Mirion Connect 2023: A Recap of This Year’s User Conference in National Harbor, MD
In July 2023, Mirion technology users gathered at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, for our annual users’ conference: Mirion Connect. The five-day event, intended to foster conversation and collaboration between product users and Mirion product experts, brought together professionals from nuclear, homeland security and medical industries to share information and learn about the latest technologies making an impact in their field.
This was the thirty-seventh user meeting hosted by Mirion – the second-largest meeting in our history with 265 attendees from several countries across diversified industries.
A welcome reception in the Atrium marked the official start of the conference with a Fife & Drum Duo, live music, and photo ops with the Founding Femmes – Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln.
New This Year
At each users’ conference, attendees can expect engaging presentations from industry leaders, informative breakout sessions and product demonstrations. But each event offers something new, and this year was no exception.
Running parallel to our popular HIS-20™ Health Physics Information System track and Radiation Monitoring Systems (RMS) training tracks, a focused Security Technology Solutions track was offered for the first time to welcome our cybersecurity customers to the Mirion family.
In the demo room, guests had the opportunity to view the new features and algorithms in Genie™ 4.0 software – the latest release of our widely used gamma spectroscopy software. We also featured indoor drone capabilities available for our RDS-32™ radiation survey meter that enables collection of radiological data and area mapping in difficult-to-reach locations.
Throughout the Demo Room, pillars displaying the new Mirion Technologies group brand and tagline – Protect What’s Next.™ – echoed Mirion’s commitment to advancing radiation safety for science and industry.
This year’s event also provided new opportunities to give back, whether by painting colorful panels to brighten the lives of patients through the Foundation for Hospital Art, or by drinking from reusable Fill It Forward™ water bottles, reducing single-use waste while also unlocking donations to charitable projects.
Presentations from our General Session Speakers
A host of speakers from various nuclear industries, as well as Mirion leadership, presented during the General Sessions on Wednesday and Thursday morning. Presenters spoke about advancements in a broad range of fields, from radiopharmaceutical production to drone-powered radiation surveying, where Mirion products play an important role in their daily operations.
Loic Eloy, President of the Mirion Technologies group, kicked off the proceedings with key industry updates and trends. These included comments on strong public and government support for nuclear power, developments in nuclear energy and small modular reactor (SMR) technology, and how advances in radiopharmaceuticals are impacting the efficacy of cancer care. These trends reflect the growth and stability for nuclear industries, and speak to the remarkable potential each person at the event has for making a positive impact in these spaces.
Shelia Webb, Mirion’s Chief Technology Officer, continued with highlights of our most recent contributions to science and space exploration, from our anthropomorphic ATOM® Phantoms helping to measure potential radiation exposure to astronauts on Artemis I to our PIPS® Silicon Detectors aboard the JUICE mission aiding exploration of Jupiter’s moons. She went on to describe digital innovations in progress at Mirion aimed at driving efficiency and easing workflows across the markets we serve. These included building toward a connected ecosystem across our product lines and enabling predictive maintenance capabilities to help maximize uptime and ROI for our customers.
Harlan Bowers, President and COO of X-Energy, LLC, presented on the development of the Xe-100 advanced small modular nuclear reactor for clean energy generation and how they are partnering with Mirion on the design and development of the unique Burn Up Measurement System (BUMS), a vital system for the fuel cycle of the Xe-100 reactor.
Patrick Carberry, PhD, Director of Radiochemistry Lab at NYU Langone Health, shared firsthand insights into radiopharmaceutical production in an academic setting for clinical and preclinical application.
Jim Rolph, CHP, RRPT, Superintendent Radiation Protection at Tennessee Valley Authority, shared background on an initiative to move to potassium hydroxide for pH control in US-based pressurized water reactors, as well as challenges to implementing a radiation protection program.
Andre Laranjeiro, Health Physicist at Bruce Power, presented on how to achieve safer, more efficient operations during forced outages through remote gamma radiation monitoring.
Paul Scovell, Senior Scientist at STFC Boulby Underground Laboratory, presented on how material characterization supports experiments that attempt to answer some of the biggest questions in particle physics.
Carrie Gilbreath, Equipment Reliability Manager at Southern Nuclear (SNC) Birmingham, shared insights into how stations are maximizing the benefits of the 10 CFR 50.69 rule to lower cost and improve equipment reliability.
Russell Abbott, Radiation Program Protection Manager at Savannah River National Lab, provided a look at the Mobile Plutonium Facility and the evolution of its radiation protection program.
Pieter Stockmayer, Area Sales Manager for Flyability, presented on combining their indoor drone with a Mirion radiation survey meter to enable safer visual inspection, radiation surveying, and mapping for nuclear power facilities and beyond.
Each day attendees were invited to choose from a variety of informative training and breakout sessions led by Mirion product experts, where most sessions were awarded Continuing Education Credits from the American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP). In between sessions, guests were encouraged to spend time in the Demo Room to explore all the ways Mirion is advancing radiation safety in nuclear industries and science.
Dinner and Farewell
A fitting conclusion to an eventful week, attendees were welcomed to a barbecue dinner in the Riverview Ballroom. As the sun set over the harbor, Mirion staff thanked our valued customers, speakers, vendors and partners who helped make this year’s Mirion Connect conference a success.
Tammy Pattison, Director of Marketing Operations and Events for Mirion, said, “Our annual meeting fosters innovation, collaboration, and an opportunity for everyone to network with their peers from the industry. I look forward each year to seeing our returning customers and to welcoming our first-timers.”
Save the date for Mirion Connect 2024 to be held at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas – July 29 through August 2. Learn more.