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Berkeley Lab Currents

May 24, 1996


Lab-developed environmental software should improve cleanup of contaminated sites

By Allan Chen

Cleanup of environmentally contaminated sites can be significantly more effective and less expensive if more realistic health-risk assessments and cost models are included in remediation strategies. This is one of the preliminary findings of the SELECT project, a team of Berkeley Lab scientists working on a computational framework for determining cost-effective environmental remediation strategies.

The SELECT project brings together all of the components of a cleanup into a single framework. An environmental cleanup begins with the characterization of the nature and extent of the site's contamination. The next steps are evaluating the effectiveness of remediation options, assessing the exposure to contaminants under these options, and evaluating the resulting human health risks. Finally, the developers of the cleanup plan must assess the cost of various options. Policymakers can make informed decisions about the most effective and cost-wise alternative by comparing the human health risk reduction to the cost of remediation options. The knowledge to facilitate development of cleanup plans incorporating all of these steps will be part of the SELECT software.

"The SELECT project is ideal for a national laboratory," says Thomas McKone, an environmental engineer who is the project's new leader. "While universities are strongest at single-investigator research, the national labs are an ideal place to bring together all of the pieces of a cross-disciplinary problem. An area like hazardous waste research requires the cooperation of scientists in many fields--chemists, geologists, ecologists, computer scientists, engineers, etc. And when you bring in health risk assessments, you need toxicologists, biochemists, statisticians, public health experts and many others."

McKone holds a joint appointment with the Energy and Environment Division and UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. He is a member of two National Academy of Sciences committees, the Committee on Toxicology, and the Committee on Health Effects of Waste Incinerators. McKone comes to Berkeley Lab after having spent five years developing a computer model called CalTOX for the California Environmental Protection Agency.

CalTOX is designed to assess health risks from contaminated soils and is one of the modules for SELECT. "CalTOX is being merged into SELECT to add the dimension of variability of conditions at the site and uncertainties in information," McKone says.

To bring the needs of potential SELECT users into the development process, McKone and his group are talking to researchers and policymakers working on a variety of remediation problems. The Air Force's Center for Environmental Excellence, the Berkeley Environmental Restoration Center, which is working with the Navy on the closure of the California's Alameda Naval Air Station, DOE's Savannah River facility, the Consortium for Environmental Risk Evaluation at Tulane University, and the California Environmental Protection Agency are all interested in using SELECT in various remediation efforts.

When it is fully up and running, SELECT will be in a form that can be made available through the Internet. Users will submit site information through their own computers and call up 3-D simulations of contaminant transport through time, graphs of pollutant concentrations, exposure tables, health information about many environmental contaminants, and cost spreadsheets. A demonstration of the SELECT prototype is available now on the World Wide Web at

The SELECT project got a big lift with the Lab's recent acquisition of the National Energy Research Supercomputing Center.

"We're excited about collaborating with NERSC," says McKone. "Making public access to SELECT possible will require putting the software on a much bigger, faster machine." SELECT is also designed so that developers can update it with the best existing models. The development team will use NERSC's computational power to improve SELECT's ability to simulate physical, chemical and biological processes, providing its users with better science to guide policy decisions.

CAPTION: Environmental engineer Thomas McKone is the SELECT project's new leader. Photo by Joe Moore


Asian Heritage Month

CAPTION: Kokoro Taiko, a traditional Japanese drumming group formed by husband-and-wife team Melody Takata and Ian Hadley, performs on the cafeteria lawn as part of the Lab's celebration of Asian Heritage Month. The duo entertained diners with their Matsuri (festival) style of Japanese drumming and dance during a May 17, noontime performance. Takata, who has played since she was 15 years old, was one of the first female members of Sukeroku Taiko, one of Japan's most traditional and highly respected taiko groups. Hadley has played since 1988. His specialty is the O-daiko (great drum), which is considered the most primal and fundamental form of Japanese drumming. The two have played at numerous festivals in the United States and Japan. Takata teaches taiko drumming at the Japan Center in San Francisco.

CAPTION: The Lab's celebration of Asian Heritage Month continues at noon on Thursday, May 30, with a presentation by noted author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni in the Bldg. 50 auditorium. She will discuss her book "Arranged Marriage," which won the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award and the PEN Oakland Award for best fiction in 1995. The author, who was born in India and spent the first 19 years of her life there, received her doctorate degree from UC Berkeley, and now teaches creative writing at Foothill College. She is an author several times over, and the recipient of many writing prizes and awards.


Lab prepares for the worst

CAPTION: The Lab held its annual "duck, cover, and hold" drill and evacuation on Tuesday, May 14. As most employees returned to their desks following the 10-minute evacuation, members of the Lab's professional and volunteer emergency groups launched a full-blown drill of all emergency groups. The command center (at left) was activated in Bldg. 48, where (left to right) EH&S's Bette Muhammad, Fire Chief Stacy Cox, and UCPD's Bill Foley were among those handling the phones as emergency exercises were carried out. Meanwhile, medical personnel (right) cared for employees "injured" in several simulated accidents.Photos by Joe Moore


Laboratory keeps charging along with procurement card

The procurement of low-value goods and services has been simplified and streamlined at the Laboratory with the introduction of the Procurement Card Program (see Currents, March 15). The program allows trained cardholders to obtain low-value goods directly and expeditiously, while reducing administrative costs. In Phase 1 of the program, introduced in December 1995, each card is tied to one Lab account. In Phase 2, to be introduced in June, multiple accounts will be tied to one card and order-tracking and account changes will be done on-line.

As of mid-May, 276 cards have been issued to 168 trained cardholders. Since the beginning of the fiscal year, more than 2,500 transactions have been processed through the program (see chart), at a value of more than $1.1 million. In the last two months the dollar value of procurement card transactions has more than doubled.

For more information about the program, and to obtain application forms, contact procurement card administrator Marguerite Fernandes (X5158, [email protected]) or visit the Procurement Web site (


Skin cancer screening clinic

Appointments are still being taken at Health Services (X6266) for the skin cancer screening clinic, to be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, May 31, at Bldg. 26. Please plan to take the Lab shuttle to your appointment as parking is very limited.


N e w s w i r e

World energy consumption to rise 50 percent by 2015:

DOE's Energy Information Administration has released an analysis in which the worldwide demand for energy is predicted to increase another 50 percent over the next 20 years. Much of this increase is attributed to the increasing energy demands of developing nations. Oil is expected to continue to be the dominant fuel with consumption rising from 69 to 99 million barrels per day. The demand for natural gas, however, is expected to grow more quickly than the demand for any other fuel. Consumption is projected to climb 3 percent to a 25-percent share of total energy use. The EIA report predicts a continuing decline in nuclear power use and projects a rise in carbon emissions that will exceed 1990 levels by 54 percent. The report may be found on the Internet at:

Best way to launch a scientific career?

Each year graduate students in science and engineering receive more than a billion dollars in federal support through fellowships, institutional traineeships, or grant-funded research assistantships. Which is the most successful at helping students launch successful research careers? A National Science Board task force spent six months looking for an answer before concluding that there isn't one. Now both NSF and NIH have launched a series of pilot projects to evaluate the effectiveness of these different mechanisms. The results could change how federal money is awarded to students, but don't expect to see any changes soon. Representatives of both agencies say it could be years before any comprehensive conclusions are reached.

NASA to emphasize science with the focus on four questions:

NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin has been telling audiences around the country that for too long, science in his agency has been a byproduct of engineering. "What ought to be driving NASA is science," Goldin says, and he vows to make it so. There are four scientific questions that NASA should focus on, he says. Those questions are: How did galaxies, stars, solar systems and planetary bodies form? Is life, carbon-based or other, unique to Earth? Can we develop predictive environmental, climate, and resource models to help ensure a high quality of life? Can we develop fast, affordable and safe aviation technology that preserves the environment?

In the digital limelight:

The online publication "Photo Electronic Imaging" is currently featuring an in-depth article about Berkeley Lab's Photography and Digital Imaging Services Department and its switch from chemical to digital processing. "There was a push by the Department of Energy and the government to eliminate as much toxic waste as possible," says photo services head Don Fike. "We have gone from producing 1,500 gallons of toxic silver halide chemicals to zero." The article may be accessed on the Web at

Lab People:

Steven Louie, a researcher in the Materials Sciences Division and professor of physics at UC Berkeley, is the recipient of the 1996 Aneesure Rahman Prize for Computational Physics of the American Physical Society, for "innovative applications of quantum theory and computational physics to predict the properties of condensed matter systems, especially the excitation spectra of semiconductors and insulators." The prize was presented at the APS general meeting in Indianapolis, Ind., May 2-5.


Currents ONLINE

The full text of each edition of Currents is published on the Lab's home page on the World Wide Web. View it at under "Research News and Publications." To set up your computer to access the World Wide Web, call the Mac and PC Support Group at X6858.



Retirement fete

Bob Aita and Ronnie Barr of AFRD are retiring after combined service to the Lab of more than 75 years. A luncheon is planned in their honor at H's Lordships Restaurant in Berkeley on Friday, June 21. Tickets will be available through June 18 at $20/person. Contact the following for tickets and more information: Bob Berninzoni (X5576), Larry Brusse (X7703), Bob Miller (X4738), Steve Patterson (X7705), Bob Stevenson (X7724), or Oliver Wiggins (X7719).

Where's the menu, part 2

As we announced last week, we have discontinued the menu on a trial basis due to lack of readership--or so we thought. Apparently, some of you definitely prefer making informed trips to the cafeteria (not as adventuresome as we thought you were!). Please stay tuned as we consider our alternatives. In the meanwhile, you may always pick up a menu in the cafeteria.


Lab contracts assistant shines on local stage

By Brennan Kreller

After a five-year hiatus from the stage, contracts assistant Mari Shine is easing her way back into local theater, hoping to achieve a previously elusive balance of artistic expression, motherhood, and a career at the Lab. She plays M'Lynn in the Moraga Playhouse production of Robert Harling's "Steel Magnolias," which runs through June 1.

Shine began acting at age 12 in New Jersey. In 1968, she entered college as a drama major in Boston. She soon left school to pursue an acting career, working odd jobs to support her stagecraft, and occasionally receiving college credit for her work.

Twenty-eight years and 38 jobs later, she now has a bachelor's degree in theater, and just completed her third year at the Lab. In a move motivated largely by motherhood, Shine sought a career position and began working in the Center for Science and Engineering Education in 1993, where she worked until being transferred to the Office for Sponsored Research Administration last fall. During this time she was able to complete her final credits at UC Berkeley to receive her degree from Thomas Edison College in New Jersey.

Besides New Jersey and Boston, Shine's stage career includes work in Florida, San Francisco, and in Idaho, where she helped found Laughing Stock, a theater company in Sun Valley. Shortly before leaving the stage to have a baby, Shine also did stand-up comedy at El Rio, a club in the Mission District. In 1992, she won a "Shellie Award" for best actress in a Contra Costa County play production.

Shine, now divorced, lives in Lafayette with her 5-year-old daughter, Halle. "She actually likes me," Shine quips, "which I find surprising." Although she has a very crowded schedule, Shine relishes the time she spends with her daughter, who she says provides inspiration for her theatrical endeavors.

When not performing, Shine enjoys teaching theater for children. This summer, she will be holding one-day "theater camps" on Saturdays at the Moraga Playhouse.

"Theater brings reality to people and helps them think and reflect about things that are important," says Shine. "The relationship between the players and the audience isn't possible on film or television. Hearing people laugh and seeing grown men cry makes such a difference. We all come together to laugh, cry and learn about life."

Shine's performance in "Magnolias" can be seen at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Moraga Playhouse through June 1.

CAPTION: Contracts assistant Mari Shine (right) plays M'Lynn in the Moraga Playhouse production of "Steel Magnolias," which runs through June 1. Photo by Sally Wilson


Calendar of Events -- May 27-June 7

MON., MAY 27




WED., MAY 29


Earthquake Safety (EHS 135), 10-11:30 a.m., Bldg. 48-109


Folk Group Rehearsal, 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria, for info. contact Larry Bell at X5406.



Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, author of "Arranged Marriage," will discuss her book at noon in the Bldg. 50 Auditorium.


"The Visual DOE Simulation Tool" will be presented by Charles Eley of Eley & Associates at noon in Bldg. 90-3148.


"Biofilm and its Morphology: The Fractal Approach" will be presented by Slawomir Hermanowicz of UCB at noon in Bldg. 50A-5132.


"Surface Photochemistry on Pt(111): Probing the Reaction Dynamics of Catalysis" will be presented by Ian Harrison of the University of Virginia at 1:30 p.m. in Bldg. 66 Auditorium.


"Proto-oncogene and Cell Signalling" will be presented by J. Michael Bishop of UCSF/G.W. Hooper Research Foundation at 4 p.m. in the Bldg. 66 Auditorium.


"The ATLAS Detector for LHC" will be presented by Kevin Einsweiler of LBNL at 4 p.m. in Bldg. 50A-5132; refreshments, 3:40 p.m.


Rock Group Rehearsal, 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria, for info. contact Steve Blair at X5927.

FRI., MAY 31




Classical Group Rehearsal, 5-7 p.m. in the cafeteria, for info. contact Wesley Steele at X7893.





Officer's meeting at 12:10 p.m. in Bldg. 2-100.


Chemical Hygiene and Safety Training (EHS 348), 1-4 p.m., Bldg. 51-201


Folk Group Rehearsal, 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria, for info. contact Larry Bell at X5406.



7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., near Bldg. 77


Introduction to EH&S Safety at LBNL (EHS 010), 9-11:30 a.m., Bldg. 66 Aud.


"Overview of the Tool Lending Library Program and Misc. Case Studies - Empowering Tool Users: Automating the Data Collection Process" will be presented by Robert Marcial and Charlie Huizenga, of PG&E at noon in Bldg. 90-3148.


"The Search for the Quark-Gluon Plasma at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)" will be presented by Jay Marx of LBNL at 4 p.m. in Bldg. 50B-4205; refreshments, 3:40 p.m.


Rock Group Rehearsal, 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria, for info. contact Steve Blair at X5927.




Traffic delays to begin on Centennial Drive

On Monday May 27, UC Berkeley will begin re-surfacing Centennial Drive. The project will begin near the football stadium and progress uphill to the Lawrence Hall of Science over a four-month period.

Between May 27 and June 17, traffic in the lower canyon area (Strawberry Canyon Recreational Area) will be controlled by a flagperson between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday-Friday. Traffic will be restricted to a single traffic lane and uphill and downhill traffic will be regulated by the flagperson. Between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 a.m., and on weekends, both traffic lanes will be open (one uphill and one downhill) and no flagperson will be present. Please be cautious in the construction area. The road surface will be irregular, and reduced speeds are advised.

Watch Currents for updates on future phases of the work. For more information, contact Eric Yee at X7144.


Flea Market ad policy

Due to the large volume of ads received each week, ads are accepted only from LBNL employees, retirees, and on-site DOE personnel. No other ads will be accepted. We encourage past contributors to the Flea Market to use other local services, such as LBNL's online housing listing (call X6198 for information), and the UC Housing Office.

Please note also:


F l e a M a r k e t

Flea Market ads may be sent via e-mail to [email protected], Fax to X6641, or Lab mail to Bldg. 65B. The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday.


'71 VW Superbug, white, runs well, stereo w/tape, $1K. Dave, X7812

'86 TOYOTA Celica GT, sliver, cloth int., 5-spd, a/c, AM/FM cass., 112K mi., 1 owner, gd cond., $3700/b.o. Bob, X6557, 527-6937 (eve.)

'94 TOYOTA 4-Runner, SR5, V6, a/t, all pwr, CD, leather, alarm sys., tow pkg, low mi. 642-1826

'95 HYUNDAI Elantra GLS, silver, a/t, 4-dr, a/c, sunrf, pw, pl, cruise, all warranties & roadside in effect, 8800 mi., $12.5K. Kris, X5571


CARPOOL needed for afternoons only, would like to ride in your vehicle, departing LBNL ~4 p.m., headed north to or thru Albany (Gilman & Santa Fe), will share expenses. Peter, X5440, X4323, 527-5115

CARPOOL, drivers wanted from Modesto to Berkeley BART or LBNL. Yvonne, X5792

VANPOOL, two riders looking for ride from Modesto to Berkeley BART or LBNL. Yvonne, X5792

VANPOOL, riders wanted from Rohnert Park - stopping at Petaluma and Novato - ending at Berkeley BART, Commuter Checks accepted. Shirley, X4521


BOX SPRING & MATTRESS, twin sz., nr new; SVGA 15" monitor (PC) & card; wooden desk (not roll-top), suitable for computer, prefer dimensions 30" X 60", in gd cond. David, X7074, 528-1935 (eve.)

HOUSE FOR HOUSE-SITTING, Berkeley area, week of 8/17-25. Jeff, (202) 484-0883, [email protected]

ULTIMATE FRISBEE PLAYERS, for a coed corporate league tournament in Santa Rosa, 6/8. J. Eto, X7284


CALCULATOR, graphics programmable, Casio fx-7000G, 95 by 63 dot matrix, 422 programmable steps, $25/b.o.; 35mm Japanese manual camera, Petri 7S, 45mm fixed focal length, detachable flash, gd cond., $50/b.o. Julian, 644-0864

CAMERA BODY, Cannon Elan, autofocus, 35mm, under warranty, Canon F1.8 50mm lens, both in exc. cond., $350. 841-6285

COMPUTER, Quadra 700, 20Mb RAM, 2Mb VRAM, 500Mb hard drive, Apple extended keyboard, mouse, accelerated to run at 33Mhz, $1050/b.o. John, 525-3323 (eve.)

COMPUTER, Mac SE30, 8MB Ram, 200 MB HD, 19" radius 2-pg. Monochrome monitor, keyboard, mouse, manuals & software, System 7.5.3, just tuned up, $500. Robert, (415) 863-6133

DISHWASHER, built-in, Whirlpool, $100. Matt, X6428, 247-0447

FUTON, queen sz., hardwd frame w/arms, 1 yr. old, $150. 525-4594 (eve.)

FUTONS (2), 1 king sz., fairly new, $130; 1 reg. sz., $50. Werner, X7315, 527-4491

GARAGE SALE, 20th annual Jordan Rd./neighborhood, Redwood Rd. off Warren fwy or 35th Ave. off 580, Sat., 6/1, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

GOLF CLUBS, set of "Sting", used twice, irons are 2 thru sand wedge, 3 metal woods, swing weight D-1, stiff shafts, standard grips, cost $650 new, sell for $450 firm. Kathy, 837-7062 (eve.)

MOVING SALE, oak entertainment center, like new, $175; oak end table & coffee table, like new, $150; sofa, $100; bamboo/glass shelving unit, $90; Craftsman power mower, $40. Tammy or Mike, 455-4226

PRINTER, Panasonic 9-pin dot matrix, KWP-1180 w/stand, dust cover & extra ribbon, $40/offer. Dave, X4024, 526-0552 (eve.)

YARD SALE, multi-family, Sat., 5/25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 2325 McKinley (& Channing) below Martin Luther King Jr. Way


BERKELEY, nr UCB, rm in 5-bdrm home, lg. backyd, kitchen & laundry privs., 1 cat, 3 part-time children, 3-6 mo. lease only, $450/mo. + share util. 841-0714

BERKELEY, Delaware/Shattuck, rm for rent in 2-bdrm apt, share w/postdoc visitor, prefer woman, avail. 7/10, $465/mo. Ana, X4249, 486-0786 (eve.)

BERKELEY, brand new, 1 lg. bdrm & 1 bth in 2-bdrm, 2-bth apts, part furn., washer/dryer, microwave, walk to LBNL/UCB, nr shopping & trans., no smoking, no pets, avail. 6/1, $500/mo. + util., dep., mo. by mo. X6736, 841-2140

BERKELEY, Northside, Rose & Walnut, short term, furn. 1 & 2-bdrm apts, incl. local phone, utils., linen & weekly cleaning, 4 blks from UCB/LBNL shuttle, $975-$1200/mo. Viki, 549-1876

NO. BERKELEY, nr LBNL/UCB, part. furn. 5-bdrm, 3-bth house, 2-story, bay view, frpl, decks, LR, DR, avail. mid-July, $2200/mo. + utils., possibly addt'l studio. 845-2901, 524-4654

EL CERRITO HILLS, 2-bdrm, 1 bth house, ofc. space, dining rm, hardwd flr, 1-car garage, washer/dryer, bay view, yd, $950/mo. X6460, 778-0280

EMERYVILLE, Emerybay, bdrm in 3-bdrm, 2-bth apt, frpl, swimming pool, spas, fitness center, garage, completely gated, shuttle to BART, prefer female/non-smoker, $425/mo. 841-5109

KENSINGTON, furn. rm, avail. 6/15 - 8/1 (flex.), $350/mo. 526-2007

KENSINGTON, lg. furn. house, avail. 6/19 - 8/28 (all/part), room for 1-2 adults & 1-2 children, must share w/part time occupant, prorated at $800-$1200 depending upon the number of people. D.M. Moltz, X7853

OAKLAND, 3-bdrm, 4-story home, ofc. w/IBM comp. multi-media computer/printer/modem & Internet connection, lg. yd, washer/dryer/dishwasher, non-smokers, avail. for July (pos. part of Aug.), $1K/mo. Claudia, 834-7607

OAKLAND, Rockridge, furn. 2-bdrm, 2-bth house, lg. living & dining rms, frpl, Golden Gate view, walk to BART, avail. 6/1 (flexible dates), $1800/mo. 654-1492

OAKLAND HILLS, recently built 3-bdrm, 2.5 bth house, bay views, master bedroom suite, lg. living rm w/frpl, family rm, kitchen w/hardwd flrs, deck, laundry, 2-car garage, 15 min. drive from UCB/LBNL, $1795/mo. 482-4252

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, furn. 3-bdrm, 2-bth top flat in 2-story house, 1800 sq. ft., garage/game rm, next to Wildcat Cyn, lg. yd, view, nr shopping & trans., 7 mi. no. from LBNL, avail. June (negot.), $1250/mo. up to 1 yr., long term $1100/mo. Elena, 233-5732 (eve.)

WANTED: rm in a shared apt or live-in, starting 5/28, for a visiting Chinese physicist, prefer walking distance to LBNL or nr LBNL shuttle route. Song, (415) 723-9749, (415) 949-4592

WANTED: apt, cottage or house for LBNL employee, in East Bay, long term, max. rent $800/mo. X5006, 524-2327

WANTED: housing for visiting German scientist (LBNL/ALS), 6/24 - 7/16. Jens, (+49)6221/512-326, [email protected]

WANTED: house/apt, 2/3 bedrooms, 6/15 - 8/31, for visiting German scientist & quiet family (wife & 2 teenage daughters), non-smokers, prefer walking distance to UCB or nr public trans. Ernst, (+49)22544452, [email protected]

WANTED: house for visiting French scientist w/3 children, 6/20 thru Aug., animals welcome, could exchange 4-bdrm, 2-bth apt & car (Volvo 740) in cent. Paris. 33 1 43389440 (msg.), [email protected]

WANTED: 1-bdrm apt for 1 mo. starting 8/17, sublet or rent, prefer nr UCB. Luanne, X5853


HIGH SIERRAS, 4-bdrm cabin, washer, dryer, deck, frpl, 4 hr. from Berkeley, 1 hr. from Truckee, on hwy 49, hiking, fishing, swimming, canoeing, for people who will take gd care of our home, wk/wkends. Jane, 849-4096