Nuclear Safety Research and Development at the Department of Energy



MON, 10/05/2015 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
Fall 2015 Colloquium Series

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has established a corporate Nuclear Safety Research and Development (NSR&D) Program, managed by the Office of Nuclear Safety in DOE’s Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security.  The primary objectives of the program are the identification, support, and dissemination of the results of R&D to address cross-cutting nuclear safety issues relevant to the design, construction, and operation of DOE civilian and defense nuclear facilities, to improve nuclear safety at those facilities.  This presentation discusses the DOE NSR&D Program’s background and establishment, current projects and near-term objectives, and the Office of Nuclear Safety’s plans for enhancing and expanding the Program’s activities. The NSR&D Program was formally established in 2011, and the first projects to be supported by the Program were selected in 2013.  A DOE-wide call for proposals is distributed each year, and the proposals submitted are evaluated by the NSR&D Committee, composed of representatives from National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and DOE program offices responsible for oversight of nuclear facilities and chaired by the Office of Nuclear Safety’s NSR&D Program Manager.  In addition to the projects undertaken as a result of the calls for proposals, the Office of Nuclear Safety initiates projects involving the preparation of technical reports addressing cross-cutting nuclear safety issues.  As the NSR&D projects are completed, the resulting hardware, software, and methodologies will be used to augment and/or improve DOE nuclear safety policy, procedures, operations, and oversight.  The Office of Nuclear Safety continues to work closely with NNSA and DOE program offices to expand the number and scope of NSR&D projects, and to look for opportunities to collaborate with other organizations to identify and study nuclear safety issues relevant to DOE’s nuclear facilities.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Alan Levin is a senior technical advisor in the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Safety, and is also the manager of DOE’s corporate Nuclear Safety Research and Development Program.  He has more than 35 years’ experience in nuclear reactor and facility design, safety, testing, regulation, and quality assurance.  Prior to joining DOE in 2013, he was a senior staff member in regulatory affairs at AREVA, working on a range of issues related to new reactor licensing, post-Fukushima modifications to existing plants, and medical applications of nuclear technology.  Dr. Levin’s professional experience includes nearly 15 years with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where he worked in the Offices of Nuclear Reactor Regulation and Nuclear Regulatory Research, and served as a member of Chairman Richard Meserve’s personal staff.  Before joining the NRC, Dr. Levin was a faculty member in Georgia Tech’s Nuclear Engineering and Health Physics Program, where his research included thermal-hydraulics, accident analysis, and testing on advanced water-cooled and gas-cooled reactors.  He began his career at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he worked on the breeder reactor safety program.  Dr. Levin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a doctorate in Nuclear Engineering, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Maryland and Illinois.  He is also a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society, and is a past-Chair of both the Washington, D.C. ANS Section and ANS’s Nuclear Installations Safety Division.  He served on the ANS Board of Directors from 2007-2010.