When in Russia, Bill Hopwood likes to sing "Rocky Top," the
University of Tennessee's fight song. Oak Ridge's expert in
accounting for nuclear materials and former church cantor
says, "I bet I have sung all three verses of 'Rocky Top' in more
places in Russia than anyone else. The Russians toast from
the heart and I find that singing 'Rocky Top' and Tennessee
Ernie Ford's 'Sixteen Tons' at banquets and dinners helps
break down cultural barriers and promotes cooperation.
In 2002 Hopwood and ORNL's Stan Moses visited Serbia to monitor the packaging of 5,000 highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel slugs and loading of the material on a Russian aircraft. The nuclear fuel being packaged for shipment came from a research reactor at the Vinca Nuclear Science Institute outside Belgrade. The ORNL researchers observed and collected accountability data on the fuel preparation, including uranium content, uranium-235 enrichment, and other safeguards.
The successful transfer of HEU from Serbia to Russia was announced to the world's news media after arrival of the Vinca fuel at the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors in Dimitrovgrad, Russia, 600 miles southeast of Moscow. Hopwood now travels to Dimitrovgrad and other facilities to provide technical monitoring of HEU materials received from civilian sites around Russia, including nuclear research laboratories. He also monitors the conversion of highly enriched to lowenriched uranium.
What song did he first sing in Russia? Hopwood's response: "Let There Be Peace."
Web site provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Communications and External Relations