November 17, 1999


Brookhaven Researchers Awarded for Nuclear Safety and Nonproliferation

UPTON, NY-Dimitrios Cokinos and C. Ruth Kempf, both researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, were honored by the American Nuclear Society (ANS) at a luncheon yesterday in Long Beach, California, for their contributions to nuclear safety and nonproliferation.

Cokinos, a nuclear engineer, was selected unanimously to receive the 1999 Standards Service Award for his years of leadership and dedication to setting standards for the safe and efficient design and operation of nuclear reactors. Kempf, an internationally recognized nuclear safeguards and arms-control expert, has been selected to receive the 1999 ANS Women's Achievement Award.

Cokinos has been involved in ANS standards work for two decades. As chairman of the Reactor Physics Division Standards Committee, he oversees the development and revision of standards for guiding nuclear design and for monitoring the operation of commercial-power and research reactors.

He has served as a consultant for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy (DOE), and has worked extensively on the safety of light water reactors. In 1986, he and other DOE scientists helped analyze the Chernobyl nuclear accident in the Soviet Union. For the past four years, he has also aided U.S.-Russian efforts to control and account for nuclear materials to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
"This award is made possible because of the cooperation of a very diligent group of people on my committee," said Cokinos. "We're dedicated to making the operation of nuclear reactors safe and trouble-free."

Dimitrios Cokinos holds bachelor's degrees in music and physics from the National Conservatory of Music in Athens and Athens University, respectively, a master's in physics from North Carolina State University and a PhD. in nuclear science and engineering from Columbia University. Before coming to Brookhaven in 1977, he oversaw the design and operation of boiling water reactors for General Electric, Asia. He now serves as a guest scientist in Brookhaven's Department of Advanced Technology.

C. Ruth Kempf is deputy chair of Brookhaven's Department of Advanced Technology. Her technical work focuses on nonproliferation, including the U.S.-Russian program to safeguard nuclear weapons-useable materials. She also chairs the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management's Nonproliferation and Arms Control Technical Division.

From 1990 to 1992, she was a technical advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. In 1995, she served on a presidential advisory panel to produce a classified report on U.S.-Russian nuclear security issues, which has influenced U.S. policy developments in this area.

Kempf holds bachelor's degrees in chemistry and German, a master's degree in radioanalytical chemistry, and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry, all from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She was an assistant professor of chemistry at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, before joining BNL in 1982.

Kempf expressed her appreciation to the ANS for showcasing the accomplishments of women in technical fields. "It is refreshing to be called up from the depths of involvement in work to receive this type of recognition," she said.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory creates and operates major facilities available to university, industrial and government personnel for basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences and in selected energy technologies. The Laboratory is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, a not-for-profit research management company, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.

Note to local editors: Dimitrios Cokinos lives in Miller Place, Long Island, and New York City; C. Ruth Kempf is a resident of Wading River, New York.

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