United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Richard Raione

Richard Raione, Chief, Hydrologic Engineering Branch (RHEB) for the U.S. NRC’s Office of New Reactors, holds a B.S. in Biology and Geology (1981) from East Tennessee State University and a M.S. in Geology (1983) from the University of Kentucky.

He supervises a staff of hydrologists and engineers supporting the safety (safety evaluation report) and NEPA aspects of all proposed new reactor licensing. His staff analyze hydrologic site characteristics, develop independent confirmatory models and specifically look at site conceptual models in order to predict fate/transport of liquid radiological effluent along all relevant surface/groundwater pathways to potential downgradient receptors. RHEB utilizes a bounding approach to establish the design basis flood for each proposed plant by analyzing flooding hazards due to a variety of scenarios (i.e., tsunami, storm surge, seiche, probable maximum precipitation, dam breach, ice jams, channels/diversions, etc.) in addition to ascertaining low flow and drought conditions. He previously supervised a large staff of project managers dealing with the environmental/NEPA aspects of new reactor licensing. Prior to joining the NRC, he was the Environmental Projects Manager/Senior Hydrogeologist with Nuclear Fuel Services in Tennessee where he managed environmental programs/projects nationwide. Many of these projects involved characterization and remediation of radiologically impacted sites. He is a former associate adjunct professor at East Tennessee State University where he taught graduate and undergraduate courses in geology and hydrogeology. He was a hydrogeologist with the US DOE and a Subdistrict Chief with the USGS, Water Resources Division. He started his career with the Defense Mapping Agency as a geodesist and participated in establishing the GPS program. He was a member of a two-person team in Somalia as part of the last African Doppler Survey Program and used point-positioning satellite techniques and conventional survey methods to map the country. He is a licensed professional geologist (PG) in 19 states and is the editor of the newsletter for the Federal Subcommittee on Hydrology reporting directly to the Advisory Committee on Water Resources. He enjoys the sciences, history, politics, archeology, hiking, the Beatles and Iron Butterfly.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012