Carolyn Krause, a newspaper contributor and former editor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will discuss mercury in Oak Ridge at a meeting tonight (Thursday, May 17).
Krause’s talk is titled “Oak Ridge’s Mercury Saga: A History of Mercury Contamination in Oak Ridge and the Public and Scientific Response.”
The talk is hosted by the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association. It is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Midtown Community Center (formerly the Wildcat Den) at 102 Robertsville Road.
“On May 17, 1983, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it had ‘lost’ or could not account for 2.4 million pounds of mercury in the Oak Ridge environment as a result of lithium production for a U.S. thermonuclear weapons program,” a press release said.
This Thursday is the 35th anniversary of DOE’s public disclosure, the press release said.
“The release of information to the public about the release of the heavy metal mercury to the Oak Ridge environment since 1950 sparked DOE’s launch of a national environmental management program,” Krause said in the press release. “Through contractors, DOE has been addressing contamination at its 75 nuclear sites by radioactive substances and chemical pollutants.
“Almost 50 years of mercury research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has helped reduce cleanup costs and resulted in amazing discoveries that may lead to ways to make mercury in waterways less toxic.”
Krause is a frequent contributor to The Oak Ridger newspaper, including to the “Historically Speaking” column, and she was editor of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Review, a research magazine, for 25 years. She previously worked as a reporter for the Pittsburgh Press and The Oak Ridger. She has a master’s degree in journalism, with an emphasis on science writing, from Northwestern University, the press release said.
This press release was submitted by Carolyn Krause.