Eric W. Abelquist
BiographyAbelquist began his now 20 year career at Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) as a project leader for Independent Environmental Assessment and Verification (IEAV), overseeing a team of health physics technicians and conducting characterization and independent verification surveys at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) and Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) sites. He later worked for many years as the associate director for IEAV where, most notably, he contributed to the development and implementation of the Multiagency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM). For several years Abelquist served as the vice president and director for IEAV, where he oversaw ORISE’s radiochemistry laboratory, training courses in radiation sciences, and managed radiological surveys, environmental assessments, and independent verification of cleanup projects involving DOE and NRC’s D&D programs. Abelquist continues to provide technical assistance in various aspects of decommissioning surveys and has published 2nd ed. of Decommissioning Health Physics: A Handbook for MARSSIM Users in 2014
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Travel, running, golf, business, innovation
By: Eric W. Abelquist
While the nuclear renaissance struggles to gain traction (particularly in the U.S.), a renaissance of sorts is occurring at the back-end of the nuclear life cycle. Decommissioning is on the cusp of an impressive surge in activity both in the U.S. and internationally. Indeed, as China and India lead the world in constructing nuclear reactors, with nearly 40 under way , Europe and the U.S. are decommissioning more than they’re building. Whether it’s cheap natural gas or slack electricity demand, market forces are driving nuclear power plant decommissioning, such as the Kewaunee Nuclear Power Plant in WI and Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. Decommissioning is also planned or under way at the Crystal River Nuclear Plant in FL, Humboldt Bay Power Plant and San Onofre Generating Station in CA, and Zion Nuclear Facility in IL. Significant decommissioning activities continue on the Magnox reactors in the U.K., and Germany plans to dismantle a dozen of its nuclear reactors over the next two decades. And as Japan focuses on the decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, many of Japan’s nuclear fleet will likely be prematurely decommissioned.