July 4: Holiday
July 11: Dr. Devon Burr, UTK Dept. of Planetary Science spoke on her of studies fluvial processes on the Earth and other bodies of the solar system (especially Mars and Titan). The title was “Rivers Anomalies on Earth, Mars, and Titan”.
Although the canals that were once claimed to criss-cross the surface of Mars turned out to be optical illusions, the ironic fact is that the Red Planet is riven by natural “channels”—the now-dry courses of running water. While clearly indicative of a watery past, these channels pose many questions about Mars’ evolution and its potential for life. How much water would it have taken to make these outflow channels? Just what mechanism provoked these floods from within Mars’ crust? Were Martian subsurface aquifers ever
habitable, in the way aquifers are on Earth?
Titan is the surprisingly Earth-like moon of Saturn. One of her projects involves analysis of multiple datasets from the Cassini mission to the Saturnian system to map and characterize fluvial features on Titan’s surface. Another project entails the refurbishment and use of NASA’s planetary aeolian laboratory to determine the atmospheric conditions and wind speeds responsible for Titan’s vast aeolian dunes.
July 18: Barry Molnaa, Director of Project Management, Arcadis, spoke on the topic “How Contaminants Emerge: Can Changing Regulations Impact Your Closed Project?”(PDH)
The ultimate goal of every site remediation
is to obtain some form of final closure. However, circumstances can lead to sites that have been remediated to the satisfaction of a regulatory agency being reopened—often creating undesired third-party liabilities.
He used cases to illustrate how closing studies can be difficult. Dichloropropane was not a consideration when one remediation project was started and it was only reported at the end of the project as an incidental material that was found. Since it was detected, the state had to determine an allowable amount. The allowable amount turned out to be below the detection limit and the state offered no detection method. To remove the dichloropropane from water will require significantly more expensive activated carbon adsorption and there cannot be approval without an analytical method. It sounds like a tough business!
July 25: John H. Balletto, Principal Scientist/Vice President, Arcadis, spoke on the topic “Nuclear Power and Emerging Cooling Water Issues”.(PDH)
Most nuclear power plants use a large volume of water for cooling in the generation of electricity. Even plants with cooling towers withdraw some surface water. In this presentation John discussed some of the considerations in designing and operating water intakes for power plants. The problems associated with providing large volumes of cooling water and at
the same time reducing losses of aquatic organisms are challenging and have serious implications in the power generation of both nuclear and fossil power plants.