Stephens E. “Steve” Wiggins is a Level 4 SEE enrollee for the Office of Radiation and Indoor Air at the National Air and Radiation Environment Laboratory (NAREL) in Montgomery, Alabama. As a Technical Assistant Steve has a variety of duties, including the maintenance and calibration of radiation detection monitoring equipment.
One of Steve’s most important responsibilities is working with the RadNet national environmental radiation monitoring program. He calibrates the radiation detection instruments, consisting of Technical Associates Drawer Counters and Ludlum Alpha/Beta Detectors, on an annual basis. Steve constantly coordinates with the Situation Room at the NAREL laboratory in order to ensure that on-site operators receive proper technical support.
RadNet is a national network of monitoring stations that regularly collect air, precipitation, drinking water, and milk samples for analysis of radioactivity. The RadNet network has been used to track environmental releases resulting from nuclear emergencies and to provide baseline data during routine conditions. Data generated from RadNet provides the information base for making decisions necessary to ensure the protection of public health.
Mr. Wiggins is also responsible for calibrating and repairing mid-level equipment called the Anderson Air Samplers. On occasion Steve will travel to various sites in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and other locations, to install, calibrate or repair the Anderson samplers. He is also accountable for the legacy systems installed in the field in the early 1980s; he calibrates these systems once a year and tells us that there are about 20 of them still in use.
With his additional duties of keeping the logbooks, databases and various records related to his calibration duties current, Steve has a very busy job. He has the job of analyzing and evaluating the calibration results from the tests that he runs. Steve also deals with questions from equipment operators related to the operation and calibration of their equipment. He keeps the Standard Operating Procedures for the use, maintenance and calibration of monitoring equipment up to date.
Steve is uniquely qualified for this position. He began learning the calibration business right out of trade school at age 22. He worked with the Alabama Army National Guard for 35 years handling a variety of duties in the fields of radiation detection monitoring and equipment calibration. He also served as the Radiation Protection Officer for the Alabama Army National Guard for 15 years.
Steve and his wife, Donna, are longtime residents of Montgomery. Their son, Stephen, recently married and moved to Rome, Georgia, about 3 hours north of Montgomery.