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Ambassador C. Paul Robinson honored with Nuclear Statesman Award

Prema Chandrathil|
Ambassador C. Paul Robinson, President Emeritus of Sandia National Laboratories, was honored with the Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award at the American Nuclear Society's (ANS) annual conference, held this year in Reno, NV. The award was given to recognize his outstanding and statesman-like contributions to the many aspects of nuclear energy activities.

For the last 40 years Ambassador Robinson has made significant contributions to U.S. National Security, Arms Control, Proliferation Prevention, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy throughout the world. Under his leadership, from 1995 to 2004, innovative strategies for connecting with industry have created partnership programs that include more than 575 cooperative research and development agreements, 925 non-federal entity agreements, 925 commercial licenses to Sandia-developed intellectual property, and over 3,000 small business assistances.

After an initial career at Los Alamos, where he led the nuclear weapons efforts, he moved to the nuclear industry, where he helped move forward Comanche Peak, Watts Bar, and Browns Ferry reconstructions. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the US Senate as the Chief Negotiator and Head of the US Delegation to the US/USSR Nuclear Testing Talks (1988 thru 1990). Those talks culminated in the unanimous ratification of the Threshold Test Ban Treaty and the Treaty on Limiting Nuclear Explosions for Peaceful Purposes. These treaties remain in force today. The Joint Verification Experiment of 1988, a unique endeavor within those negotiations, laid the groundwork for nuclear cooperation which is now carried out under the US/ Russia Lab to Lab program.

Ambassador Robinson's efforts with his laboratory director counterparts in the U.S. and in Russia have contributed to several important initiatives over the last decade. Under his leadership, seven U.S. Lab Directors met with nine of their Russian counterparts in Vienna in 2004 to draw up "Principles in Common for Future Nuclear Power Technologies" that have been embraced by the governments of both countries. Ambassador Robinson's contributions to the foundation for the next nuclear era are many, making him an excellent candidate for the Henry DeWolf Smyth Award.

The award ceremony was performed during the opening plenary, conducted by E. James Reinsch, ANS President, and President of Bechtel Nuclear saying this of Robinson, "ANS is pleased to recognize Ambassador Robinson's accomplishments. His commitment, effort and work has helped move the industry to its current renaissance."

Frank L. Bowman, President and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) presented Ambassador Robinson with the engraved medal.

Ambassador Robinson said this about receiving the medal, "Henry Smyth combined strong leadership with scientific knowledge to create sound US and international nuclear policies. He also earned a reputation for swimming upstream against political forces of his day, to accomplish his work. Those same aims have set the directions for my own career, including opposition to some of the political juggernauts of our times. I am thus greatly honored to be included among those who have received the Smyth medal."

Established by both ANS and the NEI in 1972 the Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award is named for him to commemorate a life's work. Henry DeWolf Smyth was a Princeton University physicist who played a major role in the development of atomic energy. He served on the Atomic Energy Commission from 1949-54 and was appointed by President Kennedy as the U.S. representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an ambassador. Smyth also advocated an international partnership to develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
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