WIPP: In Memoriam – Dr. Abraham (Abe) Van Luik

WIPP News:
The Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) workforce is saddened by the recent loss of Dr. Abraham (Abe) Van Luik.
Abe was a key member of the CBFO team and was well respected at DOE and in the international community. Abe led the CBFO International Repository Science Program.
His work included contributions to coordinated research and sharing of results through bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Interacting with several international organizations, he supported the DOE Office of Environmental Management and Nuclear Energy radioactive waste management program plans and international exchanges for developing and operating geological repositories.
Abe always had a word of wisdom to pass on, and he brought balance and scientific integrity to those navigating the world of scientific programs. He constantly encouraged WIPP to keep a high profile on the international stage. He would often say “what happens there, happens here” about anything nuclear. He believed that whenever we can do something that contributes to other nations doing something safely, we are helping the world be a safer place.
Abe made many international contributions to the subject of the safety case for deep geologic repositories, especially for the Radioactive Waste Management Committee of the Nuclear Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Prior to arriving at WIPP in 2010, he worked 11 years in federal service for the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in Nevada, as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Yucca Mountain Project.
He also held a variety of contractor positions within the DOE complex, including Performance Assessment manager for TRW at the Yucca Mountain Project in Nevada; Manager of International Technical Support Programs at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; and Weston Technical Support Staff and Crystalline Rock Repository program manager at Argonne National Laboratory. He began his association with DOE at Rockwell Hanford Operations in 1978, planning and investigating characteristics of legacy radioactive waste disposal facilities.
“Dr. Van Luik represented the Department in several international scientific communities and is known for his dedication to sharing the science of salt as a geological repository and work on how these repositories will be marked in the future. His many contributions to the Department and CBFO, along with his sense of humor and quick wit, will be missed. We extend our sympathy to his family and many friends,” said CBFO Manager Todd Shrader.