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Department of Energy Team Visits Hiroshima RERF

(From left) Mr. David Klaus, Dr. Patricia Worthington, Dr. Isaf Al–Nabulsi, Mr. Matthew Moury,
             standing outside of RERF

On June 9, 2016, a team from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), RERF’s U.S. government funding agency, visited RERF in Hiroshima. The purpose of the visit was to inspect major facility renovation work that has been in process since 2015. Special funding from both the U.S. and Japan governments has allowed RERF to implement the much needed renovations.

The DOE team was led by Mr. David Klaus, Deputy Under Secretary for Management and Performance. Also on the trip were Mr. Matthew Moury, Associate Under Secretary, Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security; Dr. Patricia Worthington, Director, Office of Health and Safety, Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security; Dr. Isaf Al-Nabulsi, Senior Technical Advisor, Japan Program Manager, Office of Health and Safety, Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security; and Mr. Cameron Salony, Energy Attache, DOE Tokyo Office.

The visitors first held a brief meeting with RERF directors and other management staff. That gathering was followed by a presentation provided by Mr. Takanobu Teramoto, Executive Director, about the details of the repair work. He also expressed RERF’s sincere appreciation to the U.S. government for its generous support. After the meeting, Mr. Teramoto and others led the group on a tour of the facilities, highlighting the facility renovation sites.

The renovation work involved the already completed seismic retrofitting to protect the most vulnerable facility structures from earthquake damage; a complete overhaul of the electrical power system, which included in part a change in voltage from the original U.S. specification of 115 volts to the local 100 volts; and installation of an automatic fire-extinguishing system using Halon liquefied gas as a suppressant.

Mr. Klaus said he was impressed with how quickly the work has been undertaken, focusing his praise on the electrical system overhaul, calling it “a core improvement.” He remarked that DOE consistently strives to “stay on top” of structural maintenance and encouraged RERF to do the same and remain proactive about continued improvements.

After lunch, the DOE team headed to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, where they met with Mr. Yasuyoshi Komizo, Chairman, Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, who served as the panel discussion chair at RERF’s 2014 public lecture event. Mr. Komizo led the group on a tour of the museum and to the Cenotaph for A–bomb Victims memorial monument in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, where in late May U.S. President Barack Obama laid a wreath of flowers to honor the memory of the A–bomb survivors.

DOE team, with Mr. Cameron Salony, from DOE Tokyo Office (at left), meets with RERF representatives