25Jan2018

At Arlington, VA and Online

Emergency Response, Consequence Assessment, and Recovery of the WIPP Event
12:00 noon - 1:30 PM EST

Abstract: The events that led up to the temporary shutdown of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in February 2014 were tragic and preventable. The results from that sequence of events along with the subsequent release to the environment, the initial emergency responses and follow on recovery efforts have now led to the facility reopening earlier this year. The timeline, lessons learned and retrospective considerations are provided from an individual who was present and in fact the first person brought on site after the radiological lockdown to support the resultant emergency response phase of the event. The lecture will presented from first hand observations and attendees should find the subject insightful and highly informative from what was effectively a dirty bomb release initiated inside a category 2 nuclear facility.

About the speaker: Dr. Robert Hayes is an Associate Professor of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University. He is also a licensed professional engineer in Nuclear Engineering and a Certified Health Physicist. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and has a Joint Faculty Appointment with Oak Ridge National Laboratory through the Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities. He served for many years in the federal radiological monitoring and assessment center as an assessment scientist and as a team scientist for the radiological assistance program. He conducted the consequence assessment for the WIPP event of 2014 and was part of the emergency response and recovery effort which followed.

About this seminar: This lecture continues a unique speaker series, Seminar on Interdisciplinary Research and Education in Nuclear Emergency Response (SIREN), which features leading international experts on nuclear emergency response. The series is part of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and is hosted by D. Sonja Schmid from Virginia Tech's Department of Science and Technology in Society, with support from the Office of the Vice President for the National Capital Region. 

Attendees may join online, or in person at the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington, VA. The event is free and open to the public.

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