NRC official to discuss nuclear safety in post-Fukushima world

William D. Magwood IV, a commissioner with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), will speak at 4 p.m. on Feb. 23, in 112 Walker Building on Penn State's University Park campus as part of the Lawrence E. Hochreiter Distinguished Lecture Series.

The event is free and open to the public.

Magwood's talk, titled "Fukushima and Beyond -- A Regulatory Perspective," will review the NRC’s role in ensuring safety in nuclear power operations, the NRC's post-Fukushima actions to enhance nuclear safety, the current requirements for spent fuel storage that provide confidence that fuel can be safely stored, recent NRC policy direction for low-level waste requirements and the importance of continuing programs in nuclear and other engineering disciplines.

The longest-tenured head of the U.S. civilian nuclear technology program, Magwood served two presidents and five secretaries of energy from 1998 to 2005. Before joining the NRC, Magwood founded and headed Advanced Energy Strategies, a company that provided strategic advice to domestic and international clients.

Previously, Magwood served as the director of nuclear energy with the U.S. Department of Energy, where he was the senior nuclear technology official in the U.S. government and the senior nuclear technology policy adviser to the secretary of energy. Under Magwood's leadership, the Office of Nuclear Energy (ONE) encouraged a new consideration of nuclear power technology in the U.S. In addition he led efforts that reversed the decline in American nuclear technology education. Prior to that appointment, Magwood served ten years as the associate director for technology and program planning in the ONE from 1984 to 1994.

A strong advocate of international technology cooperation, Magwood served as chairman of both the Generation IV International Forum and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Steering Committee on Nuclear Energy.

Magwood holds bachelor's degrees in physics and English from Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

The Lawrence E. Hochreiter Distinguished Lecture Series in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering is named for the late Lawrence Hochreiter who served as a faculty member in the department from 1986 to 2008. The lecture series is made possible by Hochreiter’s widow, Susan Hochreiter; Westinghouse; AREVA; the American Nuclear Society’s Thermal-Hydraulics Division; and friends of Hochreiter.

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Last Updated February 21, 2012