Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Earth Sciences Division Staff: Robert J. Budnitz

Robert Budnitz

Robert J. Budnitz

Staff Scientist

Geophysics

 

 

Phone: 510-486-7829

Fax: 510-486-5686

Email: rjbudnitz@lbl.gov

Biographical Summary

Dr. Robert J. Budnitz has been involved with nuclear-reactor safety and radioactive-waste safety for many years.  He is on the scientific staff at the University of California's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he works on nuclear power safety and security and radioactive-waste management.  From 2002 to 2007 he was at UC’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, during which period he worked on a two-year special assignment (late 2002 to late 2004) in Washington to assist the Director of DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management to develop a new Science & Technology Program.  Prior to joining LLNL in 2002, he ran a one-person consulting practice in Berkeley CA for over two decades.  In 1978-1980, he was a senior officer on the staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, serving as Deputy Director and then Director of the NRC Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research.  In this two-year period, Dr. Budnitz was responsible for formulating and guiding the large NRC research program, that constituted over $200 million/year at that time.  His responsibilities included assuring that all major areas of reactor-safety research, waste-management research, and fuel-cycle-safety research necessary to serve the mission of NRC were adequately supported.  From 1967-1978, he was on the staff of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, serving in 1975-1978 as Associate Director of LBL and Head of LBNL's Energy & Environment Division.  During this period, the programs under his direction were in a large mix of diverse areas relevant to DOE, including energy-efficiency, deep-geologic radioactive waste disposal, solar energy, geothermal energy, fusion energy, transportation technology, chemical-engineering for alternate fuels, environmental instrumentation, air-pollution phenomena, and energy policy analysis.  He earned a Ph.D. in experimental physics from Harvard in 1968.

Education

  • Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, B.A.  Physics (1961)
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, M.A.  Physics (1962), Ph.D. Physics (1968)

Professional Experience

  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California
    • Staff Scientist, Earth Sciences Division
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of California, Livermore, California
    • December 2004 to September 2007 (in Livermore):
      •  Leader, Nuclear & Risk Science Group, Energy & Environment Directorate
      • Associate Program Leader for Nuclear Systems Safety and Security, E&E Directorate
    • October 2002 to November 2004 (at the US Department of Energy, in Washington DC):
      • Responsible for the Science & Technology Program, DOE Yucca Mountain Project
  • Future Resources Associates, Inc., Berkeley, California
    • 1981 - 2002 President
  • Teknekron, Inc., Berkeley, California
    • 1980 - 1981 Vice President, and Director of the Energy and Environmental Technologies Division
  • U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C.
    • 1979 - 1980 Director, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
    • 1978 - 1979 Deputy Director, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
  • Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California
    • 1978 - 1980 Leave of Absence Status
    • 1975 - 1978 Associate Director of LBL, and Head, Energy & Environment Division
    • 1974 - 1975 Program Leader, LBL Environmental Research Program
    • 1971 - 1974 Physicist, LBL Environmental Research Program
    • 1967 - 1971 Post-Doctoral Physicist, LBL High-Energy Physics Program

Honors and Awards

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (elected Fellow, 2007)
  • American Nuclear Society, Standards Service Award (2006)
  • American Nuclear Society, Theos J. Thompson Award for Reactor Safety (2005)
  • U.S. National Academy of Sciences, National Associate (selected 2002)
  • Society for Risk Analysis, "Outstanding Risk Practitioner Award for 2001"
  • American Nuclear Society (elected Fellow, 1998)
  • Society for Risk Analysis (elected Fellow, 1996)
  • American Physical Society (elected Fellow, 1988)
  • American Nuclear Society, Nuclear Reactor Safety Division, "Best Paper Award" (1988)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship in Physics (1961 - 1963)
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Yale University (1961)
  • Sigma Xi, Yale University (1961)
  • Student Marshall, Yale Baccalaureate Procession (1961)
  • Varsity Letter, Track Team, Yale University (1961):
    • track team won national indoor championship,
    • Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association of America

Memberships

  • American Nuclear Society (fellow)
  • American Physical Society (fellow)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (fellow)
  • Society for Risk Analysis (fellow)
  • Government Employment Status
  • Senior Executive Service, Charter Member (1979), (inactive since leaving the US NRC in 1980)

Professional Activities

(Current)

  • Co-chair, ANS-ASME JCNRM (Joint Committee on Nuclear Risk Management), under the American Nuclear Society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2012 - present)
  • Member, Technical Review Committee, Japan Nuclear Safety Institute (2012 – present)
  • Member, Editorial Board, ASCE-ASME “Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineered Systems” (2013 - present)
  • Member, Standards Board, American Nuclear Society (2009 - present)
  • Vice-Chair, ANS 54.1 Working Group writing a new ANS standard 54.1, “Nuclear Safety Criteria and Design Process for Liquid-Sodium-Cooled-Reactor Nuclear Power Plants,” American Nuclear Society (2010 - present)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Risk Analysis Journal (2008 –present)
  • Member (since October 2007), Chairman (2009-2010), State of California's Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee, appointed by the California Attorney General (2007 - present)
  • Member, Nuclear Risk Management Coordinating Committee, organized by ANS (American Nuclear Society) and ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) (2003 - present)
  • Member, Program Committee, American Nuclear Society's Nuclear Installations Safety Division (1999 - present)
  • Member (since 1998), Chairman (1998 - 2003), Writing Group on the External-Hazards-PRA-Methodology Standard, Risk Informed Standards Consensus Committee, American Nuclear Society; now “Working Group 5” under the ASME-ANS Joint Committee on Nuclear Risk Management (1998 - present)
  • Member (since 1998), Chairman (1998 – 2002), Writing Group on the Low-Power-and-Shutdown-PRA-Methodology Standard, Risk Informed Standards Consensus Committee, American Nuclear Society; now the “LPSD Writing Group” under the ASME-ANS Joint Committee on Nuclear Risk Management (1998 - present)
  • U.S. Representative, President of Armenia's Nuclear Energy Safety Council (1996 - present)

(Past)

  • Chair (2009-2012), Vice Chair (2007-2009), Member (before 2007), Risk Informed Standards Consensus Committee, American Nuclear Society (1998 - 2012)
  • Consultant, Nucleoelectrica-Argentina S.A. (NA-SA), for the peer  review of the Seismic Safety Evaluation Programme of the Atusha-II  Nuclear Power Plant (2011 - 2013)
  • Member, Steering Committee, SMiRT 22, ”22nd International Conference  on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology,” in San Francisco in  August 2013 (2011 - 2013)
  • Member, Committee on Nuclear Risk Management, Board on Nuclear Codes and Standards, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1998 - 2012)
  • Member, U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Science Panel for the Fukushima Accident (2011)
  • Lecturer, World Nuclear University: Idaho Falls (2005), Ottawa (2008), Oxford (2009, 2010)
  • Member, Liquid Metal Reactor Accident Sequence Delineation Gap Analysis Panel, Sandia National Laboratories (2009 – 2010)
  • Member, Executive Committee (elected), American Nuclear Society's Nuclear Installations Safety Division (2007 – 2010)
  • Member, Organizing Committee, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency “Workshop on Recent Findings and Developments in Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis Methodologies”, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, Lyon, France (2008)
  • U.S. Representative, Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee of Lithuania, reporting to the Prime Minister of Lithuania (1997 - 2008)
  • Member, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, Committee on the Internationalization of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (2006 - 2008)
  • Member, Nuclear Energy Study Group of the American Physical Society's Panel on Public Affairs (2004 - 2008)
  • Member, Peer Review Panel, Probabilistic Volcanic Hazard Assessment Update (PVHA-U) Analysis Project, Yucca Mountain Project , US Department of Energy (2005-2007)
  • Peer Reviewer, "Facility Risk Review of the 9212 Complex at Y-12", Oak Ridge Operations Office, US Department of Energy (2006)
  • Member, Organizing Committee, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency “Specialists Meeting on Seismic Probabilistic Safety Assessment of Nuclear Facilities,” OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, Jeju, Korea (2006)
  • Member, Evaluation Panel for IAEA Major Programme 3, International Atomic Energy Agency (2006)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Reliability Engineering and System Safety (1999 - 2004)
  • Member, Regulatory Working Group under the US-Russian Joint Steering Committee on Scientific and Technical Cooperation in the Management of Plutonium (2000 - 2004)
  • Member, Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee to the University of Chicago, overseeing Argonne National Laboratory (1997 - 2003)
  • Member, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, Board on Radioactive Waste Management (1998 - 2002)
  • Member, Board of Directors, California Radioactive Materials Management Forum (1988 - 2002)
  • Member, Independent Review Committee for the Research Reactors Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1987 - 2002)
  • Chairman, Yucca Mountain Project, Peer Review Panel for Igneous Consequences, Bechtel SAIC Company (2002)
  • Member, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, Panel on Nuclear and Radiological Issues under the Committee on Science & Technology for Countering Terrorism (2002)
  • Chairman, Specialist Meeting on Dynamic Impact and Fire Modeling in Nuclear Installations, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, Paris (2002)
  • Member, Quantitative Risk Assessment Expert Panel for Anniston, Umatilla, and Pine Bluff, U.S. Army Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization (1999 - 2002)
  • Member, Yucca Mountain Project, Postclosure Strategy Panel, Bechtel SAIC Company (2001 - 2002)
  • Technical Integrator, Expert Panel on Fire-Induced Inadvertent Actuation, Electric Power Research Institute (2001 - 2002)
  • Member, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Alternatives for the Control of Solid Materials from NRC-Licensed Facilities (2000 - 2002)
  • Member, Project Team on Risk Management for Nuclear Facility Applications, Board on Nuclear Codes and Standards, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1998 - 2001)
  • Invited Expert, ARPANSA Public Forum on the Construction License Application for a Replacement Research Reactor, sponsored by  the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), Sydney (2001)
  • Member, Secretary of Energy's Panel on Emerging Technological Alternatives to Incineration, under the DOE Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (2000 - 2001)
  • Member, Expert Panel on the Role and Direction of Nuclear Regulatory Research, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2000 - 2001)
  • Member, Performance Assessment Peer Review Panel, DOE Yucca Mountain Project Office (1997 - 1999)
  • Rapporteur, Group of Senior Experts to Review the Russian Nuclear Power Plant Safety Research Strategic Plan, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (1998 - 1999)
  • Member, Executive Committee, Nuclear Installations Safety Division, American Nuclear Society (1996 - 1999) [Chairman (elected), 1997-98]
  • Member, Senior Technical Review Panel, Continued Storage Analysis Project, Yucca Mountain Project (1998 - 1999)
  • Member, Special Committee on Social Issues and Human Values [formerly Special Committee on Socio-Technological Issues], American Nuclear Society (1988 - 1998)
  • Member, Organizing Committee, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency “Tokyo Workshop on Seismic Risk”, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (1999)
  • U.S. Representative, Ignalina Safety Panel to Advise the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the Ignalina (Lithuania) Nuclear-Power-Plant Safety Analysis Report (1994 - 1998)
  • Chairman, Technical Review Team for DOE Natural Phenomena Hazards Existing Facilities Project, U.S. Department of Energy (1992 - 1998)
  • Consultant, to Division of Nuclear Safety, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, on subject of Seismic and Fire PRA (1992 - 1997)
  • Chairman, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Remediation of Buried and Tank Wastes, under the Board on Radioactive Waste Management (1992 - 1996)
  • Member, Government of Austria, International Expert Team to Review Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant Safety (1998)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Pacific Environment and Resources Center [formerly Golden Gate Energy Center], Ft. Cronkhite, California (1985 - 1998)
  • Member, Visiting Committee for the Department of Advanced Technology, Brookhaven National Laboratory (1996 - 1997)
  • Member, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology, Advisory Committee on WIPP, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (1993 - 1998)
  • Chairman (1991 and 1995) and Member (1988 - 1997), University of Chicago Review Committee for the Engineering Development Division [formerly Engineering Physics Division], Argonne National Laboratory (1988 - 1997)
  • U.S. Representative, Safety Review Group for the Nuclear Safety Account for Upgrading Soviet-Designed Reactors, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (1993 - 1997)
  • Chairman, Oversight Panel, Yucca Mountain Seismic Hazards Evaluation, U.S. Department of Energy (1995 - 1996)
  • Member, Expert Panel on Risk Assessment, U.S. Army Chemical Demilitarization and Remediation Activity, Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland (1994 - 1997)
  • Member, Performance Assessment Peer Review Panel, DOE Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, Sandia National Laboratories (1987 - 1996)
  • Member, Expert Panel on Aircraft Crash Risk Analysis Methodology, U.S. Department of Energy (1994 - 1996)
  • Chairman, Senior Seismic Advisory Panel for the Savannah River Site, Westinghouse Savannah River Company (1994 - 1995)
  • Chairman, Senior Seismic Hazard Analysis Committee, co-sponsored by U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Electric Power Research Institute (1993 - 1996)
  • Member, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, Panel on Options for Disposition of Weapons-Related Plutonium, under Committee on International Security and Arms Control (1992 - 1995)
  • Member, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Technical Bases for Yucca Mountain Standards (1993 - 1995)
  • Member, Review Team for the U.S. Department of Energy's Natural-Phenomena-Hazards-Mitigation Order and Standards (1994 - 1995)
  • Chairman, Peer Review Panel for the Rocky Flats Site Seismic Hazard Assessment (1994)
  • Member, Advisory Group on Treatment of Hazards in Probabilistic Safety Assessment, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (1986 - 1992)
  • U.S. Coordinator, Case Studies Preparation Task for "Manual for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Its Application in Safety Decisions", International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (1984 - 1992)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Energy and Technology Management Corporation (a spin-off of Science Applications International Corporation) (1992 - 1993)
  • Chairman, Seismic Consolidated Peer Review Group, Savannah River Site, U.S. Department of Energy (1990)
  • Chairman, Senior External Events Review Group, Office of New Production Reactor, U.S. Department of Energy (1989 - 1992)
  • Member, High-Level Review Committee, Savannah River Site Probabilistic Risk Assessment, U.S. Department of Energy (1989 - 1990)
  • Member, Peer Review Group for the Hope Creek Risk Assessment, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (1989 - 1990)
  • Member, Severe Accident Advisory Committee, Savannah River Laboratory (1988 - 1992)
  • Principal Speaker, Commonwealth Club of California, Weekly Nationally Broadcast Address (1989)
  • Chairman, External Review Board for ATR (Advanced Test Reactor) Safety Analysis Program, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory/EG&G-Idaho (1989)
  • Member, N Reactor PRA Independent Review Board, Westinghouse Hanford Company (1988 - 1990)
  • Member, Executive Committee, Northern California Section, American Nuclear Society (1988 - 1989)
  • Member, Review Group on Nuclear Reactor Research Integration, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory/EG&G-Idaho (1987 - 1989)
  • Chairman, Advanced Reactor Peer Review Group, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1987 - 1988)
  • Member, Advisory Panel on Seismic Component Fragilities, Brookhaven National Laboratory (1986 - 1990)
  • Chairman, Expert Panel on Seismic Design Margins, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1984 - 1987)
  • Chairman, Peer Review Expert Panel on Plant Aging, Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory for U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1987)
  • Member, New Production Reactor Panel of the DOE Energy Research Advisory Board, U.S. Department of Energy (1988)
  • Member, Expert Panel on Front-End Issues, NUREG-1150 Analysis Team, Sandia National Laboratories for U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1987 - 1988)
  • Member, U.S. Army Chemical Munitions Disposal Risk Assessment Review Panel,
  • GA Technologies, Inc. (1987)
  • Member, Panel on Energetic Events, Review Group on Uncertainties in Source Term Estimates from Severe Accidents in Nuclear Power Plants, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1987)
  • Chairman, Panel to Review EPRI's Seismic Margin Methodology, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1987)
  • Chairman, Peer Review Group, Maine Yankee Seismic Margin Study, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1986 - 1987)
  • Chairman, Seabrook Emergency Planning Zone Study Peer Review Group, New Hampshire Yankee Division, Public Service Company of New Hampshire (1985 - 86)
  • Member, Chernobyl Advisory Panel, Electric Power Research Institute (1986 - 1987)
  • Member, Improved Confinement Review Panel, Savannah River Laboratory, E.I. DuPont de Nemours, Inc. (1986 - 1987)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Northern California Chapter, Society of Risk Analysis (1986 - 1987)
  • Member, Senior Committee on Environmental, Safety, and Economic Aspects of Fusion Energy, U.S. Department of Energy (1985 - 1987)
  • Liaison from Energy Engineering Board to Committee on Nuclear Safety Research, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences (1985 - 1986)
  • Member, Exploratory Committee on the Future of Nuclear Power Generation, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences (1984)
  • Organizer, First Seminar on Excellence in Energy Management, Association of Professional Energy Managers, San Francisco (1984)
  • Consultant on Comparative Risks in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, to the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris (1984)
  • Member, Independent Review Panel for Environmental Assessments, Roy F. Weston Inc., for the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, U.S. Department of Energy (1984)
  • Member, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, Energy Engineering Board (1983 - 1986)
  • Chairman, Peer Review Group, DOE Office of Crystalline Repository Development, Battelle Project Management Division (1983 - 1986)
  • Consultant, Study Group on Radionuclide Releases from Severe Nuclear Power Plant Accidents, American Physical Society (1983 - 1985)
  • Member, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board, Subcommittee on High-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal (1983 - 1984)
  • Member and OECD/NEA Liaison Representative, Programme Group, Second Specialist Meeting on Probabilistic Methods in Seismic Risk Assessment for Nuclear Power Plants, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1983)
  • Member, Three Mile Island Mass Balance Project Review Committee, NUS Corporation, for U.S. Department of Energy (1982 - 1983)
  • Invited Participant, Workshop on Technological and Regulatory Changes in Nuclear Power, U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment (1982)
  • Member, Advisory Committee to Review the Agency's Nuclear Safety Activities, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (1982)
  • Member, Peer Review Committee to Review the International Atomic Energy Agency's Transportation Dose Model INTERTRAN, sponsored by U.S. Department of Energy (1981 - 1982)
  • Technical Coordinator, Special Inquiry Group into the Three Mile Island Accident (the "Rogovin Inquiry"), U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1979 - 1980)
  • U.S. Representative, Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations, Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris (1979 - 1980)
  • Member, Panel on Public Affairs, American Physical Society (1978 - 1981)
  • Speaker, ENERGY-2020 Lecture Series, sponsored by National Science Foundation (1978)
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Group, "Electric Power Systems Research", journal published by Elsevier (1977 - 1985)
  • Member, Risk Assessment Review Group (the "Lewis Committee"), U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1977 - 1979)
  • Editor-in-Chief, "CRC Forums on Energy", CRC Press, West Palm Beach, Florida (1976 - 1980)
  • Member, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, Panel on Sources and Control Techniques, Environmental Research Assessment Committee (1975 - 1977)
  • Co-organizer (with T.H. Pigford), University of California Extension Courses on "Environmental Impacts of Electricity Generation", week-long course given in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977
  • Member, Reactor Hazards Committee, Berkeley Research Reactor, University of California, Berkeley (1974 - 1978)
  • Member, Subpanel on Energy, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (1974)
  • Member, Reactor Safety Study Group, American Physical Society (1974 - 1975)