Colloquium on Nuclear Weapons and Health

GTPRIND Colloquium
Georgia Institute of Technology
Cosponsored by the Nuclear and Radiological Engineering Program, G. W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Nonproliferation, Nuclear Weapon Effects, and Nuclear Forensics

Doug Berning, Ph.D.
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Room 3201A
MS&E Building
11:00am to 12:00 noon

The presentation briefly covers the history of nuclear weapon testing. Then, using the National Planning Scenario as the basic scenario, the speaker will discuss the consequences of a mock detonation. Included in this discussion are primary and secondary nuclear weapon effects, the impact on the community infrastructure, and health effects. Finally, the speaker will discuss nuclear forensics in relation to the described scenario.

Doug Berning received his Ph.D. in Chemistry with an emphasis in radiochemistry in 1997 from the University of Missouri – Columbia. His dissertation focused on the development of water-soluble phosphines and their reactions with various radionuclides and biomolecules for applications in nuclear medicine. He then worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on the development of catalysts for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. In July 2000, he accepted a Director’s Post-doctoral Fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he worked on a variety of projects including the reduction of technetium-99 in simulated Hanford tanks and the coating of hard magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical applications. From 2002 to 2005, after converting to a Technical Staff Member in the Chemistry division Dr. Berning was the team leader for radiochemistry group who supported various nuclear forensics programs. In 2005, he accepted a position in the Nuclear Nonproliferation division to support and lead projects related to community preparedness and consequence management of a nuclear incident. He also joined a National Technical Nuclear Forensics program team that will respond to a terrorist event involving radioactive material (dirty bomb or nuclear device). He now serves as the deputy for the team. Recently, he moved to the International Applied Technology division where he has served as a subject matter expert in other programs such as, the Nuclear Assessment Program, Sentry, and SNIPER. In addition to nuclear related projects, Doug has worked on chemical and biological weapon programs as well as, writing papers on potential threats to homeland security. He has published over 20 papers in peered reviewed journals and has four patents for biomedical related processes.

Refreshments will be served. For further information, please contact Professor Nolan Hertel
at (404) 894-3601 or


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