David Lochbaum

David Lochbaum received a nuclear engineering degree from The University of Tennessee in June 1979 and began working in the U.S. nuclear power industry. He worked in the nuclear power industry for 17 years as a reactor engineer, shift technical advisor, system engineer, licensing engineer, and consultant. While working on a power uprate project for a nuclear plant, he and a colleague identified a safety problem with onsite spent fuel storage. When the concerns were dismissed by the plant’s owner, they raised the issue with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). When the NRC slow-walked the matter, they went to Congressional committees that oversee the NRC. Lochbaum authored the book Nuclear Waste Disposal Crisis about the concern and campaign to resolve it.

Concerned about nuclear safety and frustrated  with the NRC’s complacency, Lochbaum joined the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in fall 1996. He monitored safety issues at U.S. nuclear power plants and engaged the NRC, Congress, media, and local activists when problems were identified.

Lochbaum left UCS in spring 2009 to become a reactor technology instructor at the NRC’s Technical Training Center. He taught NRC inspectors and reviewers in classroom and control room simulator environments for their initial certification and subsequent requalification.

Lochbaum returned to UCS in March 2010 in his former position as Director of the Nuclear Safety Project. A year later, the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan revealed vulnerabilities that needed to be addressed in the design and operation of U.S. reactors. Lochbaum co-authored Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster about the accident and the lessons that needed to be learned from it.

Lochbaum left UCS in October 2018 to enter semi-retirement, keeping active with selected consulting tasks. 

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, July 22, 2021