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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

McCallen to Coordinate Nuclear Power Research

David McCallen has agreed to serve as the Laboratory’s primary coordinator for activity related to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the U.S. Department if Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy, and other related agencies and offices. McCallen will work across divisions and bring Berkeley Lab's resources in physics, engineering, and computing to bear on research challenges in nuclear energy and the nuclear fuel cycle.

Says James Siegrist, Associate Laboratory Director for General Sciences, "Berkeley Lab is privileged to gain the services of an expert like David McCallen, who brings his years of experience with the science and engineering of nuclear power production to bear on the safety of nuclear plants and the nuclear fuel cycle."

McCallen comes to the Lab from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he worked since 1981, most recently as Program Director for Livermore's $90 million Nuclear Nonproliferation Program. Before this, McCallen managed a science and engineering program on nuclear fuel cycle systems, led an Engineering Division devoted to the design and build-out of the National Ignition Facility (NIF), and was director of an Engineering Technology Center focused on research and development of advanced sensor and communication systems.

McCallen will report to Earth Sciences Division Director Don DePaolo, where he will initially lead ESD's infrastructure protection initiative and work on an NRC Office of Research project to bring advanced computational techniques to the analysis of nuclear power plant safety, including plant response to earthquake events.

McCallen will also be serving as the first Director of the UC Berkeley Nuclear Research Center, a newly funded center that serves as a focal point to coordinate education and research activities between the Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering and three national laboratories (Livermore, Los Alamos, and Berkeley Lab).

"Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have a tremendous history and legacy in nuclear science and engineering,” says McCallen. “With the increased need for carbon-free energy, nuclear power has an important role to play over the next 100 years, and science and technology must provide a foundation for the life extension of existing plants and for the development of future sustainable advanced fuel cycles. The science and engineering available at these institutions can play a very important role in ensuring the safe, economical, and secure implementation of nuclear energy both domestically and internationally."