United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

ACRS Membership

The ACRS is composed of individuals with a wide variety of engineering expertise. The membership currently includes expertise in nuclear engineering, risk assessment, chemistry, facility operations management, severe accident phenomena, materials science and metallurgy, digital instrumentation and control systems, thermal hydraulic and heat transfer, and mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering. Consultants are engaged to provide technical assistance on specific issues when required. ACRS members are appointed for four-year terms and normally serve no more than three terms.

Committee Members

Select one of the following names for biographical information about that member:

    Dennis C. Bley, Chairman, is the President of Buttonwood Consulting, Inc., Albuquerque, NM more

    Michael L. Corradini, Vice Chairman, is Professor in the Department of Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. more

    Peter Riccardella, Member-at-Large has more than 45 years’ experience working on the structural integrity of nuclear power plant components. more

    Ronald Ballinger is a professor of nuclear science, materials science and engineering and is head of the H.H. Uhlig Corrosion Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). more

    Charles H. Brown, Jr. is the Senior Advisor for Electrical Systems for BMT Syntek Technologies, Inc., Arlington, VA. more

    Margaret Sze-Tai Y. Chu is a consultant to international and domestic clients on nuclear waste management, nuclear fuel cycle analysis, nonproliferation technologies and nuclear materials management. more

    Walter L. Kirchner most recently served as an institutional liaison manager for Argonne National Laboratory following, analyzing, and advising Laboratory leadership on science and technology policy and programmatic developments in the Administration, Department of Energy, other federal agencies and Congress. more

    Jose March-Leuba is the principal of MRU, which specializes on measurements, regulatory and uncertainty analysis, and an Associate Professor in the nuclear engineering department of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. more

    Dana A. Powers is a Retired Senior Scientist for Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. more

    Harold Ray, is a Retired Chief Executive Vice President of Southern California Edison Company, Rosemead, California. more

    Joy L. Rempe is the Principal of Rempe and Associates, LLC, Idaho Falls, Idaho. more

    Gordon R. Skillman is an independent consultant in nuclear power plant design and operation with over 45 years of commercial nuclear power experience. more

    John W. Stetkar, is the Principal of Stetkar and Associates, Hot Springs, Arkansas. more

    Matthew Sunseri is an independent nuclear industry consultant with over thirty-five years of experience in the safe operation of large commercial reactors. more

See also the Committee Membership Lists Since 1957.

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Dennis Bley, Chairman

Dr. Dennis C. Bley is President of Buttonwood Consulting, Inc. and a Principal of The WreathWood Group in Albuquerque, N.M. With more than 40 years’ experience in nuclear and electrical engineering, he has served on a number of technical review panels for NRC and Department of Energy programs and National Research Council committees, and has been a lecturer in short courses for universities, industry and government agencies. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a doctorate in nuclear reactor engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition, he attended Centre College of Kentucky, the U.S. Navy Nuclear Power School and Cornell University. He is a registered nuclear engineer in the State of California.

Dr. Bley began his career as a staff engineer at the Cincinnati and Suburban Bell Telephone Co., followed by service in the Navy nuclear propulsion program. Since that time, his primary research interests have been reliability and risk analysis and its relationship with human performance. He is recognized for the application of probabilistic risk assessment to a wide range of engineered facilities in various industries and for the development of methods for human reliability analysis. He has authored more than 100 articles, book chapters and conference papers.

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Michael L. Corradini, Vice Chairman

Dr. Michael Corradini earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, in 1975 and both his Ph.D. and M.S. in Nuclear Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, in 1978 and 1976, respectively.

Dr. Corradini is Professor and Chair of the Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics program at the University of Wisconsin. He is also the Director of Wisconsin Institute of Nuclear Systems. He has more than 30 years of research experience in the areas of multi-phase fluid mechanics and heat transfer, nuclear reactor safety, severe accidents, reactor operation, energy policy, and nuclear waste disposal. Dr. Corradini has extensive research experience in phenomenology beyond the design basis accidents in light-water reactors, including molten fuel coolant interactions, molten core-concrete interactions, hydrogen generation, and containment response.

Dr. Corradini has served on various advisory committees, received numerous awards, and authored two book chapters and one book (on multi-phase flow) and more than 200 technical papers. He was a consultant to the ACRS from 1982 to 1997. During this time he was very insightful in providing assistance to the Committee on many technical issues associated with severe accident progression, source term, containment performance, and development of severe accident policy statement. Dr. Corradini is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. In 2002 and 2003, he served as Chairman of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. In 2006, he was appointed to the scientific advisory board to the French Civilian Atomic Energy Agency.

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Peter Riccardella, Member-at-Large

Dr. Peter Riccardella has more than 45 years’ experience working on the structural integrity of nuclear power plant components. He is an authority in the application of fracture mechanics to nuclear pressure vessels and piping and has made significant contributions to the diagnosis and correction of materials degradation concerns at operating plants. He has been a principal investigator on a number of Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) projects and served more than 20 years as a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Subcommittee on Nuclear Power Plant Inservice Inspection.

Dr. Riccardella earned his bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and is a Fellow and Life Member of the ASME.

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Ronald Ballinger

Dr. Ronald Ballinger is a professor of nuclear science, materials science and engineering and is head of the H.H. Uhlig Corrosion Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His areas of specialization are materials selection, nuclear engineering systems, environmental degradation and life assessment of these systems. In addition to the courses he has taught at MIT, Dr. Ballinger has also developed and taught several industrial courses on environmental degradation with EPRI and the Materials Aging Institute.

Dr. Ballinger has a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He earned master's degrees in nuclear engineering and materials science and a doctorate in nuclear materials engineering from MIT. He is a member of several professional societies and has chaired the Materials Science and Technology Division of the American Nuclear Society.

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Charles H. Brown, Jr.

Mr. Charles H. Brown, Jr. earned his M.S. in Engineering and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering with honors from the University of Louisville.

Currently, Mr. Brown is the Senior Advisor for Electrical Systems with BMT Syntek Technologies, Inc., in Arlington, VA. Previously, he spent 22 years as Director of Instrumentation and Control Division of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program with the Naval Sea Systems Command. He has more than 35 years of experience in engineering management involving policy setting, planning, and technical direction for reactor plant instrumentations, control, protection, and technical systems equipment design; development and systems integration; procurement; and long-term support programs management for all nuclear powered ships for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program of the U.S. Navy.

Mr. Brown is a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Virginia. He is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a Life Member of the American Society of Naval Engineers.

Mr. Brown lives in McLean, Virginia, with his wife Gwendolyn. They have two successful children (Dr. Charles Brown, DDS, and Ms. Cassandra Walsh, CPA) and three lovely grandchildren.

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Margaret Sze-Tai Y. Chu

Dr. Margaret Sze-Tai Y. Chu is a consultant to international and domestic clients on nuclear waste management, nuclear fuel cycle analysis, nonproliferation technologies and nuclear materials management. She has more than 30 years of experience working on issues related to the nuclear fuel cycle, with an emphasis on risk assessment and performance assessment as applied to nuclear waste management. Dr. Chu was director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management from 2002 to 2005. Before that, she had a long career with Sandia National Laboratory that included directing the lab’s Nuclear Waste Management Center and as senior manager of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant program at Sandia. While at Sandia in the 1980s, she was among the early group of researchers that provided a technical basis for the EPA standard and the NRC regulation that established the foundational concept of probabilistic risk assessment for geological disposal of nuclear waste.

Dr. Chu holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Purdue University and a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Minnesota. She serves on the DOE Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee and the National Academies Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board. Dr. Chu holds memberships in numerous professional societies and authored dozens of published articles.

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Walter L. Kirchner

Dr. Walter L. Kirchner most recently served as an institutional liaison manager for Argonne National Laboratory following, analyzing, and advising Laboratory leadership on science and technology policy and programmatic developments in the Administration, Department of Energy, other federal agencies and Congress. He served concurrently as chief technologist (in residence) for the Council on Competitiveness. In that capacity, he directed the High-Performance Computing Advisory Committee working to broaden deployment of advanced computing-based modeling and simulation, particularly of manufacturing and clean energy technologies. He began his career as a reactor operator/engineering officer on the N.S. Savannah before joining the staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory. During his 29 years at Los Alamos, he held division and group leader line management positions in construction project management, defense programs, nuclear reactor design and safety projects, and applied energy research and development activities. Dr. Kirchner’s technical expertise is in nuclear reactor design, thermal-hydraulics and nuclear reactor safety.

Dr. Kirchner holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marine engineering from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Jose March-Leuba

Dr. March-Leuba is the principal of MRU, which specializes on measurements, regulatory and uncertainty analysis, and an Associate Professor in the nuclear engineering department of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He began his career at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he did research into noise analysis and dynamic modeling, and ran tests to determine the stability of commercial boiling water reactors. He also developed and installed instrumentation in Russian facilities to monitor the down-blending of highly enriched uranium. During his 37-year career as a nuclear engineer, Dr. March-Leuba developed expertise in reactor thermal hydraulics and dynamics, reactor instrumentation and control and protection systems, software development and testing, and instrumentation development for international safeguards.

Dr. March-Leuba has a Master of Science in industrial engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia in Spain, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society and has close to 300 publications and reports.

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Dana A. Powers

Dr. Dana A. Powers received his B.S. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1970, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Economics in 1975 from the same institution.

Dr. Powers worked more than 40 years for the Sandia National Laboratories from 1974 until his retirement in 2015. He began as a staff member in the Chemistry and Metallurgy Division. From 1981 through 1991, he supervised the Reactor Safety Research Division, where he conducted experimental and analytic investigations of severe reactor accident phenomena in light water and fast reactors.

In 1991, Dr. Powers became acting manager of Sandia’s Nuclear Safety Department. He was involved in studying fission reactor accident risks and developing plasma-facing components for fusion reactors. He developed computer models for predicting worker risks in Department of Energy nuclear facilities, worked on systems engineering for recovery and processing of defense nuclear wastes, and analyzed accident phenomena for the Cassini and New Horizons deep space probes. Dr. Powers became a Senior Scientist in 1997.

From 1988 through 1991, Dr. Powers served as a member of the Department of Energy’s Advisory Committee on Nuclear Facility Safety. He has been a member of the NRC’s Advisory Committee on Rector Safeguards since 1994, serving as the committee’s vice chairman 1997-1998 and chairman 1999-2000. The NRC recognized Dr. Powers with the Distinguished Service Award in 2001. He has taught courses on reactor safety and accident management for the International Atomic Energy Agency. Dr. Powers has also served on National Research Council committees involved with the safety of DOE facilities and nuclear reactors in the former Soviet Union and received the Theos J. (Tommy) Thompson Award for Nuclear Safety in 2007 from the American Nuclear Society in recognition of “outstanding contributions to the field of nuclear reactor safety.”

Dr. Powers has authored more than 100 technical publications, is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society and was elected in 2015 to the National Academy of Engineering.

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Harold Ray

Mr. Harold B. Ray earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1963 and his M.S. from the California Institute of Technology in 1970. He also earned a M.S. in Management from Claremont Graduate School in 1983.

Mr. Ray served as a reactor engineer in the Naval Reactors Division, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, during 1964-1969, during which time he completed the reactor engineering certification at the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory.

Mr. Ray served as the Chief Nuclear Officer at Southern California Edison (SCE) from 1990 until his retirement in 2006. As the Chief Nuclear Officer, he was responsible for all nuclear facilities and programs, including operation, maintenance and modification of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and for the management of SCE’s ownership interest in Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. He was also responsible for all power generating facilities, including nuclear and related fuel supplies and the wholesale purchasing and sale of electrical power and services. Mr. Ray enjoyed a successful career at SCE that spanned more than 36 years.

Now retired from his position as Executive Vice President of SCE, Mr. Ray provides input and guidance concerning generating plant and market development as an executive consultant with SCE.

Mr. Ray is a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of California, and a member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Sigma Xi. Mr. Ray is also a past President of the ANS and served in industry leadership positions as part of the Nuclear Energy Institute and at the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.

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Joy L. Rempe

Joy Rempe holds a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Missouri - Rolla. She has nearly 30 years of experience in the areas of reactor safety and irradiation testing.

Prior to retiring as a Laboratory Fellow at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Dr. Rempe founded an instrumentation development and deployment laboratory to support a wide range of applications, including irradiation testing at US and international material test reactors. During her tenure at INL, she also led numerous severe accident research efforts for the NRC, DOE, and several international organizations, including inspection and analysis efforts to support post-accident Three Mile Island Unit 2 evaluations and experimental and analytical efforts to investigate in-vessel retention issues in light water reactors. As Principal of Rempe and Associates, LLC, Idaho Falls, Idaho, Dr. Rempe provides consulting assistance to US and international organizations on reactor safety and instrumentation issues.

Dr. Rempe has authored or co-authored over 50 archival peer-reviewed journal publications and 100 peer-reviewed conference papers on reactor safety, severe accident phenomena, high temperature testing, and in-pile instrumentation. She is an inventor/co-inventor on two patents with three patents pending. Dr. Rempe has received NRC and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recognition awards for achievements accomplished in the TMI-2 Vessel Investigation Project; and in 2011, she was awarded a US DOE Secretarial Honors Award for her contributions in the US response to the events at Fukushima. In 2005, Dr. Rempe was elected a Fellow in the American Nuclear Society. In 2009, she was elected to the ANS Board of Directors; and in 2013, Dr. Rempe was appointed to the Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee.

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Gordon R. Skillman

Gordon R. Skillman is an independent consultant in nuclear power plant design and operation with over 45 years of commercial nuclear power experience. He has served on nuclear safety oversight boards and engineering councils for many years and has been directly involved in design, consultation or oversight actions at 27 of the 104 live-core nuclear plants in the United States. Mr. Skillman earned his Reactor Operator’s License and Senior Reactor Operator’s license from the US Atomic Energy Commission in 1967 and 1969 respectively and served on the nuclear merchant ship NS Savannah as a Reactor Operator, Steam Plant Operator, Health Physicist and Water Chemist. On completion of his sailing obligation he joined the Babcock and Wilcox Company where he contributed as an engineer and manager for B&W’s Nuclear Power Generation Division in Lynchburg, Va. and Mannheim, Germany. He was an immediate-responder to the TMI-2 accident and served for 7 years on the stabilization and clean-up of TMI-2 both as a B&W and, later, as a GPUNC employee. At TMI-2 Mr. Skillman was Manager of Recovery Support Engineering and later was Manager of Defueling. Mr. Skillman then served GPUNC as a Director in multiple leadership positions at TMI-1. Following the sale of TMI-1 to AmerGen Mr. Skillman established Skillman Technical Resources Inc. (STR) serving as its President and Principal Officer providing consultation and oversight services to the nuclear industry. Major actions for STR have included response to the Davis Besse Head Event, design and construction of the National Enrichment Facility at Hobbs, New Mexico, and preparation of the application for the renewal amendment of the Design Certification for the US ABWR.

Mr. Skillman received his Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1966. His field of study was Marine Engineering. For the past four decades his primary technical focus has been NSSS design, fluid system design, heat transfer and fluid flow. For the past decade his primary consulting focus has been effectiveness of nuclear-plant engineering organizations and processes. Mr. Skillman is a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

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John W. Stetkar

Mr. John W. Stetkar is Principal of Stetkar & Associates, Hot Springs, Arkansas, and has more than 27 years of experience as an engineering consultant. He is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of risk assessment and reliability analysis. Mr. Stetkar also serves as a technical expert for the International Atomic Energy Agency. Prior to his career as a consultant, he was a licensed senior reactor operator at Zion Nuclear Station. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering and a M.S. in nuclear and environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Matthew W. Sunseri

Matthew Sunseri is an independent nuclear industry consultant with over thirty-five years of experience in the safe operation of large commercial reactors.  Prior to starting his own executive consulting practice, he was president and chief executive officer of Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation.  Mr. Sunseri has a wide-range of experience in the operation, maintenance, engineering, oversight and security of the nation’s commercial nuclear power fleet.  He started his career as a nuclear engineer assigned to the construction, licensing, startup and operation of the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant. Throughout his career, he has supervised, managed or provided oversight for activities at several commercial power stations. Mr. Sunseri has served on philanthropic and corporate boards of directors and has been a member of the American Nuclear Society since 1979.

Mr. Sunseri earned his Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear engineering from Texas A&M University and is a graduate of the Advanced General Management Program at Northwestern University and the Directors Institute at Emory University.  Mr. Sunseri is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, June 27, 2016