RAC enjoyed a most interesting and informative tour of several facilities at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina, including the tank farms, the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF), Saltstone Production Facility (SPF), Salt Disposal Units (SDUs), and the Salt Waste Production Facility (SWPF). All these facilities are instrumental in managing and processing radioactive wastes at the Savannah River Site. The tour was organized by Scott Kirk of BWX Technologies. John Till who heads RAC provided a lunchtime seminar that was well-received by SRS personnel.
RAC team members including John Till, Helen Grogan, and Emily Caffrey attended the Fifty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) on April 1 and 2, 2019, in Bethesda, MD. The theme of this year’s annual meeting was “Providing Best Answers to Your Most Pressing Questions About Radiation”.
Topics examined during the five meeting sessions included health issues related to manned space missions, fundamentals of the dose-risk relationship, epidemiological data regarding low radiation exposure and cataracts and circulatory diseases, NCRP’s role in providing emergency response guidance, and current radioactive waste disposal issues. Dr. C. Norman Coleman presented the Sixteenth Annual Warren K. Sinclair Keynote Address, and Dr. André Bouville delivered the Forty-Third Lauriston S. Taylor Lecture. The Third Thomas S. Tenforde Topical Lecture was delivered by Dr. Genevieve S. Roessler.
RAC was invited to make a presentation at the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) International Symposium on Decommissioning, Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, and Food Safety: Rebuilding Post-Accident Confidence. The Symposium took place at the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Headquarters in Paris, France, on Tuesday 26 March, 2019, in collaboration with co‑organizers: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Japan. Naohiko Yokoshima, Director of the Export Promotion Division in the Food Industry Bureau of MAFF (pictured above), was one of the sponsors of the meeting and presented at the Symposium regarding the post-accident food-safety management status and national food-safety experience.
Helen A. Grogan, Ph.D., presented “Achieving Acceptable, Sustainable Land-Use Decisions.” She drew upon two examples from RAC’s work to discuss how acceptable and sustainable protection decisions were reached in non-reactor accident situations, taking stakeholder concerns into account. One described working with stakeholders to establish soil action levels for clean up of the Rocky Flats Site near Denver, Colorado, and the other described evaluating the health risks to the public and emergency responders associated with the Cerro Grande Fire burning across contaminated lands at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Further details about the Symposium can be found at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/rp/webinars/2019/food-safety/
Art Rood, Colby Mangini, and Emily Caffrey attended the 2019 Waste Management (WM) Symposia in Phoenix, AZ from March 3-7. The WM Symposia is the world’s largest and most prestigious conference on radioactive waste management & disposal, decommissioning, packaging & transportation, facility siting, and site remediation. 2019 was its largest year to date, with about 2,300 attendees!
Emily Caffrey gave a presentation on the “Implementation of a Dose-based Compliance System for Waste Control Specialists” (click here to view presentation as pdf). Art Rood gave presentations on the “Performance Assessment for Closure of the Calcined Solids Storage Facility at the INL Site” and “Technical Basis and Implementation of Source Release Models Used for INL’s RH LLW Disposal Facility.”
Emily Caffrey was among the honorees at the 2019 College of Engineering Oregon Stater Awards on February 21, 2019, at Oregon State University (OSU). The OSU alumni honored at this event were the Hall of Fame honoree, Robert Yüksel Yildirim, five inductees into the Academy of Distinguished Engineers, and ten new members of the Council of Outstanding Early Career Engineers. Emily was recognized among the Council of Outstanding Early Career Engineers, reserved for Oregon Staters with fewer than 20 years of professional experience whose contributions have distinguished them as future leaders in their field or profession.
Emily earned her B.S. in Nuclear Engineering in 2010, her M.S. in Radiation Health Physics in 2012, and her Ph.D. in Radiation Health Physics in 2016, all from OSU. She’s been a valuable member of the RAC team since 2016. Emily currently serves as president of the Alabama chapter of the Health Physics Society and is also an adjunct professor at both OSU and the University of Alabama- Birmingham (UAB).
Read more about Emily and her professional achievements on the Oregon State University College of Engineering website
RAC team members Helen Grogan (shown in photo below in control room) and Mark Packard recently toured the Hanford Site B Reactor National Historic Landmark while visiting the site for a project meeting.
As part of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, and in partnership with the National Park Service, the Department of Energy has offered free public tours of the B Reactor since 2009.
In the photo at top of the Hanford Site B Area from World War II, B Reactor can be seen between the water towers on the right side of the photo, along with other facilities that supported reactor operations. The B Reactor was the world’s first full-scale plutonium production reactor. Operations began in September 1944; the reactor was shut down from 1946-1948, and then went back into service until 1968.
Emily Caffrey was selected by Health Physics Society (HPS) President Nolan Hertel to join the HPS Public Information Committee. The Public Information Committee is responsible for gathering, organizing, and presenting information within the Society’s objectives; responding to requests of the president, and others, for presentation of this information to laypersons, governmental organizations, and individuals and to other scientific and technical organizations; and facilitating dissemination of accurate and unbiased information with regard to ionizing radiation by preparing educational materials and other activities as suggested and/or approved by the Board of Directors. Emily’s primary initiative is to help develop short YouTube videos responding to the most commonly asked radiation-related questions.
Helen Grogan attended the Radiological Effluents & Environmental Workshop organized by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) at Royal Sonesta in New Orleans, Louisiana, from June 25-28, 2018. This workshop “provides a forum to exchange practical experiences and issues related to the control and monitoring of radioactive effluents, environmental protection, environmental monitoring and sampling, and assessment of environmental effects, including dose to the public”.
Helen gave a presentation describing RAC’s implementation of RACER at Exelon that was very well received. RACER is now installed at all 14 Exelon sites and provides Exelon with an at-a-glance overview of effluents and environmental measurements and, if desired, the ability to examine the data in detail, too.
The 2018 workshop presentations are available for download on NEI website.
Helen Grogan recently served as one of the U.S. delegates to the 65th session of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) in Vienna, Austria, from June 11-14, 2018. This is Helen’s fifth year serving on UNSCEAR. The 2018 UNSCEAR delegates for the U.S. pictured above (L to R) are Bruce Napier, Helen Grogan, Vincent Holahan, Wesley Bolch, Gayle Woloschak, David Pawel, Armin Ansari.
United Nations Information Service June 14, 2018, press release:
“Over 150 scientists from 27 State Members of the Committee, four observer countries and nine observer organizations advanced the work of its scientific reports on selected evaluations of health effects and of risk inference due to radiation exposure, on lung cancer from exposure to radon, and on biological mechanisms influencing health effects from low-dose radiation exposure. The Committee also discussed its scientific evaluation of levels and trends of exposures of patients and workers to ionizing radiation. The UNSCEAR secretariat is currently running two global surveys on medical and occupational exposure. These surveys are being conducted in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization.
The Committee has agreed to begin its work in updating the UNSCEAR 2013 Report on the levels and effects of radiation exposure due to the nuclear accident following the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami. The Chair of UNSCEAR, Hans Vanmarcke, said: “The Committee wants to finalize its assessment before the 10th anniversary of the accident in 2021 as this would be very important for the people in Japan and the whole world.”
The Committee also agreed to establish an adhoc working group to develop its future programme of work on the effects of radiation exposure.
The Scientific Committee will hold its 66th session from 10 to 14 June 2019 in Vienna, Austria.”
Helen Grogan recently served as one of the U.S. delegates to the 64th session of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) in Vienna, Austria, from May 29 to June 2, 2017. This is Helen’s fourth year serving on UNSCEAR. The 2017 UNSCEAR delegates for the U.S. pictured above (L to R) are Naomi Harley, Gayle Woloschak, Bruce Napier, Wesley Bolch, Vince Holahan, Helen Grogan, David Pawel, and Armin Ansari.
During a reception hosted by Belgian Ambassador, UNSCEAR secretary Malcolm Crick announced his retirement, to be effective November 2017.