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DOE and Predecessors · Advisory Committee on Uranium · NDRC
OSRD · Manhattan Project · AEC · ERDA · FEA · DOE

DOE R&D Accomplishments is a central forum for information about the outcomes of past DOE R&D that have had significant economic impact, have improved people's lives, or have been widely recognized as remarkable advances in science. An R&D accomplishment is the outcome of past DOE or predecessor research whose benefits are being realized now.

The core of DOE R&D Accomplishments is the Database, which contains specially-selected searchable documents and bibliographic citations that report accomplishments from DOE, DOE contractor facilities, and DOE predecessors. It may be used to search, locate, access, and download full-text and/or bibliographic citations of these specially-selected documents, which include landmark documents, legacy documents, and historically significant documents.

Over 100 Featured Scientists/Topics Pages are compilations that spotlight an individual scientist or an area of research. Pages highlighting individuals provide information about the scientist's body of research, a biographical sketch, recognitions, and/or links to related full-text reports and Web pages. Pages highlighting areas of research provide summary information about the research and links to related full-text reports and Web pages.

DOE-associated Nobel Laureates and Enrico Fermi Laureates are provided, in roster format, and include names, dates of awards and, if available, links to feature pages. For Nobel Laureates, the roster also notes whether the Nobel Prize was in Chemistry, Physics, or Physiology and Medicine. Research and development accomplishments are exemplified by over one hundred ten (110) Nobel Laureates and by over sixty (60) Enrico Fermi Award winners.

Interesting Insights provide the opportunity to briefly and quickly view a unique and wide-ranging collection of research and development results from DOE and predecessors. Links are provided to Web pages containing expanded information about each Insight.

Snapshots provide quick pictures, introductions, or overviews of DOE accomplishments. The Snapshots page contains links to items or articles which contain information about or identify at least one R&D accomplishment. In some instances when more information is available via DOE R&D Accomplishments Database reports, links to the reports are provided.

R&D Nuggets is an adjunct area containing scientific information and/or links to educational resources and materials and includes "little" gems or treasures, tidbits of information, and/or scientific content that is directly related to the content of DOE R&D Accomplishments.

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DOE and Predecessors:

Predecessors of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in chronological order, are:

Advisory Committee on Uranium

In response to the call for government support of uranium research, in 1939 President F. D. Roosevelt established the Advisory Committee on Uranium.  The Committee was tasked with looking into the current state of research on uranium and to recommend an appropriate role for the federal government. 1

NDRC

In June 1940, Roosevelt approved the establishment of the National Defense Research Committee.  At this time, the Uranium Committee became a scientific subcommittee of the NDRC. 1

OSRD

Established by an executive order in June 1941, the Office of Scientific Research and Development strengthened the scientific presence in the federal government.  At this time, the National Defense Research Committee became a advisory body to OSRD and the Uranium Committee became the OSRD Section on Uranium with the code name S-1. 1

Manhattan Project In October 1941, Roosevelt approved Army involvement and Army participation at S-1 meetings began in March 1942.   In August 1942, the Manhattan Project was established to conduct atomic research with the goal of ending World War II. This research was performed in a manner that helped to cement the ongoing bond between basic scientific research and national security. 1 For more information, see The Manhattan Project feature page.

AEC After World War II, the authority to continue Manhattan Project research was transferred from the Army to the United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) through the Atomic Energy Act of 1946. This Act was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on August 1, 1946, and entrusted the AEC with the government monopoly in the field of atomic research and development.1

ERDA The Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 abolished the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and established the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA). ERDA was created to achieve two goals:
  • to focus the Federal Government’s energy research and development activities within a unified agency whose major function would be to promote the speedy development of various energy technologies; and
  • to separate nuclear licensing and regulatory functions from the development and production of nuclear power and weapons.1
The ERDA also incorporated all energy research and development functions from the Department of Interior's Office of Coal Research and all Bureau of Mines energy research centers.2

FEA On May 7, 1974, the Federal Energy Administration (FEA) was created to address the energy crisis. It later became responsible for energy information and analysis, petroleum allocation and pricing, the strategic petroleum reserve, energy conservation, and the more efficient use of energy resources. This continued until December 31, 1977, when the FEA became a part of the Department of Energy.2

DOE To achieve a major Federal energy reorganization, the Department of Energy (DOE) was activated on October 1, 1977. DOE became the twelfth cabinet level department in the Federal Government and brought together for the first time most of the government`s energy programs and defense responsibilities that included the design, construction, and testing of nuclear weapons. Uniting seemingly disparate organizations and programs reflected a common commitment to performing first rate science and technology. The Department of Energy sought–and continues to seek–to be one of the Nation’s premier science and technology organizations.2

Edited excerpts from:

1 The Manhattan Project: Making the Atomic Bomb 1999 edition.; F. G. Gosling, January 1, 1999
2 Department of Energy 1977–1994: A Summary History; T. R. Fehner and J. M. Holl; November 1, 1994

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