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Metz on Harold Denton: Memories of a life in nuclear safety
A number of years ago, historian and writer Chuck Metz Jr. was at the Bush’s Visitor Center in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains when he ran into former Nuclear Regulatory Commission official Harold Denton and his wife. Metz was at the visitor center, which opened in 2010 and is now a tourist hotspot, because, as he explained to the Dentons at the time, he had overseen the development of its on-site museum and had written a companion coffee-table history book.
The chance meeting turned into a friendship and a fruitful collaboration. Denton, who in 1979 was the public spokesperson for the NRC as the Three Mile Island-2 accident unfolded, had been working on his memoir, but he was stuck. He asked Metz for help with the organization and compilation of his notes. “I was about to retire,” Metz said, “but I thought that exploring the nuclear world might be an interesting change of pace.”
Denton passed away in 2017, but by then Metz had spent many hours with his fast friend and was able to complete the memoir, Three Mile Island and Beyond: Memories of a Life in Nuclear Safety, which was published recently by ANS. Metz shared some of his thoughts about Denton and the book with Nuclear News. The interview was conducted by NN’s David Strutz.
BS, mechanical engineering, Marquette University; MS and PhD, nuclear engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Professor Corradini is a Wisconsin Distinguished Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW). He is chair of UW’s Energy Institute Faculty Governance Committee and Director of UW’s Wisconsin Institute of Nuclear Systems. From 1978 to 1981, he was associated with Sandia National Laboratories, where he was a member of the technical staff.
Professor Corradini is a mechanical and nuclear engineer with research interests centered primarily in thermal hydraulics and multiphase flow. He especially emphasizes the areas of reactor operation, reactor safety, reprocessing, and recycle and risk assessment.
Professor Corradini has served on a variety of boards and committees, such as the U.S. Department of Energy Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee (2000–present); the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, Chair (2002–2004); the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations Training and Education Accreditation Board (2004–2008), and the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (2006–present).
Among Professor Corradini’s numerous awards and honors are the Presidential Young Investigator (1984) from the National Science Foundation and the Young Members Achievement Award (1990) from the American Nuclear Society (ANS), of which he was also named a Fellow. In 1996, he received the UW Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 1998, he was recognized by the National Academy of Engineering.
Professor Corradini is the Vice President/President Elect of ANS.
PhD, nuclear engineering, University of Missouri-Columbia
In April of 2010, after serving 8½ years as a presidential appointee, Dr. Klein returned to Texas from Washington, D.C., to work at The University of Texas (UT) at Austin as Associate Director of The Energy Institute, Associate Vice President for Research, and professor of mechanical engineering (Nuclear Program). Earlier in his career, Dr. Klein had served as Vice Chancellor for Special Engineering Programs at the UT System and as a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (Nuclear Program) at UT Austin. During his earlier tenure at UT Austin, Dr. Klein was Director of the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory, Deputy Director of the Center for Energy Studies, and Associate Dean for Research and Administration in the College of Engineering. Dr. Klein rejoined the UT System in January 2011 as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research in the Office of Academic Affairs.
Dr. Klein was sworn in to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 2006 and was appointed Chairman by President George W. Bush, serving in that role from July 2006 to May 2009. As Chairman, Dr. Klein was the principal executive officer and official spokesman for the NRC, responsible for conducting NRC’s administrative, organizational, long-range-planning, and budgetary functions, as well as certain personnel functions. Additionally, he had the ultimate authority for all NRC functions pertaining to an emergency involving an NRC licensee. Dr. Klein served as Commissioner of the NRC from May 2009 to March 2010.
Before joining the NRC, Dr. Klein served as Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs. He was appointed to this position by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate in 2001. In this position, he served as the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Secretary of Defense; Deputy Secretary of Defense; and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics for all policy and planning matters related to nuclear weapons and nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs.
Honors and awards that Dr. Klein has received include the Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman award in 2011, Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Nuclear Society, Engineer of the Year for the State of Texas, the University of Missouri Faculty-Alumni Award, and the University of Missouri Honor Award for Distinguished Service in Engineering.
BS, nuclear engineering, Polytechnic of Milan; PhD, nuclear engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Professor Buongiorno is an associate professor of nuclear science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. From 2000 to 2004 he worked as a research scientist at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, where he led the U.S. Department of Energy’s Generation-IV program for the development of the supercritical water cooled reactor in the United States. His areas of technical expertise and research interest are nanofluid technology, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and two-phase flow in advanced nuclear systems.
Professor Buongiorno is a member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; Co-Director of the Reactor Technology Course for Nuclear Utility Executives, which has been offered jointly by MIT and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations for the past 19 years; and a consultant for the nuclear industry (AREVA, Westinghouse, and South Texas Project) in the area of reactor thermal hydraulics.
For his work in his research areas and his teaching at MIT, Professor Buongiorno has won several awards, including the 2011 Landis Young Member Engineering Achievement Award (ANS) and the 2011 Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Distinguished Teaching (School of Engineering, MIT).
BA, history - history of science, University of Denver; MS, natural science - nuclear chemistry and physics, University of Wyoming
Mr. Dickman is a Senior Policy Fellow with Argonne National Laboratory focusing on international nuclear energy, nonproliferation, and national security policy. For more than 30 years, Mr. Dickman has been in the forefront of nuclear energy and national security programs in the United States and internationally. He has held senior leadership positions at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where he served as Chief of Staff to Chairman Dale E. Klein, and at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Nuclear Security Administration, where he served as Deputy Director for the Office of Policy. During his career he has held several managerial and senior staff positions within the DOE and national laboratory system.
Mr. Dickman chairs the Public Policy Committee of ANS.
BS, radiological health physics, Lowell Technological Institute; MS, radiological sciences and protection, University of Massachusetts Lowell; PhD, health physics, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr. Ryan is an independent consultant in radiological sciences and health physics. He is an adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt University in the Department of Environmental Engineering and at Texas A&M University (TAMU) in the Department of Nuclear Engineering. In addition to his adjunct appointment at TAMU, Dr. Ryan has taught radiation protection courses on the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of South Carolina and the College of Charleston. He was previously an associate professor in the Department of Health Administration and Policy at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Dr. Ryan’s research areas include environmental radiation assessment, radiation dosimetry, and regulatory compliance for radioactive materials.
Dr. Ryan is Editor In Chief of Health Physics Journal. He has held numerous offices in the Health Physics Society, including President of the Environmental Section and the Savannah River Chapter. Dr. Ryan served on the Technical Advisory Radiation Control Council for the State of South Carolina for 19 years. He is a distinguished emeritus member of the National Council of Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), and is a past member of the NCRP Board of Directors, and has served as NCRP’s Scientific Vice President for Radioactive and Mixed Waste Management and as Chair of Scientific Committee 87. Dr. Ryan is certified in the comprehensive practice of health physics by the American Board of Health Physics.
Dr. Ryan most recently served for several years on the independent review panel for decommissioning work at Brookhaven National Laboratory. In 2007, he completed a 9-year term as Chairman of the External Advisory Board for Radiation Protection at Sandia National Laboratories. He is a member of a similar external review board for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He completed 8 years of service on the Scientific Review Group appointed by the Assistant Secretary of Energy to review the ongoing research in health effects at the former weapons complex sites in the Southern Urals. He has also served on several committees of the National Academy of Sciences producing reports regarding radioactive waste management topics and served as Chairman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste and Materials (ACNW&M). Dr. Ryan served on ACNW&M since 2002, until it was merged with the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) in 2008. In June 2008, Dr. Ryan became a member of ACRS.
In 1989, Dr. Ryan received Health Physics Society’s Elda E. Anderson Award, for demonstrated excellence in research, discovery, and/or significant contribution to the field of health physics. He was recently inducted into the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni. He is a recipient of the Francis Cabot Lowell Distinguished Alumni for Arts and Sciences Award for the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
BS, chemical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); MS and PhD, nuclear engineering, MIT
Since 1972, Dr. Sawyer has been involved in boiling water reactor (BWR) plant technology with exposure to virtually all aspects of plant performance. He has performed and managed advanced fuel element and core design studies to incorporate plutonium recycle and to increase the fuel performance of uranium fuel cycles. He has also performed plant system performance studies such as cost/performance studies of varying core power density, emergency core cooling system performance studies, and studies to enhance plant availability.
After the Three Mile Island Unit 2 accident, Dr. Sawyer headed a task force that performed all related studies including risk assessments and evaluations of proposed design changes. He has also managed all transient and accident analyses for BWRs under construction.
Dr. Sawyer has been associated with Advanced BWR (ABWR) development since the beginning of both the ABWR and the Simplified BWR (SBWR) designs. In this role, he managed the overall conceptual design, as well as the specification of the required overall performance of key systems and performance of the transient, accident, and severe accident safety analyses required for licensing. He was one of the key people involved in the ABWR certification effort with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), defending the ABWR design and performance before the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards as well as the NRC staff. He was instrumental in developing the severe accident design and management strategy for ABWRs. In his last assignment at General Electric, he was Manager, Advanced Reactor Programs. In this assignment, he was responsible for plant design and related technology for ABWRs and liquid metal reactors.
Since his retirement in 2000, Dr. Sawyer has stayed active in nuclear energy, participating in design reviews, design changes, and power uprate of ABWRs for Finland; licensing of the Economic SBWR (ESBWR) in the United Kingdom; ABWR and ESBWR training; and occasional lectures on BWR technology. Since 2009, he has been a consultant for Westinghouse, working on ABWR renewal of the ABWR design control document and, more recently, focusing on lessons learned from the Fukushima accidents.
Dr. Sawyer has several patents.
BS and MS, engineering, Tulane University; MBA, Mississippi College; PhD studies, nuclear engineering, Louisiana State University; Harvard Advanced Management Program completion; senior reactor operator certificate; Nuclear Power Operations’ Senior Nuclear Plant Manager Course completed
Mr. Shahkarami is the Chief Executive Officer of Exelon Nuclear Partners and the Senior Vice President of Exelon Generation, where he is responsible for all domestic and international partnership and business development. He has held a variety of positions with Exelon since 2002 and has been involved with governance and oversight to Exelon’s 17 nuclear facilities in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. From 1990 until 2002, Mr. Shahkarami held several positions with Entergy and has been with a variety of firms in the energy industry. He has taught several courses in the areas of risk management, nuclear safety, and the organizational aspects of nuclear operation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mr. Shahkarami has chaired the Boiling Water Reactor Owners’ Group and Pressurized Water Reactor Owners’ Group Executive Committees. He has served on the Executive Committees of the PWR Materials Management Program and the BWR Vessel and Internals Project. He is a member of the Electric Power Research Institute Nuclear Power Council and its Executive Committee. He has served on engineering advisory boards for Tulane University, Texas A&M University, and Illinois Institute of Technology. He has been a member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) since 1992 and has served on its Board of Directors.
Mr. Shahkarami was the recipient of the 2008 Chicago United Leadership, 2009 ANS Utility Leadership, and the 2010 World Association of Nuclear Operators Excellence awards. He has also greatly contributed to the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations principle of engineering and the technical conscience document.
BA, pure and applied sciences, University of Tokyo; MS and PhD, nuclear engineering, University of Tokyo
Dr. Ninokata has been a professor in the Research Laboratory for Nuclear Reactors at Tokyo Institute of Technology (TITech) since 1993. Before joining TITech, he worked on boiling water reactor (BWR) core management at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station from 1977 to 1978 and on fast breeder reactor (FBR) plant design at the Tokyo Electric Power Company from 1978 to 1980. Then, from 1980 to 1993, he worked on sodium thermohydraulics and FBR safety at the Oarai Engineering Center, PNC, Japan. He held visiting positions at Argonne National Laboratory from 1982 to 1983 and at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1986 to 1987, both in the field of numerical fluid dynamics. He serves the Japanese government including the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; and Fire and Disaster Management Agency, as advisor on nuclear reactor safety.
Dr. Ninokata’s current research interests include fuel rod bundle thermohydraulics, in particular, BWR subchannel analysis, sodium boiling, and natural convection decay heat removals for fast reactors; tight lattice pin bundle fluid flow phenomena, including global flow pulsation and turbulent flow mixing and their physical modeling; nuclear reactor core design and safety; and thermohydraulics of sodium fast reactors with enhanced safety features.
Dr. Ninokata is currently an associate member of the Science Council of Japan. He is a member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ), International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR), and Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers. He has served ANS as a member of the Board of Directors from 2006 to 2009 and as chair of the ANS Thermal Hydraulics Division (THD) from 2010 to 2011. Also, he is a former member of the ANS Honors and Award Committee and is currently a member of the ANS International Committee. He is former chairman of the ANS Japan Section.
Dr. Ninokata is an ANS Fellow. He is the recipient of the 1997 IAHR Harold Jan Schoemaker Award, the 2005 and 2010 ANS THD Best Paper Awards, the 2006 AESJ CSED Technical Achievement Award, and the 2011 AESJ THD Technical Achievement Award.
BSE, engineering physics, Purdue University; MS, mechanical engineering, University of Rochester; PhD, nuclear engineering, Purdue University
Dr. Tokuhiro is a professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at the University of Idaho. He was previously on the faculties of the Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Department at Kansas State University and the University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR). He was also director and senior reactor operator of the UMR Reactor.
Dr. Tokuhiro’s research interests are in reactor engineering and design, thermal hydraulics, liquid metals, convective heat transfer, ultrasonic and laser-based velocimetry, modeling and simulation in coupled thermohydraulics and reactor physics (multiphysics), application of gel materials, facial and voice expression biometrics, and energy dynamics modeling and simulations.
Dr. Tokuhiro has 10 years of international experience in advanced reactor research and development (R&D) [Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)], as well as experience at Argonne National Laboratory and Battelle Columbus Laboratories. At PSI, he was part of the Simplified Boiling Water Reactor safety systems testing project and a separate effects test for direct contact condensation. At JAEA, he developed ultrasonic velocimetry for a liquid metal separate effects thermohydraulics experiment, as part of an effort to develop the Japanese sodium fast reactor. In recent years, he has worked on a number of U.S. Department of Energy nuclear energy R&D projects including the sodium fast reactor (high-fidelity experiments and simulations); Next Generation Nuclear Plant (graphite dust safety thermomechanics experiments, modeling, and simulations); and experiments, modeling, and simulations of the emergency core cooling system.
Last modified March 9, 2021, 3:24pm CST