DoE opens new radiation detection lab

Published 3 April 2007

Cytogenetics biodosimetry makes a comeback at Oak Ridge

We know what it is, but we are not sure how to pronounce it. The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration last week announced the opening of its new Cytogenetics Biodosimetry Laboratory (CBL). Located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the laboratory’s work is generally focussed on developing a method of determining the amount of radiation to which a potential victim has been exposed. More specifically, cytogenetics biodosimetry measures chromosomal changes that result from ionizing forms of radiation, with various presentations of abnormal chromosomes and nuclei indicating different levels off radiation exposure. Oak Ridge previously had such a facility, and the increased focus on dirty bombs in the post-9/11 world prompted the federal government to reestablish it. The new laboratory will be operated as part of NNSA’s Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site within the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.