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Dr. E. Gail de Planque

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Dr. E. Gail de Planque Obituary
de PLANQUE, Dr. E. Gail Dr. E. Gail de Planque, a former commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a pioneering woman in the fields of nuclear physics and environmental radiation studies, died on September 8 following a long illness. She was 65. She was president of the consulting firm Strategy Matters and director of Energy Strategists Consultancy in Maryland. She was also a board member of Northeast Utilities, BHP Billiton, Plc and BHP Billiton Ltd., and EnergySolutions, Inc. Dr. de Planque had over 40 years' experience in nuclear physics and industry regulation. She began her career in 1967 as a physicist with the U.S. Department of Energy's Environmental Measurements Laboratory in New York City, later becoming its director. She wrote over 65 scientific publications, contributing to national and international standards in the study of environmental radiation and nuclear facility monitoring. In 1991, she was nominated by President H. W. Bush to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a position she held until 1995. She was the recipient of numerous awards recognizing her groundbreaking achievements as a woman, including the national "Women of Achievement in Energy" award in 1990 and the Outstanding Woman Scientist of the Year award from the New York Metropolitan Chapter of the Association for Women in Science in 1991. In 2003 she received the Henry DeWolf Smyth award for Nuclear Statesmanship from the American Nuclear Society and the Nuclear Energy Institute for her contributions to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. She was a fellow and past president of the American Nuclear Society, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, president of the International Nuclear Societies Council, secretary of the International Nuclear Energy Academy and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. de Planque previously served on the boards of TXU Corp., Landauer Inc. and British Nuclear Fuels Inc. She also served as an advisor to the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium, the visiting Committee for the Department of Nuclear Engineering, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Commission and the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, and as a consultant to various corporations. She was awarded an A.B. in Mathematics from Immaculata University, an M.S. in Physics from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Environmental Health Science from New York University. She was born in New Jersey and resided in Potomac, Maryland. Dr. de Planque is survived by four cousins, Jeanne Kathryn de Planque, Carol Daley, Connie Monell and Seton Junor. A memorial service will be held 2-5 PM on Sunday, Oct. 24, at the City Tavern Club, 3206 M St., Washington, DC. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Nuclear Society of LaGrange Park, Illinois, and Benedictine Academy of Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Sept. 26, 2010
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