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Engineering professor appointed to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

March 11, 2005
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Vanderbilt engineering professor has been selected as one of a handful of high-level experts who advise the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on safe management of nuclear waste.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has appointed James H. Clarke, Vanderbilt professor of the practice of civil and environmental engineering, to its Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste. The ACNW advises the commission on how to regulate, manage and safely dispose of radioactive waste produced by nuclear power facilities and former nuclear weapon production facilities.

"Professor Clarke's appointment to the ACNW is tremendous recognition of the national leadership that he brings to understanding the environmentally sound management of nuclear wastes," said David S. Kosson, chair of Vanderbilt's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. "His service on the ACNW is very complementary to the outstanding research he and others in civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt are carrying out to achieve safe and economically sound options for remediating the Department of Energy's nuclear production facilities and disposing of future nuclear wastes."

Clarke brings some 30 years' experience in environmental science and engineering to the appointment, including service as peer reviewer and consultant to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the National Research Council and the U.S. Department of Energy. He was chairman, president and CEO of Eckenfelder, Inc., a major environmental engineering and consulting firm, prior to joining the faculty at Vanderbilt in 2000.

At Vanderbilt, he conducts research in transport and environmental impact of chemicals and radionuclides, risk assessment, sustainable environmental protection and the long-term management of legacy hazardous and nuclear waste sites.

The ACNW is independent of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff and reports directly to the commission. The committee investigates and analyzes issues that it determines need inquiry, as well as concerns raised by the commission. The ACNW includes five members.

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