AIKEN -- Three Aiken-based URS Corp. nuclear experts were among those honored this week for their role in the successful dismantlement of the graphite core of the nation's first peacetime research reactor.
Chuck Armitage, Dave Ecklund, and Billy Epling were part of a team that spent almost 18 months at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island, N.Y., where they helped take apart the historic reactor built in 1949.
Brookhaven's reactor has a long history, including a research role in biological samples and materials in the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was also used in some of the first cancer treatment research; and was the birthplace of multigrade motor oil and the isotopes used for cardiac stress tests.
Two U.S. Energy Department leaders - Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman and Recovery Act Program Director Cynthia Anderson made a trip to Brookhaven on Monday to recognize the team's accomplishments, which also included decommissioning projects at the lab's High Flux Beam Reactor.