Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL scientist receives fellowship to host Ukrainian

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., July 9, 1996 — If there's one thing the Ukrainian and American governments have in common, it's radioactively contaminated waste.

An ongoing collaboration between scientists from the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Ukraine Research Center for Radiation Medicine and the National University of Kiev promises better methods of analyzing the risks of such waste to the environment.

As part of this joint effort, Dr. Katherine Yuracko of the Risk Analysis Section in ORNL's Health Sciences Research Division was awarded a fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences Radioactive Waste Management Program to host Dr. Igor Komarikov of the Ukraine for a year.

Komarikov is currently the head of the Radioecology and Monitoring Optimization Laboratory in the Ukraine Research Center for Radiation Medicine. He will join the Life Cycle Analysis Group's research program on the recycling of radioactively contaminated scrap metal at DOE sites.

As a result of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant accident, the Ukrainian group has been able to collect an interesting data set, Yuracko said. It has learned a great deal about radiation monitoring and the health effects of radiation. With ORNL bringing its expertise to the table as well, the two sides hope to improve risk assessment models and methods; develop life cycle analysis methods for environmental decision-making; and develop internet-based environmental information systems for the analysis and dissemination of environmental information worldwide, Yuracko said.

Prior to joining ORNL in 1995, Yuracko was a Fulbright Scholar in environmental decision-making from 1994 to 1995 and a radioactive and hazardous waste management consultant from 1992 to 1994. Before that Yuracko was employed by the White House, first as a senior policy analyst in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and then as an energy and environmental policy and budget analyst in the Office of Management and Budget.

Yuracko, who is a native of Scarsdale, N.Y., received a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's in public policy from Harvard University in 1984 and 1989, respectively. She received a master's degree in health physics and a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987 and 1990, respectively.

Yuracko lives in West Knoxville.

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram national research and development facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corp.