Alumna Assists in Nuclear Cleanup

Cheryl Rofer '63

Readers of last Sunday’s New York Times were treated to an astonishing and somewhat alarming glimpse into the post-Cold War cleanup of nuclear materials in countries that were part of the former Soviet Union. In an article by Ellen Barry, “A Secret Race for Abandoned Nuclear Material,” the author details a 17-year, $150 million cleanup of plutonium, uranium and radioactive waste in Kazakhstan. The cleanup was an international effort funded by the United States government with logistical and scientific support from Russia and Kazakhstan.

Behind the scenes in this effort, Ripon alumna Cheryl Rofer ’63 was a consultant early on, when the degree and scope of the clean-up effort was just becoming clear. She worked with scientists in the United States and Kazakhstan as they constructed proposals for the cleanup of sites containing pure plutonium and highly enriched uranium.

Rofer worked at the Los Alamos national laboratory for 35 years and is the CEO of nucleardiner.com, an online forum for discussing all aspects of nuclear energy. She has written her own account of the clean-up effort, including images she took in Kazakhstan, on her website. Click HERE to read her post.

Rofer will be on campus this Fall as a guest speaker in Professor Brian Smith’s “Ethics and International Relations” class on Wednesday, October 2 at 11:15 am in East Hall 201, and all are invited to attend the lecture.


Click HERE to read about other Ripon College alumni in the news.

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