During the week of March 8-12, Waste Management Symposia (WMS) was held for the first time ever in a fully virtual format. The world’s largest annual conference for the management of radioactive waste and related topics, Waste Management Symposia provides an excellent opportunity to showcase and exchange best practices in the radioactive waste industry. The theme of this year’s Symposia was “Reducing Risk Through Sound Technical Solutions.”
The Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management (EM) Nevada Program maximized participation in the virtual event, replacing its normal physical booth and in-person activities with participation in virtual presentations and a virtual poster session. Dave Taylor, program manager for Navarro Research and Engineering, Inc. (Navarro), contractor to the EM Nevada Program, highlighted the importance of communication, collaboration, teamwork and trust in his presentation “How Unique Challenges led to New Approaches in Nevada.” Pamela Bailey, management analyst for the EM Nevada Program, co-authored a presentation with the DOE Office of Legacy Management “Overcoming Challenges During Site Transitions Through Planning: Transition of Environmental Restoration Sites at the Tonopah Test Range.” Dr. Irene Farnham, environmental scientist supporting the Navarro contract to the EM Nevada Program, led a poster presentation called, “Nevada Corrective Action Site Closure Process – DOE and Regulatory Perspectives.”
WMS 2021 also highlighted Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education as an integral part of the Symposia’s overall mission to promote technical excellence, lifelong learning, and the fulfillment of future workforce needs. As part of this effort, WMS offered a STEM Zone activities booth available to attendees all week. The EM Nevada Program was proud to participate, submitting a virtual demonstration of STEM principles at work under the Nevada National Security Site (specifically through the use of a hydrogeology model), to give students a first-hand look at how the Department monitors groundwater movement to protect people and the environment in Nevada. As a result of its showcase in the STEM Zone, the EM Nevada virtual groundwater demonstration is now available as a curriculum enhancement to teachers and students across the country, and can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/ZmHCFoRXd7M.
For more information on Waste Management Symposia, visit www.wmsym.org.