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In this issue:
X-ray Science Saves Taxpayers Billions in Radioactive Cleanup
Safety Today: Yellow Jacket Safety 
Family Day Photos, Video and Lyrics Now Online
Safety Second

SLAC Today

Tuesday - September 19, 2006

X-ray Science Saves Taxpayers Billions in Cleanup

The Rocky Flats site before and after cleanup. (Click on image for larger version.)

Residents of the Rocky Flats watershed can rest easier knowing that decades of radioactive contamination have now been cleaned up. Taxpayers can also rest easier knowing that the largest Superfund cleanup in history has reached completion years ahead of schedule, at a savings of billions of dollars—a remarkable solution to a cold-war-era problem, thanks in part to modern x-ray science conducted at the Department of Energy's Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in collaboration with scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratories.

"This clearly demonstrates how science can play a very major role in improving the cost efficiency of site clean-up," said John Bargar, environmental scientist at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) and advocate of the Rocky Flats remediation project.

Coordinating the clean-up was complicated, but once scientists, decision-makers and stakeholders reached consensus on the best remediation approach to undertake, the project was completed in record time. X-ray studies at SSRL facilitated the project by positively identifying the contaminants involved, thereby enabling researchers to unambiguously eliminate unsuitable remediation options. Read more...

(Column - Safety Today)

Beware Yellow Jackets

(Photo - Bees)
Whether they're hijacking your lunch, hovering over your shoulder, or flying straight at you, chances are you've encountered yellowjackets. Although the season for wasps is wrapping up, there's still a fairly high chance of getting stung.

Dr. Maria Gherman has been seeing 3 to 4 cases of stings a week, mostly from patients who are eating outside the cafeteria, and from bikers or runners, who are more likely to have a collision. Yellowjackets, unlike honey bees, can sting more than once, and also have the capability to swarm. Most victims experience a few days of pain and swelling, though infection and serious allergic response are possible.

"I've been treating many stings this summer. The worst was a biker who came in with three stingers in his neck." Dr. Gherman says that there is little way to avoid getting stung except to wear protective clothing and avoid areas populated by the pests. "If you get stung, you should come directly to the Medical Department. Remove the stinger if you can. Ice can help keep down swelling and slow the spread of the venom."

It also helps to keep an eye out for nests. If you suspect wasps in the area, the CEF Service Desk (x8901) can provide advice and schedule a visit to assess the situation and remove the pests, if needed.

Family Day Photos and Video Now Online

Ryan Auer presents his rendition of "Takin' Care of Business [at SLAC]" on at Family Day. (Click on image to view video of his performance.)

This year's Family Day was a tremendous success, with more than 1,600 people in attendance. SLACerman was a huge hit, and Flamenco, Cumbia and Belly dancing performances drew cheers from the crowds. Concourse Circle featured a selection of antique and unusual automobiles, and kids made merry at the Kidz Korner and midway games as DJ Eddie McGee kept the music and good times rolling with the help of his two daughters.

A selection of Family Day photos are now available online, thanks to SLAC photographer Diana Rogers.

Video of the event, including Ryan Auer's rendition of "Takin' Care of Business [at SLAC]" is also now online.

Family Day organizers ask both those who did and did not attend the event to fill out an online survey to make the next event even better.

Safety Seconds

In yesterday's edition, I asked if anyone could name an example of people failing to learn from repeated safety accidents.

One answer: In California, about 5,000 people will die and 30,000 will be injured from automobile accidents this year. Tragically, this happens year in and year out. If we are learning from what happens to others, many of us seem to be doing it at a very leisurely pace.

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