Onsite at ORNL

Arrival and Check-In

1. Stop for ID Check

Each of the two Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) vehicle entrances on Bethel Valley Road have security checkpoints. Use the visitor lane and stop at the guardhouse to show the acceptable photo identification and entry pass (if received) to the guard.

2. Pick Up Badge and Dosimeter

Plan to arrive at the Chestnut Ridge Visitors Center to pick up your badge and dosimeter at least one hour before your scheduled Practical Factors Evaluation (PFE). This allows enough time to complete the badging and check-in process.

Foreign nationals are required to provide their passport and visa, including I-20 document or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) “green” card, if applicable.

If you plan to arrive outside the Chestnut Ridge Visitors Center’s hours, please notify the User Office to arrange for badge and dosimeter pickup.

Visitor Center: Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


3. Complete Experiment and Sample Check-In

If your experiment is at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS):

  • Go to the Experiment and Sample Check-In desk located in the SNS Office Building (8600), room K-201 (second floor).
  • Check in and verify web-based training is complete and onsite training is scheduled.
  • Check in samples or confirm shipped samples have been received and are ready for the experiment.

If your experiment is at the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR):

  • Go to the Check-In desk located by HFIR in Building 7964K.
  • Check in and verify web-based training is complete and onsite training is scheduled.
  • Proceed to the Sample Check-In desk located in the Cold Guide Hall.
  • Check in samples or confirm shipped samples have been received and are ready for the experiment.


Campus Transportation

The ORNL Taxi provides transportation around campus to staff and visitors without a vehicle or prefer not to drive themselves.

The ORNL Taxi operates from 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Because there is no transportation available outside of these operating hours, plan to use the taxi within these hours.

To ride the ORNL Taxi:

  • Call the taxi (from 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. call 865-680-2303, or from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. call 865-680-9800).
  • Tell the driver where to pick you up and where you need to go.
  • Wait at the designated taxi pickup location for the taxi to arrive.


During Your Experiment

WIFI and Computer Access

The ORNL wireless network is available for users to access while onsite. A personal computer or phone with wireless capability is required for access. Follow the directions here to log onto the ORNL WIFI network.

SNS and HFIR User Lounges

The HFIR User Lounge in Building 7964K has 25 desk carols for users to work with their own computers and several workstations for monitoring experiments. In addition, a small kitchen and lounge are available for use that include refrigerators, a coffee pot, microwaves, couches, and lockers.

The SNS User lounge is in building 8600, room J-200 and has several comfortable seating areas with four workstations where users can monitor their experiments. Lockers, a refrigerator, and a coffee machine are also provided in the lounge. Other amenities, such as water fountains and microwaves, can be found nearby. 

Controlling HFIR Experiments from SNS

Since the SNS User Lounge is an easy walk from the Guest House and HFIR is three miles away, HFIR users without a car may find utilizing the workstations in the SNS User Lounge particularly useful.

If you are scheduled to use a HFIR instrument and plan not to have a car on campus, please work with the User Office and your local contact to plan how you will use these workstations to monitor your experiment during evenings and weekends when the campus taxi is not available.


Photography Guidelines

There are some restrictions in place for photography at ORNL. Photography is permitted and may be used to document your research or to take pictures around the ORNL campus. Signs are generally posted in areas where photography is prohibited or restricted. Ask your local contact about what you may photograph or about what areas prohibit cameras.



Onsite Dining

Fresh Season’s Café, ORNL’s on campus dining, offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner depending on the location. Users are responsible for the cost of all their meals.

Fresh Season’s has three onsite locations:

  • Visitor/Conference Center cafeteria (building 5200)
    Breakfast is served 6:30 - 9:30 a.m. and lunch is served 10:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • SNS Cafeteria (building 8600)
    Breakfast is served 6:30 - 9:30 a.m. and lunch is served 10:45 to 1:15 p.m., Monday through Friday
    Vending services with snacks and beverages can be found in many buildings on campus.
    The SNS Cafeteria also offers a self-service cooler and checkout system after normal operating hours from 2:00 p.m. - 6:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, and always during the weekend. You can choose from the available packaged food items and ring up purchases at the credit card only self-checkout kiosk. Fresh Seasons employees are not present during this time, so the cafeteria operates on an honor system.
  • HFIR Satellite canteen (building 7910)
    Lunch served 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Monday through Friday


Offsite Dining

Oak Ridge and Knoxville offer a variety of dining options. Users are welcome to enjoy dinning offsite, but should be aware transportation offsite is the responsibility of the user and ride sharing services, such as Uber, are not permitted on campus.


Food Deliveries

Several Oak Ridge restaurants are permitted to deliver onsite to users who are valid ORNL visitors. Vendors must present a purchase order to the guard on duty at the entrance portal, who will verify the user is a valid ORNL visitor.   

Food deliveries outside of ORNL business hours can only be delivered to users staying at the Guest House.


Free Time

It is possible you will have free time during your visit. ORNL and the nearby cities of Oak Ridge and Knoxville offer a variety of activities and entertainment to enjoy, such as mountains, rivers and lakes, outdoor adventures, championship college teams and minor-league baseball, movies, shopping, and cultural events.