President Obama appoints waste board members

President Obama on Sept. 21 announced his intent to appoint several members to the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board.

The board is an independent federal agency. Its sole purpose is to provide independent scientific and technical oversight of the Department of Energy’s program for managing and disposing of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.

Obama appointed Jean Bahr, Steven M. Becker, Susan L. Brantley, Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, Gerald S. Frankel, Kenneth Lee Peddicord, Paul J. Turinsky and Mary Lou Zoback to the board.

Here is a look at the prospective appointees:

** Bahr is a professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin. She has been a professor at the University of Wisconsin since 1987.

** Becker is a professor of Community and Environmental Health, College of Health Sciences, at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.

** Brantley is currently a distinguished professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, a faculty position she has held since 1986.

** Foufoula-Georgiou is a professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota, having joined the University in 1989.

** Frankel is a professor of Materials Science and Engineering and the Director of the Fontana Corrosion Center at The Ohio State University, where he has served since 1995.

** Lee Peddicord has served as the Director of the Nuclear Power Institute at Texas A&M University since 2007, where he has been a professor of Nuclear Engineering since 1983.

** Turinsky is a professor of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU), where he has worked since 1980.

** Zoback is a consulting professor in the Environmental Earth System Science Department at Stanford University, a position she has held since 2011. 

“I am confident that these outstanding men and women will greatly serve the American people in their new roles and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come,” Obama said in a statement.

The board was established in the 1987 amendments to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA), according to the board’s website.

The Board evaluates the technical validity of DOE activities related to implementing the NWPA and provides objective expert advice on nuclear waste management to Congress and the Secretary of Energy. The board is required by law to report its findings and recommendations at least two times each year to Congress and the Secretary of Energy.

The board is composed of 11 members who serve on a part-time basis. Board members are appointed by the President from a list of candidates submitted by the National Academy of Sciences.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at