national policy. The federal government sets the priorities and in cases where it’s science and technology that’s underneath the problem you’re trying to solve you can mobilize the resources of the lab to go out and tackle those problems.”

Mason also addresses the incoming presidential administration and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who was tapped to lead the Department of Energy. (Back in 2012, Perry said the country didn’t need a DOE.)

The 30-minute political and public affairs program, which was taped Thursday, kicks off at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on WBIR.

Panelists include 10News reporter Mike Donila and governmental relations expert Susan Williams. WBIR Anchor John Becker serves as the show’s moderator.

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