Called "Tommy" by many of his colleagues, ANS Fellow and charter member, Charles C. Thomas was distinguished in the fields of radio-analytical chemistry and nuclear safeguards. Thomas co-discovered the isotopes barium-125 and -129, developed referee measurement methods for environmental pollutants, and designed the first integrated system for nuclear materials control and accountability.
Thomas received a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Iowa in 1947 and an M.S. degree in physical chemistry from the University of Rochester in 1950. From 1952-55, he studied radiation effects on organics and hydrogenous shielding materials. In 1955, he joined the Westinghouse Radiation and Nucleonics Laboratory to help direct completion of the facility's construction and installation of its accelerator. While at RNL, he was one of the senior personnel assigned to the safeguards program, which was the first integrated effort under the Atoms for Peace program to develop a system to prevent diversion of nuclear materials provided by the United States.
From 1960-62, he was involved with the construction and initial startup of the University of Buffalo research reactor facility. During this time, he developed a trace method for the evaluation of carbon paper ink formations. He joined the Western New York Nuclear Research Center in 1962, charged with developing a Research and Development program. Under his direction, the staff grew from a single member to a peak of 10 members. By the time he left in 1978, the activities conducted by the facility staff resulted in more than 50 published papers. He was also credited with making significant contributions to the development of a health physics educational program at the center.
Working at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1978-90, he participated in implementing a dynamic accountability system at the LANL Plutonium Facility and was involved in critical reviews of safety analysis reports for research reactor license renewals.
Throughout his 46 years as an ANS member, Thomas served on numerous governance committees, including the Board of Directors. He became and ANS Fellow in 1987, and received an ANS Leadership Award in 1992.
Mr. Thomas passed on October 6, 2001 at the age of 76.
Last updated March 9, 2012, 2:45pm CST.