- News Home
12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
- About Us
Lab Chief Retires Amid Tritium Crisis
7 March 1997 7:45 pm
Nicholas Samios, director of Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, announced today that he plans to step down after 15 years on the job. His resignation comes amid a growing clamor from environmental groups and local residents over tritium contamination from the lab's High-Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR), although one lab official insists that it's not a case of a captain fleeing a sinking ship.
A year ago, Samios informed the board overseeing Brookhaven that he intended to step down, and he told ScienceNOW that his decision is unrelated to the HFBR leak discovered in January. The neutron-scattering facility had been shut down since late last year for refitting, and recent ground-water tests revealed that it is leaking tritium.
Although the immediate public health risks are considered small, the tritium leak has caused a furor. The suspected source is a 260,000-liter fuel pool at the reactor's lower level. HFBR likely will remain closed for at least a year, says Samios, while the fuel rods are removed and the pool is lined with steel. The shutdown will affect one of the few radiation sources available to neutron-scattering researchers, who were already pleading for new facilities.
A physicist by training, Samios intends to become a full-time researcher at Brookhaven, where he has worked since 1959, beginning 1 May. Meanwhile, a search committee is looking for his replacement.