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Memorial Tributes: Volume 22 (2019)

Chapter: NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV

« Previous: J. HALCOMBE LANING
Suggested Citation:"NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV." National Academy of Engineering. 2019. Memorial Tributes: Volume 22. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25543.
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Dr. Battin had to continuously cajole Dr. Laning to get him to write his part of the book.

I mentioned in my opening Hal’s quick dry humor. One of my favorites is an anecdote from the Apollo program at the MIT Instrumentation Lab. Ralph Ragan, director of the project, became annoyed that people were arriving late for his early-morning weekly senior staff meetings. He announced that it would cost 25 cents for anyone arriving late and that the proceeds, when sufficient, would buy lunch for everyone. Hal instantly pulled out a dollar and stated that he was paid up for the month.

I have also been told that not only his humor but his skill in mathematics developed early. A self-described “forced Presbyterian,” little Hal used to sit in church with his parents, oblivious to the prayers and sermon as he would “make math problems out of the hymn numbers on the sign board.”

Hal Laning was married for 63 years to the former Betty Kolb, who passed away in 2005 after three years with Alzheimer’s. They are survived by their children Chris, Jim and his wife Helen, Sue and her husband Jack, and Linda and her husband Jim; and grandchildren Alana, Jamie, Jessie, and Abby.

Suggested Citation:"NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV." National Academy of Engineering. 2019. Memorial Tributes: Volume 22. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25543.
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Suggested Citation:"NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV." National Academy of Engineering. 2019. Memorial Tributes: Volume 22. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25543.
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NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV

1930–2016

Elected in 2005

“For leadership in the uses of uranium and for the direction of national and international programs for the management of radioactive waste.”

BY BORIS MYASOEDOV, SERGEY YUDINTSEV, AND YURY SHIYAN
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY

Former vice president of the Russian Academy of Sciences NIKOLAY PAVLOVICH LAVEROV, who is considered in the Russian academic community a legend of geological sciences and is one of the founders of uranium geology research, passed away November 27, 2016, at the age of 86.

He was born January 12, 1930, in Pozharishche, a village near Kargopol, a small town in the Arkhangelsk region in northern Russia. He grew up there in a family with four siblings. His father, Pavel N. Laverov, and mother, Klavdia S. Laverova, did a good job planting the seeds of Nikolay’s future responsibility for his duties and managerial style in science and government service.

He graduated in 1949 from the Mining and Chemical College in Kirovsk (a small industrial town on the Kola Peninsula) and in the same year began his undergraduate studies at the Moscow Institute for Non-Ferrous Metals and Gold, where he met his future wife, Valentina. The couple married in 1952. After completing his undergraduate studies in 1954 he continued at the institute and earned a PhD (1958) in uranium deposit exploration and later his DrSc (1972) in uranium deposit formation.

In 1972 he joined the USSR Ministry of Geology as head of the Department for Scientific and Research Institutes. In 1983

Suggested Citation:"NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV." National Academy of Engineering. 2019. Memorial Tributes: Volume 22. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25543.
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he was invited to the USSR Academy of National Economy, where he served as vice rector. Later he was elected president of the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences (1987) and moved with his family to Frunze (now Bishkek), the capital of Kyrgyzstan. In 1989 he was designated deputy prime minister and chair of the USSR State Committee for Science and Technology.

From 1988 to 2013 he was vice president of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), and in 1991 he was hired as director of the RAS Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry (IGEM).

From 1947 on Laverov was actively involved in field studies as a researcher, technician, engineer, scientist, and chief of research teams and field work groups. His early research focused primarily on exploration of uranium deposits as well as main trends in their formation. He pioneered identification of uranium ore formation in continental volcanic belts connecting uranium ore deposition with the final stage of volcanic activity. His findings were widely used around the world to substantially increase uranium stockpiles, in particular, for nuclear fuel fabrication.

He contributed significantly to integrated exploration of exogenous epigenetic uranium deposits developed by in situ leaching techniques, leading to the development of new underground leaching technologies for the mining of uranium and polymetallic ores. He originated radiogeoecological studies in Russia with the idea of using protective properties of the geological environment to prevent pollution of the biosphere by radionuclides from deep underground waste repositories. His innovative approach covered the general problem of radioactive waste disposal in the Earth’s crust, migration of radionuclides in underground water and geochemical landscapes, synthesis and investigation of highly resistant waste forms for immobilization of the most dangerous long-lived radionuclides, and prediction of ecosystem evolution.

For 25 years Laverov played a very important role in cooperative efforts between Russian scientists and US scientific organizations and government agencies. In the late 1980s

Suggested Citation:"NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV." National Academy of Engineering. 2019. Memorial Tributes: Volume 22. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25543.
×

he and David W. Simpson, of the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), launched a large-scale scientific program to create a network of sophisticated seismic stations across the former Soviet Union to monitor underground nuclear explosions.

He set up the Geophysical Service in Russia and, as a result, a number of seismic hazards maps were released for nuclear facilities based on the efforts of the seismic station network. He initiated radiogeochemical mapping of the territory of Russia to facilitate the process of selecting sites for possible accommodation of long-term storage facilities for liquid high-level radioactive waste, solid vitrified waste, and irradiated nuclear fuel. He supported efforts by his IGEM colleagues and Schlumberger Limited to develop a new generation of probes for in situ monitoring of radiation in areas of nuclear facility operation.

In collaboration with Rodney C. Ewing (then at Michigan University), Laverov launched a project to study radionuclide migration processes in tuff rocks similar to those in the Yucca Mountain area. With John Ahearne, former chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, he helped accomplish a number of cooperative projects related to the endpoints of radioactive waste and management of spent nuclear fuel. He fostered the establishment of the US-Russia Bioengineering Center at Argonne National Laboratory to jointly develop cutting-edge biochip production technologies for tuberculosis diagnostics.

In 1993 Laverov led the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation between the RAS and the US Department of Energy, and thus facilitated the initiation of a number of joint projects in radiation chemistry, use of depleted uranium, use of low-enriched versus highly enriched uranium, risk assessment at nuclear facilities operated by Russia and the United States, and contaminated sites.

He also paved the way for 20 NASA-RAS bilateral research projects spanning areas such as the monitoring of boreal forests and greenhouse emissions, bioresources of the World

Suggested Citation:"NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV." National Academy of Engineering. 2019. Memorial Tributes: Volume 22. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25543.
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Ocean, climate change and ozone hole observations, and forecasts of seismic events and volcano eruptions in the Caucasus and Pacific areas.

And many new findings emerged from joint projects led by Laverov in the framework of a NOAA-RAS MOU. For example, an assessment of impacts from radioactive contamination in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago due to a sunken nuclear submarine in the area, and two scientific expeditions to the eastern Bering Sea in 2005–06 for the Russian-American Long-term Census of the Arctic (RUSALCA), provided important scientific information.

In addition, with a keen interest in innovative technologies, Laverov encouraged and managed cooperative research projects in applied engineering with corporate partners Schlumberger, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and Boeing, aimed at developing new ideas, approaches, tools, and instruments for oil and gas exploration and environment protection.

For the US National Research Council, he was appointed a member of the Committee on Disposition of High-Level Radioactive Waste Through Geological Isolation: Development, Current Status, and Technical Policy Challenges (1999–2001), Board on Radioactive Waste Management (2001–05), and Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board (2005–06), and he cochaired the Committee on End Points for Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in Russia and the United States (2001–03).

He authored or coauthored over 600 publications, including 28 monographs. The most significant are Geology of Deposits of Uranium-Molybdenum Ore Formation (1966; coauthored with B.P. Vlasov, I.M. Volovikova, G.D. Gladyshev, A.B. Kazhdan, I.V. Melnikov, and G.A.Tananaeva), Conditions for Formation of Uranium Deposits in Volcanic Depressions (1972; coauthored with V.L. Barsukov, G.D. Gladyshev, V.N. Kozyrev, and B.I. Malyshev), Evolution of Uranium Ore Formation in the History of the Earth (1978; coauthored with V.I. Kazansky and A.I. Tugarinov), Scientific Fundamentals of Uranium Deposit Prospecting and Exploration (1989; coauthored with B.L. Rybalov, V.I. Velichkin, A.E. Tolkunov, V.N. Levin, V.B. Meshcheryakova,

Suggested Citation:"NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV." National Academy of Engineering. 2019. Memorial Tributes: Volume 22. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25543.
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Suggested Citation:"NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV." National Academy of Engineering. 2019. Memorial Tributes: Volume 22. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25543.
×
Page 198
Suggested Citation:"NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV." National Academy of Engineering. 2019. Memorial Tributes: Volume 22. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25543.
×
Page 199
Suggested Citation:"NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV." National Academy of Engineering. 2019. Memorial Tributes: Volume 22. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25543.
×
Page 200
Suggested Citation:"NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV." National Academy of Engineering. 2019. Memorial Tributes: Volume 22. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25543.
×
Page 201
Suggested Citation:"NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV." National Academy of Engineering. 2019. Memorial Tributes: Volume 22. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25543.
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This is the 22nd Volume in the series Memorial Tributes compiled by the National Academy of Engineering as a personal remembrance of the lives and outstanding achievements of its members and foreign associates. These volumes are intended to stand as an enduring record of the many contributions of engineers and engineering to the benefit of humankind. In most cases, the authors of the tributes are contemporaries or colleagues who had personal knowledge of the interests and the engineering accomplishments of the deceased. Through its members and foreign associates, the Academy carries out the responsibilities for which it was established in 1964.

Under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering was formed as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. Members are elected on the basis of significant contributions to engineering theory and practice and to the literature of engineering or on the basis of demonstrated unusual accomplishments in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology. The National Academies share a responsibility to advise the federal government on matters of science and technology. The expertise and credibility that the National Academy of Engineering brings to that task stem directly from the abilities, interests, and achievements of our members and foreign associates, our colleagues and friends, whose special gifts we remember in this book.

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