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Welcome to the May 2013 Communicator

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

It's spring in Los Alamos and I've been slow to get the Communicator out as I have been busy around the house getting ready for spring.  In Los Alamos spring means wind and more wind.  I was at the INMM Technical Program Committee (TPC) and Executive Committee (EC) Meetings in Atlanta in March. For all the times I have been in the Atlanta airport, I never had left the terminal before. We were at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis where the 2014 and 2016 INMM Annual Meetings are set to take place. The hotel is in the heart of the city and Georgia Tech can be seen from the windows of the hotel.

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Atlanta at night from the Marriott

I want to thank everyone on the TPC for their hard work in getting the program together. Every year we get together and in the space of a day create a program that needs only minor tweaking prior to the July meeting. We should have a good program this year despite the federal government restrictions on travel and meetings. We reviewed some very interesting abstracts.

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At the TPC the International Safeguards Division got to be near the ever important coffee pot.
(When you travel east two to three time zones you need ergogenic aid to make it through the day.)

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To paraphrase an alleged Bismarck quote...
The making of meeting programs is like the making of sausages, it is not a pretty sight.

We had a spirited EC meeting the next day. I want to assure you that the EC has been trying to show the benefit of INMM to the federal government and how meetings such as ours benefit the profession and the government's own mission. I must confess that INMM has been an important part of my professional and technical development. It is the one time each year we can meet with many of our overseas colleagues -- together and in one place.

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Atlanta Executive Committee: Pickett, Vance, Sorensen, Satkowiak, Curl,
Duggan, Dreicer, Johnson (Schanfein absent due to illness)

I'd like to feature an event I had the privilege of being invited to in March. New University of New Mexico (UNM) professor Dr. Ed Blandford pulled together on short notice the Success Through Safety, Security, and Safeguards by Design (3SBD): From Concept to Application Workshop. We had two excellent days of sessions on how to synthesize safety, security and safeguards along with operations in nuclear facilities. I heard some fascinating academic discussions on risk and fuzzy logic along with asking the question, "How do you deal with massive amounts of data?"  Ed Blandford suggested perhaps we talk to Silicon Valley. Certainly Google and Facebook and the other media giants must have algorithms and logic that could help the nuclear industry.

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Everyone's a Lobo - woof- woof - woof - UNM Albuquerque, NM March 21-22, 2013

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Robert Bean (INL), Ed Blandford (UNM) and Felicia Durán (SNL) discuss the 3SBD Workshop findings

I'd like to note that while INMM was not an official sponsor of the meeting we did partake in it in some big ways. Felicia Durán, who is our Southwest Chapter VP, Martha Williams, INMM Fellow, and I played some key roles in the meeting. We got some intersections from the labs, universities, government and industry in this meeting.  The desire from industry to do 3SBD is there if the labs and universities can make it a win-win.  This means that 3SBD = better safeguards, security and safety by not stove-piping them in the design phase and showing the operators that it is cost effective.  This is a big task and one that the IAEA, WINS, WANO, the U.S. government and INMM along with ANS should be focusing to make happen.  Ed Blandford plans on presenting the results from the workshop at the Annual Meeting in Palm Desert in July. This is yet another reason to go to the meeting!

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Felicia Durán with our Southwest Chapter INMM poster boards

In this issue we have features on the two of our technical divisions from Tom Bonner and Felicia Durán of the the Activities of the Nuclear Security and Physical Protection Technical Division, and Steve Bellamy, a member of the Packaging, Transportation and Disposition Technical Division, describing their divisions’ activities. As in every issue of the Communicator, we have news about the Institute’s internal operations in a column by INMM Vice President Larry Satkowiak, Inside Insights.

Be sure to read about INMM Awards and the new award developed to recognize the achievement of our younger members: The New Early Career Award.

Also in this issue:

Ruth Duggan also gave us a report on the Seventh Annual Workshop on Reducing the Risk of Radioactive and Nuclear Materials.

Claudio Gariazzo, vice chair of the INMM Bylaws Committee, has provides us an interesting summary of the Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI) of Texas A&M University (TAMU) trip to Japan -- the 2013 Nuclear Facilities Experience (NFE) in Japan.

We also are proud to announce that we have a young professional who has stepped up to help me out on the Communicator.  He is Michael Huggins of Siemens and a graduate of UNLV. He was on the Rebel Yell student paper as a columnist, which seems diametrically opposed to being an engineer. I read his stuff in the Rebel Yell archives online and if he is as good an engineer as he is a writer, his employer is in luck. He has a column on young professionals that I am calling The Future Paths of Young Professionals. I plan to get him more involved with the Communicator as time goes on in his role as the reporter on young professionals. He also did a Q&A with a student member that you might find interesting as well.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you. I especially want to involve the new generation in a task I have with the EC on improving the INMM website. Charlie Harmon, Chris Pickett and I met in Indian Wells and again in Atlanta with George Baldwin to figure out how to better serve the members by our website. It would be great if we got more input on what you are doing around the world in nuclear materials management. If you have any other items you would like to have in the Communicator, please forward them to me. We are the Communications Committee!

Spreading the news of what is and what goes on in our profession is our mission!

Of course, the Communications Committee is still looking for volunteers. Drop me a line at bboyer@lanl.gov.Our members should be planning ahead for July 2013 and the 54th Annual Meeting back at Palm Desert, Calif., USA.