John A. Bernard, Ph.D.

John Bernard is a Senior Nuclear Safety Consultant for Talisman and a member of the management team for the 6 MWt MIT Nuclear Research Reactor that is operated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has more than 40 years of nuclear safety experience, including operating and management experience with MIT and the U.S. Navy. At MIT, Dr. Bernard has served as the Reactor Superintendent, Director of Reactor Operations, and Interim Director of the Nuclear Reactor Laboratory. Dr. Bernard served as a Lieutenant in the nuclear navy where he was in charge of radiological controls and water chemistry.

Dr. Bernard also holds an appointment as a Principal Research Engineer in both MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSED) and in the MIT Nuclear Reactor Laboratory (NRL). In the former capacity (NSED), he has written successful proposals for research on the closed-loop digital control of nuclear reactor power. This work resulted in the theoretical formulation and experimental demonstration of (1) the “reactivity constraint approach” which is a supervisory method for the closed-loop control of reactor power; (2) the “MIT-SNL Period-Generated Minimum Time Control Laws,” which are a technique for the rapid adjustment of reactor power; and (3) a rule-based controller based on an expert systems approach. In the later capacity (NRL), Dr. Bernard has written numerous successful grants for the upgrading of instrumentation and equipment at the MITR.

Dr. Bernard also teaches in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. He also periodically teaches courses on reactor physics. Dr. Bernard has thrice been elected chairman of the National Organization of Test, Research, and Training Reactors (TRTR) which represents the university reactor community in its dealings with both NRC and DOE. In this capacity, he has conducted audits of member reactors at their request. As both TRTR Chair and as a long-standing member of the TRTR Executive Committee, Dr. Bernard has interacted on numerous occasions with Congressional Staff. Dr. Bernard has also held elected positions within the American Nuclear Society including the Chairmanship of the Isotopes and Radiation Division and a membership on the Board of Directors. He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society.

Dr. Bernard received his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering and M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.   He also holds his Degree of Nuclear Engineer from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He received a B.S. in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University and is a Graduate of the U.S. Navy Nuclear Power School.