Statement on the death of former NRC Commissioner Peter Lyons

May 3, 2021, 11:52AMPress Releases

Statement from American Nuclear Society President Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar and Executive Director and CEO Craig Piercy:

“We are saddened to hear about the death of Peter Lyons, former NRC Commissioner and former Assistant Secretary of Energy for Nuclear Energy. An ANS fellow and member since 2003, Pete Lyons will be remembered for his inspiring leadership and distinguished public service career that spanned five decades. Pete Lyons’ legacy and vision for a nuclear renaissance will continue to inspire future generations of nuclear professionals. Our thoughts today are with his family and loved ones.”

During his career in nuclear science and technology, Lyons worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), as a commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and as Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy. In 1997, after nearly three decades at LANL, Lyons joined the staff of Sen. Pete Domenici (R., N.M.) as a scientific advisor, where he crafted Domenici’s “A New Nuclear Paradigm” speech that set a foundation for the resurgence of nuclear power in the United States.

Lyons also helped Domenici lay the groundwork for the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative and the Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems program. At the DOE, Lyons championed efforts to secure federal funding for small modular reactor development and for the Nuclear Energy University Program, among many other contributions to the future of nuclear energy.

In 2020, ANS’s Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy Division honored Lyons with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for his influential leadership in nuclear technology policy and for the vital role he played in the nuclear renaissance of the early 21st century.


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