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Kort Duce Blog bio picture

WELCOME TO MY BLOG!

I have been an
artist my whole life.

For the past
seventeen years I have been a professional photographer specializing in
commercial, industrial, editorial and documentary photography.

I love to tell
stories, whether it is with my camera or through my art.

With my
photography I hope to educate and inspire people. I believe the intimate
pictures of my son, in Living with Finley,
accomplishes this goal.

With my acrylic
paintings my goal is to bring a smile to someone’s face.

When
I am not creating art or taking pictures I am “Mr. Mom
” for our son Finley, 11, and my
daughter McCall, 7.

In late 2013 my
family moved to Fort Collins, Colo. after residing in Idaho for fifteen years.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Our 11-year-old son recently was diagnosed with a cluster of
disorders -- Developmental Coordination Disorder, Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
 

This is in addition to previous diagnoses of Executive Function
Disorder and delayed eye development.

We thought we were prepared because deep down we’ve always known
Finley was different.

As a baby, he cried non-stop and barely slept. We resorted to
wrapping him in a blanket in his swing. 
As a toddler and into pre-school, he struggled to talk. He learned to
ride a bike later than most kids his age and couldn’t tie his shoes until well
into elementary school.

Still, the news crippled us for a few weeks. It took that long to
digest the 27-page report from the neuropsychologist and decide how to tackle
these distinct yet intertwined disorders.

In between doctor's appointments, meetings with the school and the
normal chaos of raising two children, I am documenting Finley's life to show
what it is
 like to live with these
disorders.

Over the next few years, I will photograph Finley at home with family and friends, at school,
during extracurricular activities and at his many medical appointments. We also
will write blog posts about events, episodes, celebrations, failures and
anything else to document our family's journey.
 We hope Finley will contribute as well.

Our intent is not to elicit sympathy, compliments and such, but to
provide information about these disorders and what it's like
 Living with Finley. 

Since starting this documentary, many friends and family members
have told us they had no idea Finley struggled at all, much less had these
disorders.

But thats the thing about
neurological disorders
they arent always obvious to others. Few people know about DCD even
though the World Health Organization recognized the disorder in 1992 and an
estimated 5-6 percent of children worldwide have it.

DCD
is a chronic neurological disorder that affects a child’s ability to plan and
coordinate movement. Basically, messages from the brain are not accurately
transmitted to the body.

The
likelihood of at least one child in every classroom having this disorder is
great. Yet, DCD is often an overlooked developmental problem by clinicians.

Formerly
called “Clumsy Child Syndrome” children were often thought to outgrow this
disorder (by medical professionals until the early 1990s), but much evidence
shows that DCD continues to affect children into adulthood.

People
with DCD also tend to have other learning disabilities like dyslexia and
medical disorders such as ADHD.
  In
the medical world, they call this as having a high co-morbidity rate.

In
the United States, some research is being done into DCD. Most of the published
research originates from foreign countries, primarily the United Kingdom where
clinicians often refer to it as dyspraxia.

Chronicling our family's journey is a way for me to make a difference and raise awareness about DCD and these other disorders. I have been a professional photographer for 17 years and I hope the pictures of my son and family educate and inspire others.

NUCLEAR FUEL AND WATER BASINS…

Recently I documented spent fuel rods from the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) being transferred to the water basins at the Idaho Cleanup Project. CWI or CH2M Hill Corporation and Washington Group International (now URS) operate the Idaho Cleanup Project at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in eastern Idaho.

Read more about the Idaho Cleanup Project here. Or more about the Advanced Test Reactor here.

At the water basins they temporarily store spent fuel rods in a series of lockers located deep under water. The stainless steel pool is connected to several separate pool systems by a canal. This allows them to store different fuel types in different pools so there is not a reaction and subsequent explosion.

The water basins are 20-40 feet deep and hold about 3.5 million gallons of deionized water. Since being built in the 1980s the water has never been changed because it creates the shielding from the radioactive fuel rods being temporarily stored. The water is fairly clean, but is considered a radiation area (RA). The area surrounding the pools is considered a Radiation Buffer Area (RBA). One does not have to wear personal protection equipment (PPE) in an RBA. In many of the pictures the fuel handlers are donning PPE because they are in the RA. This PPE protects and contains potential radiation exposure because the handlers remove (doff) the protective clothing upon leaving the RA.

It is very interesting documenting this process. I have radworker II training so I am permitted to enter radiation buffer areas, radiation areas and contamination areas with proper personal protection equipment (PPE) without an escort. An escort is someone who must follow your every step and watch you. With an escort you are only allowed in RBAs.

Everyone in an RBA must wear a dosimeter to measure your exposure to radiation. Safety is the first priority. If people are exposed to too much radiation the facility will face large cash penalties and potential shut down from the federal government.  Not good for the contractor! So everyone errors on the side of caution and safety.

A ton of paper work, procedures and safety checks are completed to ensure SAFETY. Check one. Check two. Check three.

Plus one needs to be aware of your surroundings so you are not loitering near objects with high doses of radiation.

The worst thing… in my selfish opinion, is the poor light. High pressure sodium vapor lights with creamy yellow walls, yellow paint on all the equipment and personal protective equipment dyed yellow. A pain in the ass to white balance. Plus it is what I call “available darkness.”

Dark and crappy light. I would love to use my off-camera strobes, but I am told the infra-red remote and radio remotes are not allowed around all their equipment. Plus you are in an RBA so the radcon techs would have to survey everything out.

On a side note: Before leaving the facility my photography and video must be reviewed by a derivative classification officer with the Navy, since they also store spent nuclear fuel rods in the water basins. If there is anything classified from the Navy’s perspective my images would be deleted and my compact flash cards destroyed. Of course they would copy the cleared pictures before doing this. Also, a derivative classification officer with the Idaho Cleanup Project also has to review the images before they are released for external use. This blog is obviously considered external use.

A big thanks to the derivative classification officers for taking the time to clear these pictures.

Enjoy!

 

Casket containing fuel rods from the Advanced Test Reactor.

Protective cover being removed from casket.

Casket with fuel rods ready for submersion in water basins.

Loosening casket container bolts.

Handling caskets containing fuel rods takes a team. Here the support team watches remote video cameras throughout the water basins and checks the procedures.

Casket containing ATR fuel rods being raised out of the water basin. Deionized water is being sprayed on the casket to contain any contamination to the water basins.

An overhead maintenance crane in the RA allows them to remotely lower the casket into the water basin.

Overall picture of the water basins.

A fuel handler uses a special tool to place a fuel rod in a stainless steel basket under 20-plus feet of water.

Video monitor showing the tops of the fuel rods ( a total of eight ).

Check one. Check two. Making sure the procedures are done correctly and safety is being followed.

Fuel handlers working in a RA must wear life jackets incase they accidently fall in the water.

A radcon tech enters the RA with the fuel handlers to check for high radiation levels. Here the radcon is measuring the radiation from a swab cloth.

30-foot deep water basin. Receiving pool.

Overhead crane in the radiation area.

Fuel handlers discussing procedures with their support team.

A fuel handler uses a special tool ( cable with hook ) to move a stainless steel basket to transport fuel rods under water.

Fuel handlers and the support team use multiple video cameras and monitors to watch and help with transporting fuel rods.

Fuel handlers place fuel rods and basket into a locker well under 20-feet of water.

 

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