Brookhaven Scientists Recognized for Ukraine Nuclear Response Contributions

The Ukraine Detection Assistance Team received the Secretary of Energy Achievement Award

Charles Finfrock, Jose Gomera, and Stephen Musolino enlarge

Charles Finfrock, Jose Gomera, and Stephen Musolino

Three scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory received the Secretary of Energy Achievement Award as members of the Ukraine Detection Assistance Team, a group that quickly supported Ukraine in response to Russia’s invasion in 2022.

The team included Jose Gomera, Charles Finfrock, and Stephen Musolino of Brookhaven Lab’s Nonproliferation and National Security Department (NNSD) and its Radiological Assistance Program (RAP)— one of the assets of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Nuclear Emergency Support Team.

The Ukraine Detection Assistance Team's collaboration and creative solutions allowed equipment used to meet urgent needs in Ukraine to be delivered within a matter of weeks, according to the award citation offered by Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm earlier this year.

As a direct result of the efforts of the team members, the White House and other critical elements of the U.S. government have necessary data to make sound judgments and decisions of the gravest national significance with far greater confidence, according to the award.

“The Team’s dedication and perseverance in assisting our partners in Ukraine during a time of crisis are commended, and its efforts are recognized with the Department’s most sincere gratitude,” Granholm said in the award citation.

Gomera is a nuclear engineer in NNSD’s RAP and will be joining the Nevada National Security Site in October as part of the National Search Team.

Finfrock is an engineer and RAP Team member who tests nuclear detection equipment and instrumentation for the Department of Homeland Security. He is a member of the RAP for the northeastern United States.

Musolino, a health physicist who just retired from the Laboratory, was a RAP Team member from 1981. As a result of the experience in Japan from the earthquake and nuclear reactor accidents at Fukushima, he helped develop and then managed the team of personnel and equipment for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance to be prepared and deployed to an incident complicated by radiation.  

“I am tremendously proud of these men and their contributions to the United States’ efforts to support Ukraine,” NNSD Chair Susan Pepper said. “Some of our department’s programs involve maintaining expertise and equipment on standby to respond to calls to action within a very short time. As a result, the team was prepared to help in this situation with little additional preparation. I am so happy to see their work rewarded by the Secretary."

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