10 research outputs found

    The James Webb Space Telescope Mission

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    Twenty-six years ago a small committee report, building on earlier studies, expounded a compelling and poetic vision for the future of astronomy, calling for an infrared-optimized space telescope with an aperture of at least 4m4m. With the support of their governments in the US, Europe, and Canada, 20,000 people realized that vision as the 6.5m6.5m James Webb Space Telescope. A generation of astronomers will celebrate their accomplishments for the life of the mission, potentially as long as 20 years, and beyond. This report and the scientific discoveries that follow are extended thank-you notes to the 20,000 team members. The telescope is working perfectly, with much better image quality than expected. In this and accompanying papers, we give a brief history, describe the observatory, outline its objectives and current observing program, and discuss the inventions and people who made it possible. We cite detailed reports on the design and the measured performance on orbit.Comment: Accepted by PASP for the special issue on The James Webb Space Telescope Overview, 29 pages, 4 figure

    The James Webb Space Telescope Mission

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    Twenty-six years ago a small committee report, building on earlier studies, expounded a compelling and poetic vision for the future of astronomy, calling for an infrared-optimized space telescope with an aperture of at least 4 m. With the support of their governments in the US, Europe, and Canada, 20,000 people realized that vision as the 6.5 m James Webb Space Telescope. A generation of astronomers will celebrate their accomplishments for the life of the mission, potentially as long as 20 yr, and beyond. This report and the scientific discoveries that follow are extended thank-you notes to the 20,000 team members. The telescope is working perfectly, with much better image quality than expected. In this and accompanying papers, we give a brief history, describe the observatory, outline its objectives and current observing program, and discuss the inventions and people who made it possible. We cite detailed reports on the design and the measured performance on orbit

    A CONCEPTUAL PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT MODEL OF THE DISSOLVED ACTINIDE SOURCE TERM FOR THE WIPP

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    ABSTRACT This paper presents a performance assessment model of dissolved actinide concentrations for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The model (1) assesses the concentration of each actinide oxidation state and (2) combines these concentrations with an oxidation state distribution. The chemical behavior of actinides in the same oxidation state is presumed to be very sinnilar for almost all situations, but exceptions arising fi-om experimental evidence are accommodated. The code BRAGFLO [ 1 J calculates the gas pressure, brine mass, gas volume, and mass of remaining Experimental data yield lookup tables of fractions of Thy U, Np, Pu, and Am in each oxidation state as a function of f(C0,) and complexant. The tables are then used to provide a concentration of a particular actinide at particular values of pmH and f(C0,). Under steady-state conditions, the oxidation state of each actinide that is most stable in the particular chemical environment controls the concentration of that actinide in solution. In the absence of steady-state conditions, the oxidation state distribution of interest is that of the dissolved actinide, and the oxidation states may be treated as if they were separate compounds. In addition, the amount of an actinide dissolved cannat exceed the inventory of that actinide: the total amount of the actinide present in the emplaced waste. THE WIPP DISSOLVED ACTINIDE SOURCE TERM It is anticipated that, if there is human intrusion into the WIPP repository (as, for example, drilling for petroleum resources), the repository may be inundated with brine. The source of the brine could be the geological formation in which the repository is located--the Salado Formation, geological units overlying the Salado Formation, or a brine pocket in the Castile Formation under the Salado Formation. The relationship of the repository to its geological environment is shown : pmH is the negative log,, of the hydrogen ion molality (moles of hydrogen ion per kg of brine) and is a more appropriate parameter for concentrated, high ionic strength solutions than pH

    CNGA3 Mutations in Hereditary Cone Photoreceptor Disorders

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    We recently showed that mutations in the CNGA3 gene encoding the őĪ-subunit of the cone photoreceptor cGMP-gated channel cause autosomal recessive complete achromatopsia linked to chromosome 2q11. We now report the results of a first comprehensive screening for CNGA3 mutations in a cohort of 258 additional independent families with hereditary cone photoreceptor disorders. CNGA3 mutations were detected not only in patients with the complete form of achromatopsia but also in incomplete achromats with residual cone photoreceptor function and (rarely) in patients with evidence for severe progressive cone dystrophy. In total, mutations were identified in 53 independent families comprising 38 new CNGA3 mutations, in addition to the 8 mutations reported elsewhere. Apparently, both mutant alleles were identified in 47 families, including 16 families with presumed homozygous mutations and 31 families with two heterozygous mutations. Single heterozygous mutations were identified in six additional families. The majority of all known CNGA3 mutations (39/46) are amino acid substitutions compared with only four stop-codon mutations, two 1-bp insertions and one 3-bp in-frame deletion. The missense mutations mostly affect amino acids conserved among the members of the cyclic nucleotide gated (CNG) channel family and cluster at the cytoplasmic face of transmembrane domains (TM) S1 and S2, in TM S4, and in the cGMP-binding domain. Several mutations were identified recurrently (e.g., R277C, R283W, R436W, and F547L). These four mutations account for 41.8% of all detected mutant CNGA3 alleles. Haplotype analysis suggests that the R436W and F547L mutant alleles have multiple origins, whereas we found evidence that the R283W alleles, which are particularly frequent among patients from Scandinavia and northern Italy, have a common origin

    Consideration of nuclear criticality when disposing of transuranic waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

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    Based on general arguments presented in this report, nuclear criticality was eliminated from performance assessment calculations for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a repository for waste contaminated with transuranic (TRU) radioisotopes, located in southeastern New Mexico. At the WIPP, the probability of criticality within the repository is low because mechanisms to concentrate the fissile radioisotopes dispersed throughout the waste are absent. In addition, following an inadvertent human intrusion into the repository (an event that must be considered because of safety regulations), the probability of nuclear criticality away from the repository is low because (1) the amount of fissile mass transported over 10,000 yr is predicted to be small, (2) often there are insufficient spaces in the advective pore space (e.g., macroscopic fractures) to provide sufficient thickness for precipitation of fissile material, and (3) there is no credible mechanism to counteract the natural tendency of the material to disperse during transport and instead concentrate fissile material in a small enough volume for it to form a critical concentration. Furthermore, before a criticality would have the potential to affect human health after closure of the repository--assuming that a criticality could occur--it would have to either (1) degrade the ability of the disposal system to contain nuclear waste or (2) produce significantly more radioisotopes than originally present. Neither of these situations can occur at the WIPP; thus, the consequences of a criticality are also low

    Radionuclide transport in the vicinity of the repository and associated complementary cumulative distribution functions in the 1996 performance assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

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    The following topics related to radionuclide transport in the vicinity of the repository in the 1996 performance assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant are presented (1) mathematical description of models, (2) uncertainty and sensitivity analysis results arising from subjective (i.e., epistemic) uncertainty for individual releases, (3) construction of complementary cumulative distribution functions (CCDFs) arising from stochastic (i.e., aleatory) uncertainty, and (4) uncertainty and sensitivity analysis results for CCDFs. The presented results indicate that no releases to the accessible environment take place due to radionuclide movement through the anhydrite marker beds, through the Dewey Lake Red Beds or directly to the surface, and also that the releases to the Culebra Dolomite are small. Even when the effects of uncertain analysis inputs are taken into account, the CCDFs for release to the Culebra Dolomite fall to the left of the boundary line specified in the US Environmental Protection Agency's standard for the geologic disposal of radioactive waste (40 CFR 191, 40 CFR 194)

    Progression of Geographic Atrophy in Age-related Macular Degeneration

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    Subretinal Hyperreflective Material in the Comparison of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatments Trials