where several hundred atomic weapons had been detonated, be used for the disposal of radioactive waste rather than a new site.
Mel participated in a number of peer reviews and scientific assessments by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, in cooperation with the Institute for Regulatory Science. In 2001, he chaired a panel that reviewed the U.S. Department of Energy’s plans to remedy groundwater contamination as a result of nearly 1,000 “events” at the Nevada Test Site. The panel met in public to report the results of the review. At the end of the meeting, a woman who had been strongly opposed to nuclear energy development said she would sleep better after listening to the panel. Mel also chaired a panel that evaluated certain EPA activities mandated by Congress. Under his leadership, the panel established metrics for evaluating the positive and negative effects of those activities on the environment.
Mel’s election as a member of the National Academy of Engineering followed his participation in a number of National Academies committees, which continued after his election. He was also active in many other professional, humanitarian, and other organizations, published numerous papers, edited several books, and encouraged the publication of useful information.
Mel Carter leaves a legacy of enormous accomplishment. The engineering profession and the nuclear and health physics communities have lost an articulate and effective proponent.