Alexander Adams Jr.

Senior Consultant (AdSTM)
Core Competencies: 

Competence in research reactor engineering, operations, management, regulation and licensing. Over 45 years of experience with research reactors; 12 years in engineering, operations and management of a 2 MW research reactor facility, and 33 years at NRC in the regulation and licensing of research reactors. Extensive experience in all aspects of NRC licensing of non-power utilization and production facilities including Branch Chief of the Research and Test Reactors Licensing Bench. Areas of expertise in research reactors include:

  • Licensing project management
  • Licensing technical review
  • Licensing application guidance development
  • Standard Review Plan development
  • Reactor operations
  • High enriched to low enriched uranium core conversion
  • Initial licensing and license renewal
Career Highlights: 
Advanced Systems and Technology Management (AdSTM)
February 2020 to Present
U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S. NRC)
1986 - 2019

Branch Chief (2/13 to 1/19), Research and Test Reactor (RTR) Licensing Branch; Project Manager (10/86 to 4/92); and Senior Project Manager (4/92 to 2/13 and 1/19 to 12/19) for RTRs.
Served as the branch chief for the RTR Licensing Branch. Directed all aspects of the licensing of 31 operating RTRs. Oversaw the development of licensing policy and issuance of two construction permits for medical isotope production facilities. Directed rulemaking effort for proposed rule to eliminate license renewal for research reactors.

Conducted safety, safeguards and environmental review and evaluation of NRC licensed RTR facilities. This included over 150 licensing actions such as license amendments, license renewals, decommissioning amendments, license terminations, high-enriched to low-enriched uranium core conversions and low-enriched uranium fuel approvals. Acted as the technical reviewer for many of these reviews. Review products included safety evaluation reports and supplements, environmental documentation, requests for additional information, technical specifications and licenses.

Coordinated and participated as the NRC representative in the development of regulations, standards, policies and guidance on RTRs. Admitted as an expert witness for Commission hearings on two medical isotope facility construction permits. Provided technical assistance to other parts of the NRC with respect to NRC licensing RTR regulations, standards and guides.

Acted as project manager and major technical contributor to NUREG-1537, “Guidelines for Preparation and Reviewing Applications for the Licensing of Non-Power Reactors,” which is the primary guidance document that RTR licensees follow when submitting licensing applications to NRC and is the standard review plan that the NRC staff follows in the evaluation of applications from RTR licensees.

Developed and represented NRC’s position to American Nuclear Society standards committees. These committees included ANS-15, “Operation of Research Reactors,” and its supervising committee, “Research and Advanced Reactors Consensus Committee.” Represented NRC on individual standards committees such as ANS-15.1, “The Development of Technical Specifications for Research Reactors,” and ANS-15.21, “Format and Content for Safety Analysis Reports for Research Reactors,” serving as the standard chair.

Assisted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during Consultant Meetings and Technical Committee Meetings (served as Chairman of select meetings), contributing to the development of international standards for research reactors. Presented at IAEA workshops on Research Reactor Inspection and Strengthening the Safety Infrastructure for the Introduction of Nuclear Power. Represented NRC on the Technical Working Group on Research Reactors, which advised IAEA management on their research reactor program.

Presented invited papers on RTR regulation at ANS national meetings. At the request of the Department of Energy, met with regulators from Mexico, Belgium and Russia to discuss conversion of research reactors to low-enriched uranium fuel. Served as project manager for development of the RTR training course used as part of the NRC RTR qualification process and presented the regulatory portion of the course.

Had significant involvement in the post-September 11, 2001, security assessment of RTRs. Involved in the development of the framework process for the security assessment of research reactors and materials facilities and the development of the comprehensive report that summarized the status of security at research reactors and provided recommendations on additional steps to take in this area.

State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo Materials Research Center/Nuclear Science and Technology Facility
1975 - 1986

Reactor Engineer (1983 - 1986)

Reactor Supervisor (1981 - 1983)

Reactor Operator/Senior Reactor Operator (1975 - 1981)

Served as the Reactor Engineer (non-teaching tenured position) of nuclear research center with a 2 MW(t) PULSTAR Reactor. Conducted engineering reviews and acted as project engineer to support facility operation. Served as the University special nuclear material accountability officer. Trained new operators and retrained existing operators. Authored reactor operating procedures and manuals. Supervised nuclear reactor operators and senior reactor operators and operated nuclear reactor. Planned and conducted preventive and major maintenance on the facility. Operated experimental equipment and implemented experimental programs to meet program objectives. Acted as shift health physicist and shift security officer.

Professional Development and Achievements: 

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Reactor Operator/Senior Reactor Operator Licenses
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Distinguished Service Award
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Meritorious Service Award
Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration, Distinguished Career Service Award


B.S., Nuclear Engineering, 1977
MBA, Management Science, 1983
MBA, Accounting, 1987
State University of New York at Buffalo