Richard “Dick” Meservey is a nuclear physicist who worked at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). In this interview, he describes the rewarding projects he worked on at INL including the Special Power Excursion Reactor Test and the Advanced Test Reactor. He lauds the unusual freedom that scientists enjoyed working in Idaho Falls, and explains why he came to love living in Idaho Falls.
McCarthy: My name is Kathy McCarthy. I’m Director of Nuclear Science and Engineering, and my organization is responsible for research in the area of advanced nuclear energy, and also for the fuel cycle work that supports nuclear energy. In that capacity, what we’re doing is looking to the future. Where do we need to go with energy production? Why do we need to do that?
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Wednesday, April 25, 2018. I have with me Tom Cormier. First question is please say your full name and spell it.
Thomas Cormier: Tom Cormier, C-o-r-m-i-e-r.
Kelly: Perfect. Okay, my first question to everybody has been to tell me a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, when you were born, your education and how you came to be a scientist.
Thomas Cormier is a nuclear physicist who leads the Large Hadron Collider Heavy Ion Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In this interview, Cormier describes how he became interested in science at a young age. He then discusses his work at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, on experiments such as ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment). Cormier underscores the importance of such testing, explaining how it offers insight into the formation of our universe.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and today is Wednesday, April 25th, 2018. I have with me TJ Paulus. My first question for you is to say your full name and spell it.
TJ Paulus: Sure. Thomas Joseph Paulus. The last name is like the boy’s name Paul, P-a-u-l-u-s.
Kelly: Great. The first thing I want to know about is something about you—your childhood, where you were born and when.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly. It is Wednesday, April 25, 2018, and I’m in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I have Eric Pierce, and my first question for Eric is to please say your name and spell it.
Eric Pierce: My name is Eric Pierce, and that’s E-r-i-c, Pierce, P-i-e-r-c-e.
Kelly: Great. Thank you.
Pierce: You’re welcome.
Eric Pierce is a senior scientist and leader of the Earth Sciences Group in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Born in New Orleans, Pierce has a Ph.D in low-temperature geochemistry from Tulane University. In this interview, Pierce describes some of the work of his team at Oak Ridge, including how contaminants and energy production byproducts such as mercury move through the environment.
Cindy Kelly: I'm Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Wednesday, April 25, 2018. I am in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, with Zane Bell. My first question to you is to say your full name and spell it.
Zane Bell: Zane Bell. Zulu, Alpha, November, Echo, Bravo, Echo, Lima, Lima.
Kelly: Okay, good. First, I want to know something about you and your childhood—where you are from, and how you got to be interested in science.
Zane Bell is a senior scientist and physicist who works in radiation detection and scintillator development at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
[Many thanks to Jonathan Sheline for donating this video to the Atomic Heritage Foundation.]
Raymond Sheline: This talk today gives me a certain amount of anxiety, because it’s different than any other chemistry talk I’ve ever given. First of all, it’s kind of autobiographical, and that’s always a little embarrassing. Secondly, it’s maybe more nearly the history of science than science itself. However, it is appropriate, because we’re just fifty years since the testing and dropping of the atom bomb in 1945.