A Podcast for HPC Folk

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RCE 51: Fukushima

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Dr. Mike Hartman and Dr. Kim Kearfott about the Fukushima Reactors that were damaged after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan.

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Dr. Mike HartmanMike Hartman is an assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences (NERS) at the University of Michigan. His current research focuses on the use of radiation probes to study the structural and dynamical properties of matter at the atomic level. This effort relies heavily upon neutron scattering investigations, and current projects include the study of solid state hydrogen storage materials, investigation of lithium ion batteries, and the development of advanced nuclear fuel forms. He also has an extensive background in the design and operation of nuclear power plants from prior employment with the United States Naval Nuclear Power Propulsion Program, Westinghouse Electric Company, and several university research reactors.

Dr. Kim KearfottKim Kearfott holds an Sc. D. degree, specialized in radiation safety and medical physics with a doctoral minor in public health, from M.I.T. and an M.E., with specialization in reactor safety systems, from the U. of Virginia. She was a recipient of the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, the Society of Nuclear Medicine Tetalman Award, the Health Physics Society Elda Anderson Award, and the American Nuclear Society Women's Achievement Award. She is currently board certified by the American Board of Health Physics and the National Registry of Radiation Protection Technologists. Kim Kearfott has over 30 years of research and applied experience in radiation detection and radiological safety. Her research includes pioneering work in radon: she located and mitigated a home having the highest ever recorded indoor radon air concentration and was first to discover and mitigate elevated radon problems involving indoor air returns. She is well known in the medical radiation community for her early work on internal dose assessments for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and for her designs of clinical PET facilities. She has conducted projects in the personnel monitoring and was responsible for the development of the first system for positionally sensitive TLD plate imaging, a new mixed radiation field dosimeter approach, and the first designs of inexpensive, spectroscopic-capable passive dosimeters. She has made many other practical contributions to the fields of external dosimetry and internal dose assessment. Her current research is the design of radiation detection systems for environmental radiation and dosimeters for homeland security, although she holds an interest in measurement systems of all types. Professor Kearfott's sabbatical activities have included work at nuclear power plants and national laboratories, as well as dose assessments concerning the health effects of recent and historical uranium mining activities. This involves fresh approaches to biosphere modeling.

More than 195 graduate and undergraduate students have participated directly in her work, resulting in more than 300 publications. An experienced teacher and communicator, Prof. Kearfott has been responsible for more than 300 talks, 48 undergraduate and graduate courses, and 22 short courses. She also holds several patents on radiation detection methods and detectors, several of which were licensed by small businesses.

Kim Kearfott was a member of The National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP) Scientific Committee SC 6-3 on Uncertainties in the Dosimetry of Internal Radiation Doses, where she is responsible for the nuclear power plant example. She held elected positions on the Board of Directors of both the Health Physics Society and the American Nuclear Society. She served on NCRP Scientific Subcommittee 57 (Dosimetry and Metabolism of Radionuclides), NRC's Enhanced Participatory Rulemaking Workshop on Radiological Controls for Decommissioning, and the U. S. Transuranium and Uranium Registries (USTUR). She was a consultant to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Advisory Committee on Nuclear Wastes on low-level radiation health effects, as well as performed a variety of applied health physics tasks for numerous medical and industrial radiation users (particularly in the area of shielding and facility design and instrument evaluation). She also has substantial applied experience in the area of diagnostic radiology testing and facility design, and also worked outages at nuclear power plants. She was an Associate Editor of the Health Physics Journal from 1991 through 2010.

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