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Editor's Note

Welcome to the April 2012 Communicator

 Image  By Brian Boyer
INMM Communicator Editor
E-mail: bboyer@lanl.gov

Here at Los Alamos we are ending a winter of both lots of sun and snow and starting a green and not so windy spring. It was a big winter for INMM. We had our INMM Technical Program Committee and Executive Meeting in Orlando, Florida with sunny mild comfortable days surrounded by green leaves and flowering plants. We can't promise such nice weather in July but I am looking forward to the Annual Meeting. My son excited about the new Legoland that just opened as well as a trip to the Kennedy Space Center. This year's Technical Program Committee went well but seemed empty. With Charlie Pietri's death in February we were all aware of the hole in our organization. Charlie had for years been the driving force behind the Annual Meeting program. We all miss him.

You can find some inferesting tidbits about the meeting in Annual Meeting News. It includes a QR code for your mobile device that will take you to the Annual Meeting section of the INMM Web site.

I want to mention some of INMM's activities this winter. We co-sponsored the 6th Annual Workshop on Reducing the Risk from Radioactive and Nuclear Materials  at the University of California, Washington Center in Washington, DC. The INMM Nonproliferation and Arms Control Technical Division and the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation Public Policy and Nuclear Threats Program presented the workshop. It was a nice blend of established professionals and students including the alumni of the Public Policy and Nuclear Threats Program. I got to take part in the program and we had some of our Los Alamos students present and past take part.

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Some of our LANL students past and present - Steve Ward-NRC, Chantell Murphy - LANL (Photo by B. Boyer)

We had an international roster for this meeting with Public Policy and Nuclear Threats alumni coming in from Europe and professionals coming from around the globe. I had the privilege of being in the program with my1997 Introductory Course in Agency Safeguards (ICAS) classmate from Japan and JAEA, Kazuya Ochiai. We are the 20% of the 39th ICAS that have left the Agency but are still active in safeguards and security. The other 8 inspectors are still there contributing to the IAEA safeguards efforts. We also had one of our instructors from the 39th ICAS there, too. Martha Williams retired from the NRC and in 1997 working at the IAEA taught us about inspection verification statistics.  Martha is still working  as a consultant. It goes to show that you never cease to run into old colleagues in our field.

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B. Boyer and K. Ochiai - 39th ICAS Alumni in D.C.(Photo by S. Ward)

Another activity that I have not mentioned in the past is the School to World event that occurs every Winter in Albuquerque, NM on a Saturday.  The INMM Southwest Chapter participates each year giving the 8th and 9th grade students who attend an insight into the nuclear materials management profession. There were over 60 students, parents and teachers stopping by the INMM booth with pretty much non-stop traffic that whole morning. This year, for whatever reason, the students were more engaged, interested, and asking questions. Jack Jekowski had one seventh grader ask him about what really happened at Yucca Mountain, and how we were going to handle our spent fuel problem in light of the Fukushima accident.  The student was by himself and Jack looked around to see if he had been set up but the boy wandered off to the Supercomputing Challenge booth and spent about fifteen minutes there.  Felicia Duran was also there and really connected with the students.

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F. Duran at School to World (Photo by J. Jekowski)

In this issue we have our usual features, Inside Insights by INMM Vice President Ken Sorenson, and Member News by Membership Committee Chair Al Garrett.  Ken gives a good overview of how the program for the Annual Meeting is shaping up.

We also have a piece on the Packaging, Transportation and Disposition Technical Division by Steve Bellamy and John Veilleux that describes their key activities. Tom Bonner has also written on "Activities of the Nuclear Security and Physical Protection Technical Division" in this issue.

As usual we try to highlight student activities.  Steve Ward has written about what students can do at and get out of the Annual Meeting.  I'd also like to thank Steve for working hard to get an INMM panel in the ANS Student Meeting at UNLV in April.

Enjoy! Remember if you have any items for the Communicator they will be welcome!