Savannah River Review Committee
Annual Report 1997-1998
The Savannah River Review Committee met at 1:30 p.m. on June 30 in the SPAR Conference Room. Present were Interim Dean Roger Sawyer, Professor Pradeep Talwani, Professor Maureen Sanderson, Professor L. Douglas Dobson, Ardis Savory, and Kay McCoy. Frank T. Avignone, III chaired the meeting.
The first order of business was to review the mission of the Committee to keep the direction of the discussions in the context of the mission, ". . . to continuously review the relationship between the University and the consortium formed with Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina and between the University and the Savannah River Laboratory (now the Savannah River Site). The Committee shall be charged with making periodic recommendations concerning policy governing these relationships and shall have access to all information needed to fulfill this charge."
At that point, the Committee reviewed a list of ongoing research at the Savannah River Site, conducted mainly through the South Carolina Universities Research and Education Foundation (SCUREF). A final written version of this oral report made by SPAR is attached.
The most alarming fact concerning the Committee is the large reduction of funding through SCUREF. For example, in fiscal year 1995-96, the grand total of USC funding through SCUREF was $6,136,394. In the following fiscal year, it dropped to $4,530,978. In the past fiscal year, 1997-98, the total funding was $878,040.
The Chair stated to the Committee that through his contacts in Washington he had learned that a memorandum from the Department of Energy in Washington to the Savannah River Operations office two years ago specified that these activities would now be an unfunded mandate. Without money coming from Washington earmarked for this program, even the $800,000 level may not be maintained in the future. The Committee urges the Faculty Senate to speak to the higher administration concerning steps that might be taken in Washington to reverse this trend because the problems at the Savannah River Site certainly have not been solved. It is in the best interest of the state to have these three universities active there, particularly in the area of environmental evaluation and restoration.
The Chair stated that he had a grant from the Department of Energy Defense Programs Office for $500,000 per year to attract academic talent in the states of South Carolina and Georgia to support the project "Accelerator Production of Tritium," eventually to be installed at the Savannah River Site. We reviewed the Department's plans to have the Savannah River Site as the production center of tritium using a facility that would cost in excess of $4 billion. The research and development of this facility is being completed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and prototype accelerator early stages are to be moved to the Savannah River Site in the near future.
It was pointed out that funds that come to the University for research through SCUREF do not qualify as federal funding with respect to totals that are used to place the University in position to be considered for admission to the American Association of Universities. It was then pointed out by several members of the Committee that the research faculty on this campus is far more interested in having quality research funded and not so interested in whether that funding is counted toward a specific evaluation of the University because of its source. In our discussion of research in general, the Committee is very supportive of the administration's goals to increase research funding, but do consider the loss of SCUREF funding as a very serious problem with a very negative impact on many USC faculty.
The Chair pointed out that one of the very serious concerns of a very vocal minority of the Faculty Senate was that research at the Savannah River Site might lead research faculty to be tempted by DOE funding into research with little academic merit. In addition, in the early days there was some unwarranted concern that they might be tempted into weapons research. A review of the attached report covered by the memorandum of August 14, 1998, from Kay McCoy certainly should alleviate any such concerns. Also, as the Principal Investigator of the Accelerator Production of Tritium grant, I can also state that the faculty is involved in research that is completely publishable and of high academic quality. This grant is managed through our EPSCoR office, and the rules under which it is administered provide for the open publication of all results. The accelerator production of tritium site will be a completely open site with no required classification. It is anticipated by the Department of Energy Defense Programs office that parasitic uses of the facility for elementary particle physics (neutrino research), medical isotopes research, materials science, and a large number of other pure and applied science projects would certainly be considered with anticipated funding from the U. S. Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences Division.
There was a long discussion about whether this Committee really played a necessary oversight function. The Committee feels that the most valuable service it has provided this year is to simply point out to the Faculty Senate the very serious reduction in funding and the possible demise of the SCUREF program should this trend continue.
The Chair stated that he would be willing to meet with the higher administration concerning this issue, but the Committee felt that the Faculty Senate should not be bypassed. The Chair agreed to include the Chair of the Faculty Senate or a designated representative to have any such meetings, informal and strictly informative.
To: Dr. Frank Avignone, Chair
WSRC/SCUREF Oversight Committee
From: Kay McCoy
Date: August 14, 1998
Subject: DOE/SCUREF Funding
Now that the fiscal year has ended, I am able to provide you and the Committee information on the level of funding to USC through the South Carolina Research and Education Foundation (SCUREF). The reports include all funding through SCUREF, even though the Committee's primary interest is in the projects funded by the Westinghouse Savannah River Company (WSRC).
The following reports are included:
1. DOE/SCUREF funding - Fiscal Year 1997-98
2. Listing of FY97-98 SCUREF - sponsored projects by PI, source, title, amount
3. DOE/SCUREF funding - Three Year Summary
If you need additional information or explanation, please let me know.
cc: A. Savory
FY 1998 (July 1, 1997-June 30, 1998)
DOE/SC Universities Research and Education Foundation (SCUREF)
SCUREF/WSRC Task Orders 528,919
DOE(SRS) Cooperative Agreement Awards 331,952
GRAND TOTAL $878,040
SCUREF/WSRC TASK ORDERS 7/1/97 - 6/30/98
Angel, S./F177 $9,995 6/29/98-9/30/98
Excitation and Emission Sectra of Potential DNAPL Co-Constitutients
Talwani, P./F191 $99,160 6/7/94-9/30/98
South Carolina Seismic Monitoring Network
Gadala-Maria, F./F163 $8,500 8/16/96-8/15/98
Multi-University Student Design Teams for Interdisciplinary Project
White, R./F188 $10,000 1/23/98-2/28/98
Industrial Fuel Cell Vehicle Electrolysis Testing
Kosanovich, K./F195 $28,413 5/8/98-9/22/98
Water Balance Model for the HLW Complex
McAnally, S./F126 $8,063 12/8/97-1/31/98
Independent Peer Review of the SRS F&H Area Groundwater Treatment
Ray, R./F128 $80,041 4/1/98-9/30/98
Field Performance of Fill Materials and Structures of the F&H Areas
Reynolds, A./F136 $50,000 9/1/96-9/30/98
Investigation of the Mechanism of Accelerated Corrosion in Aluminum Alloys
in Vapor Environments
Chao, Y./F138 $52,000 7/12/96-9/30/98
APT Materials Degradation, Fracture Mechanics and System Performance
McNeil, S./F141 $8,500 8/16/96-8/15/98
Multi-University Student Design Teams for Interdisciplinary Project
Khan, J./F155 $39,577 9/24/97-7/30/98
APT Blanket Thermal Contact Conductance Test
Pirkle, W./F170 $17,987 7/1/97-9/30/97
DNAPL Penetration of Capillary Barriers Due to Time-Dependent
Wetting Relationships Changes
Pariydath, K./F174 $28,000 5/8/98-9/15/98
Understanding Chemistry of SWPR Recycle Subjected to Caustic Adjustment
Englehardt, D./F138 $88,683 11/18/97-9/19/98
Technical Support of Contaminant Pathway Profiling Using Palynalogy
DOE(SRS)COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT AWARDS 7/1/97-6/30/99
Center for Science Education/13090/$22,141
Carpenter, J./F112 $22,141 5/1/97-8/31/98
Using GIS Educational Technology for Time Sequence Modeling of Waste
Management and Environmental Restoration Practices in S.C.
Rogers, C./F114 $125,000 1/1/98-12/31/98
DOE Distinguished Scientist Award
Cubbedge, F./F160 $90,373 3/15/96-12/31/98
A Comprehensive Study of the Labor Market of the CSRA
Waddell, M./F121 $94,438 9/1/94-8/31/98
Delineating DNAPLS Using 2-D and 3-D Shallow High-?Resolution
Electrical & Computer Engineering/15530/$17,169
Pettus, R./F137 $17,169 4/1/94-7/31/98
An Intelligent Inspection and Survey Robot, Phase II
Three Year Summary of
DOE/SC Universities Research and Education Foundation(SCUREF)
FY95-96 FY96-97 FY97-98
SCUREF/WSRC Task Orders 3,317,886 887,200 528,919
DOE(SRS) Cooperative Agreement Awards 2,054,639 2,849,866 331,952
*SCUREF/METC/DOE 758,869 793,912 17,169
Campus Representatives 5,000 -0- -0-
GRAND TOTAL $6,136,394 $4,530,978 $878,040
*Morgantown robotics project - no relationship to the Savannah River Site.
This page updated 25 August 1998 by the Office of the Faculty Senate,
and copyright 1998, The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.