Robert Pierson is a Senior Nuclear Safety Consultant to Talisman with over 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. In his last position in the public sector as Director of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards (FCSS), Mr. Pierson led NRC’s regulatory program for fuel cycle and special nuclear material (SNM) facilities licensed under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, or certified in accordance with the Energy Policy Act of 1992. As Director of FCSS, Mr. Pierson led the Division responsible for the implementation of the NRC’s revision of 10 CFR Part 70 which required an integrated safety analysis for SNM fuel cycle facilities. He also directed the NRC’s successful licensing of two commercial gas centrifuge enrichment facilities as well as the issuance of the Construction Authorization for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication facility. He retired from the NRC with 30 years of government service including 18 years in the Senior Executive Service. During his career Mr. Pierson received the NRC’s Meritorious and Distinguished Service Awards and the Presidential Rank Meritorious Award.
Mr. Pierson’s NRC career included a number of fuel cycle and reactor safety assignments at NRC headquarters in Rockville and at the NRC Region II Office in Atlanta, Georgia. Early in his NRC career, Mr. Pierson served as a resident inspector at an operating nuclear facility in Region II. He later served as a headquarters-based inspector and he helped lead the NRC’s inspection and design review efforts to establish the safety basis for restarting the Tennessee Valley Authority nuclear facilities following their shutdown in the 1980’s. As an NRC senior executive in the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation he served as a Project Director for operating reactors in Region III and he led an effort by NRC to conduct pre-application safety reviews for a number of reactors including sodium cooled, gas cooled and heavy water moderated designs. Following his assignment to the Office of Nuclear Materials Safety and Safeguards, Mr. Pierson served as a Branch Chief conducting safety reviews of fuel cycle facilities regulated under 10 CFR Parts 40 and 70. Subsequently Mr. Pierson led the NRC’s efforts to establish and provide the regulatory oversight for the Department of Energy’s gaseous diffusion enrichment facilities following the privatization of these facilities as enacted by the Energy Policy Act of 1992. During this time, as an NRC employee, he also assisted the Department of Energy (DOE) in establishing the regulatory framework for the proposed Waste Vitrification Facility which was being designed to treat waste at DOE’s Hanford site.
Mr. Pierson began his career as an officer in the nuclear navy. Before joining the NRC, he worked for Wyle Laboratories where he conducted environmental equipment qualification testing in support of the nuclear industry. Mr. Pierson holds an M. E. in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a B. S. in Physics from West Virginia University. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in North Carolina, Maryland and West Virginia.