Hanford Site B Area in WWII

Tour of Hanford Site B Reactor National Historic Landmark

RAC team’s 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.

Hanford Site B Reactor control room

RAC team’s Helen Grogan (in photo) and Mark Packard take a break from project work with a tour of the Hanford Site, B Reactor National Historic Landmark.

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 selected to join HPS Public Information Committee

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.

2018 NEI Radiological Effluents and Environmental Workshop

Helen Grogan presents at NEI Radiological Effluents & Environmental Workshop


New Orleans French Quarter at night

New Orleans French Quarter at night

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.

2018 US UNSCEAR contingent

Helen Grogan attends 65th UNSCEAR session as U.S. delegate

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.”

US Delegation to 64th session of UNSCEAR (2017)

Helen Grogan attends 64th UNSCEAR session as U.S. delegate

Helen Grogan and Malcolm Crick, Secretary of UNSCEAR, at reception hosted by the Belgian Ambassador

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.

Colby Mangini joins the RAC team

RAC is pleased to announce that Dr. Colby Mangini joined the RAC team in May 2017. Colby is a Certified Health Physicist (CHP) with a diverse background in applied health physics and computational health physics. He began his career in the U.S. Navy, where he taught at the Navy’s Nuclear Power School (NPS), and completed his Masters in Health Physics at Oregon State University (OSU). After the Navy, Colby earned his Ph.D. in Radiation Health Physics at OSU, where he was also an instructor. Since completing his Ph.D. in 2012, he has held positions as a principal scientist at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory and as Radiation Safety Officer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Colby will assist the RAC team in radioactive contaminant transport modeling, dose reconstruction, and other areas of environmental risk assessment. He has already provided valuable support on several projects, including helping to present RAC’s most recent training course for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and performing QA/QC review of computer code used for calculating radiation dose.

RAC team and 2017 NRC course participants

RAC team presents NRC training course

RAC presented a 5-day training course on environmental risk assessment for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) from May 8 through 12, 2017, at the NRC Professional Development Center in Rockville, MD. John Till, Helen Grogan, Pete Shanahan, Art Rood, Emily Caffrey, and Colby Mangini presented lectures and case studies during the week. The course was designed to allow participants to use their acquired knowledge to complete performance evaluations of licensee environmental assessments, perform environmental impact reviews, inspect licensee programs, and manage environmental projects. RAC has presented a similar training course for the NRC twice previously and is contracted to present up to two more courses for the NRC through 2019.

Helen Grogan attends 63rd UNSCEAR session in Vienna as U.S. delegate

Helen Grogan served as one of the eleven U.S. delegates at the 63rd session of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) in Vienna, Austria, from June 27 through July 1, 2016. This is Helen’s third year serving on UNSCEAR. The 2016 UNSCEAR delegates for the U.S. (shown above, L to R) are John Boice, Vince Holahan, Lynn Anspaugh, Bruce Napier, Helen Grogan, Julian Preston, Gayle Woloschak, Wesley Bolch, David Pawel, Armin Ansari, and Naomi Harley.

Malcolm Crick, UNSCEAR Secretariat, addressing the participants at the opening session.


Emily Caffrey presented with doctoral degree

Emily Caffrey was presented with her doctoral degree at the Oregon State University commencement ceremony on June 11, 2016. Emily received her Ph.D. in Radiation Health Physics with a minor in Statistics. Her research included environmental dose assessment and computational dosimetry methods.

February 2016 RAC team meeting at Salt Lake City, UT

RAC team meets in Salt Lake City

The RAC team traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, during the week of February 22, 2016, for several days of meetings. We were pleased to welcome Emily Caffrey, our newest team member, to her first RAC team meeting. This week provided an opportunity for team discussions regarding technical issues, progress, and path forward on all ongoing projects. In addition, the team met with several clients to provide updates on projects.

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