DCISC Committee Member Robert J. Budnitz, Ph.D.
On October 10, 2007, Robert J. Budnitz, Ph.D. was appointed by California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. to a term on the Committee expiring June 30, 2010. On April 15, 2010, Attorney General Brown announced the reappointment of Dr. Budnitz to a second three-year term on the Committee commencing July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2013. On June 27, 2013, the CPUC ratified its President’s selection of Dr. Budnitz as one of two candidates for appointment by Attorney General Kamala Harris to serve a three-year term on the DCISC for the period July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016. During that period, Dr. Budnitz continued to serve as a member of the Committee pending his reappointment or replacement. On July 7, 2016, Attorney General Harris announced the reappointment of Dr. Budnitz to serve a three-year term on the Committee commencing July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2019.
Dr. Robert J. Budnitz has been involved with nuclear-reactor safety and radioactive-waste safety for many years. He is on the scientific staff at the University of California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he works on nuclear power safety and security and radioactive-waste management. In February 2017 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. From 2002 to 2007 he was at the University of California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), during which period he worked on a two-year special assignment (late 2002 to late 2004) in Washington to assist the Director of the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management to develop a new Science & Technology Program. Prior to joining LLNL in 2002, he ran a one-person consulting practice in Berkeley CA, for over two decades. In 1978–1980, he was a senior officer on the staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, serving as Deputy Director and then Director of the NRC Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. In this two-year period, Dr. Budnitz was responsible for formulating and guiding the large NRC research program that constituted over $200 million/year at that time. His responsibilities included assuring that all major areas of reactor-safety research, waste-management research, and fuel-cycle-safety research necessary to serve the mission of NRC were adequately supported. From 1967–1978, he was on the staff of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), serving in 1975–1978 as Associate Director of LBNL and Head of LBNL’s Energy & Environment Division. During this period, the programs under his direction were in a large mix of diverse areas relevant to DOE, including energy-efficiency, deep-geologic radioactive waste disposal, solar energy, geothermal energy, fusion energy, transportation technology, chemical-engineering for alternate fuels, environmental instrumentation, air-pollution phenomena, and energy policy analysis. He earned a Ph.D. in experimental physics from Harvard in 1968.