Event Details

John Kelly (ANS): "Effective and Rapid Response to a Nuclear Power Plant Emergency"

Abstract: Any nuclear power plant accident immediately generates concerns and questions by government leaders around the world. In these situations, it is important that timely and accurate information be provided to the leadership so that informed decisions can be made. However, the very nature of the major accidents to date is that there is considerable confusion, thereby making it difficult to provide either timely or accurate information. To resolve this dilemma, there is a need to have technical experts, informed government leaders, and other technical capabilities in place prior to an accident. The question is: if an accident were to happen are we ready to respond and inform our government leaders and public in a rapid and effective manner? The presentation will reflect on the domestic and international response to prior major nuclear power plant accidents and will offer suggestions for improving emergency response readiness.

Dr. John E. Kelly is the Vice-President/President-Elect of the American Nuclear Society. Recently retired from the U.S. Department of Energy as the Chief Technology, he was responsible for establishing the strategic technical direction for the Office of Nuclear Energy’s research, development, demonstration, and deployment portfolios. Prior to assuming the duties of Chief Technology Officer, he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Reactor Technologies. His office was responsible for the civilian nuclear reactor research and development portfolio, which included programs on Small Modular Reactors, Light Water Reactors, and Generation IV reactors. Dr. Kelly also chaired the Generation IV International Forum and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Standing Advisory Group on Nuclear Energy. Prior to joining the DOE in 2010, Dr. Kelly spent 30 years at Sandia National Laboratories where he was engaged in a broad spectrum of research programs in nuclear reactor safety, advanced nuclear energy technology, and national security. Dr. Kelly received his B.S. degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan in 1976 and his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980.

About the seminar series: This lecture continues a speaker series featuring leading international experts on nuclear emergency response. Part of an NSF CAREER Award (PI Sonja Schmid) and hosted by Virginia Tech’s Department of Science, Technology, and Society, with generous support from the Office of the Vice President for the National Capital Region and the Policy Strategic Growth Area.

  • Light refreshments will be served.
  • Graduate students are encouraged to arrive at 12:00 to chat with the speakers before his talk.
  • The URL to the online version of the event is http://www.ncr.vt.edu/live/ for anyone who'd like to join remotely.
  • To submit a question to the speaker, please e-mail it to [email protected].


If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Sonja Schmid at 703-538-8482 or email [email protected] during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

  • When: Tue Feb. 27
    5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

  • Address: 900 North Glebe Road
    Arlington VA,US 22203

  • Web: Visit Website