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SRNL Honored for Japan Support
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Dr. Daniel McCabe - SRNL Honored for Japan SupportAIKEN, S.C. (November 7, 2011) – U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu honored Savannah River National Laboratory as part of a team of Department of Energy offices and National Laboratories that responded to the Japanese earthquake and its aftermath.

SRNL's Dr. Daniel McCabe was a member of the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Response Team, which received the Secretary's Achievement Award during the Secretary's Honors Awards ceremony.

The team was honored for "exceptional contributions to the Department of Energy's response to the devastating 9.0 Richter scale earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011," according to the ceremony program. "These events caused extensive damage to the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Teams of employees from the National Nuclear Security Administration, Office of Nuclear Energy and Office of Science were assembled to assess the consequences of the releases of radiation from the damaged nuclear power plants; provide technical analysis and advice to U.S. and Japanese Government officials to support immediate decision-making and longer term stabilization planning; and conduct extensive technical analyses in support of potential mitigation and recovery strategies. The response teams' extraordinary efforts under immense pressure provided real time information to those at the highest levels of the U.S. Government who were making decisions that would impact the health and safety of U.S. citizens in Japan, as well as to the Government of Japan."

"The employees recognized today have gone above and beyond the call of duty, demonstrating an exceptional commitment to public service," said Secretary Chu. "Their dedication, knowledge and skills have served to strengthen our nation's economic and energy security and the work of the Energy Department." "The employees recognized today have gone above and beyond the call of duty, demonstrating an exceptional commitment to public service," said Secretary Chu. "Their dedication, knowledge and skills have served to strengthen our nation's economic and energy security and the work of the Energy Department."

As a member of the Japan Response Team, Dr. McCabe provided input on options for storage, treatment, and disposal of contaminated water in the reactor and surrounding facilities. Reducing the radiation dose to personnel from the water and avoiding environmental releases were key safety concerns in the immediate aftermath of the reactor damage. Because of the urgency of the situation, providing rapid assessments and communicating current experience were important to aid in identifying treatment and disposal options. With over twenty years of remediation experience, Dr. McCabe was able to provide information regarding the potential applicability of several technologies to mitigate the safety concerns.

In addition to SRNL, team members included personnel from Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, and RSL.

The Japan Response Team was one of nine teams receiving this year's Secretary's Achievement Award, which is the highest non-monetary recognition for groups or teams of DOE employees and contractors.

SRNL is DOE's applied research and development national laboratory at the Savannah River Site. SRNL puts science to work to support DOE and the nation in the areas of environmental stewardship, national security, and clean energy. Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC (a Fluor-Daniel Partnership comprised of Fluor, Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell) is responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site, including the Savannah River National Laboratory.

Media contacts: Will Callicott (803-725-3786 or will.callicott@srnl.doe.gov) or Angeline French (803-725-2854 or angeline.french@srnl.doe.gov) at SRNL.

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Last updated: November 14, 2011

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