In Memoriam: Harry Clinton Harrison


by John C. Taschner, CHP

Harry Clinton Harrison, CHP, a resident of Lady Lake, Florida, since 1995, died on 16 November 2007 at the age of 77.

Harry was born in Great Bend, Kansas, on 13 September 1930. He received his BS degree in math and physics from Texas Western College in 1958 and did graduate studies in radiation biophysics at the University of Kansas in 1958-1959.

Harry's career in health physics began at the U.S. Army Nuclear Effects Laboratory, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, where he served from 1964 to 1978 as a supervisory health physicist. There he provided health physics support for a Godiva reactor, a 46-MeV linear electron accelerator, and four 14-MeV neutron generators. He established and taught health physics technician courses and trained reactor operators and laboratory technicians in basic radiation protection and radiological contamination control.

In 1978 Harry joined the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), serving for two years as a radiation specialist at the NRC's Region IV in Arlington, Texas. He also performed independent effluent and environmental monitoring surveys in and around NRC-licensed facilities to verify the acceptability of the licensee's radiation controls.

From 1980 to 1994 Harry served as a health physicist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Preparedness, Training and Exercise Division in Denton, Texas, where he established and maintained a five-state regional Comprehensive Cooperative Agreement Program for radiological defense (RADEF) from nuclear attack. The RADEF program consisted of a planning effort for population protection in the event of a nuclear attack and provided training in the calibration and use of radiation survey instruments. Harry also served as the lead health physics evaluator for field monitoring activities, dose assessment, and mobile laboratory analytical procedures during nuclear power plant exercises.

From 1995 until his death, Harry served as a radiological emergency preparedness evaluator for Argonne National Laboratory and later ICF Consulting, Inc., where he conducted numerous evaluations of radiological emergency preparedness activities associated with nuclear power plant accident exercises. These evaluations were performed at state, county, and township emergency operations centers, monitoring and decontamination centers, hospital radiological emergency areas, and radiological analytical laboratories. Harry also was a key instructor in the Radiological Emergency Response Operations course that was conducted at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland. This course provided performance-based training for response and management of radiological incidents.

Harry was a certified health physicist and a past member of the Health Physics Society's Annual Meeting Committee.

He was an Army veteran and a member of the Community United Methodist Church, where he served as lay minister and usher.

Harry is survived by his wife Jean of Lady Lake, Florida, daughter Mary Casiano of El Paso, Texas, stepdaughter Joan Reilly of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, brother Jerry of Corpus Christi, Texas, sisters Lucien Boston of Eugene, Oregon, and Louise Becker of El Paso, Texas, and six grandsons.