United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Alice Caponiti

Alice Caponiti is the Director of Department of Energy’s Office of Advanced Reactor Technologies, which conducts research and development to reduce long-term technical barriers for advanced nuclear technologies and energy systems. Innovative work to offer improved safety, performance and affordability of advanced reactors, which include gas-cooled, metal-cooled and salt-cooled reactors, is conducted in close coordination with industry. Ms. Caponiti also serves on the Generation IV International Forum Policy Group that advises on research and development needed internationally to establish the feasibility and performance capabilities of the next generation nuclear energy systems.

Ms. Caponiti previously led efforts to design, build, test, and deliver safe and reliable nuclear power systems for space exploration and national security applications and conduct detailed safety analyses for each mission.  Ms. Caponiti managed the project to reestablish a reliable domestic supply of plutonium-238 – the nuclear material used in radioisotope power systems that provide reliable, long duration power for space exploration missions.  She served as the as the technical advisor to the Department of State and a United Nations working group on space nuclear power sources, as well as a risk communications spokesperson for the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Mars Science Laboratory mission that delivered the Curiosity rover to the surface of Mars.

Ms. Caponiti earned her B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland in 1991 and M.S. degrees in nuclear engineering and the Technology and Policy Program from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995.
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, June 04, 2018