ScienceNow: Disaster In Japan

ScienceNow: Disaster In Japan


This ScienceNow event, held on March 29, 2011, presented five expert perspectives on the science behind the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crises that have engulfed Japan. Event Panelists Susan Beck, Professor, Geosciences, University of Arizona Beck provided an overview of the earthquakes and tsunamis that are at the core of Japan's catastrophe. Her research involves using broadband seismology to understand mountain belts, earthquakes and faulting. Current studies include earthquakes and Earth structure associated with subduction zones and strike-slip plate boundaries. Eric Betterton, Professor and Department Head, Atmospheric Sciences, UA Betterton described the transport of radioactive particles in the atmosphere and the possible consequences for the western U.S. Betterton's research focuses on atmospheric and environmental chemistry, including aerosols, cloud condensation nuclei, frozen solution chemistry, microphysical and chemical properties of winter precipitation, urban air quality, and ground water remediation. Paul Bonavia, Chairman, President and CEO, UniSource Energy Corp Bonavia examined the unfolding consequences of this disaster on energy policies worldwide. Prior to joining UniSource Energy in 2009, Bonavia served as Presidents of the Utilities Group and Commercial Enterprises at Xcel Energy. Bonavia serves on the Dean's Board of Advisors of the UA College of Science. Baldassarre Stea, Prof and Dept Head, Radiation Oncology, UA Dr. Stea provided an understanding of the effects of radiation on human health. Stea is board-certified in radiation oncology and treats patients with lung cancers, melanoma, brain tumors and pediatric cancers. John Williams, Prof, Nuclear and Energy Engineering, UA Williams provided an insiders' perspective on the challenges presented by the nuclear reactor technology. As director of the UA Reactor Lab, Williams coordinated the recent decommissioning of the University of Arizona's 52-year old TRIGA nuclear reactor.

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