Robert J. Budnitz portrait. Cr. Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab., XBD201408-01063-02.tiff

Robert Jay Budnitz

Guest Physicist Project Scientist/Engineer


Building 074, Room 0107D


Phone: 510-486-7829

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Robert J. Budnitz has been involved with nuclear-reactor safety and radioactive-waste safety for many years. He is a Guest Scientist at the University of California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he works on nuclear power safety and security and radioactive-waste management. From 2002 to 2007 he was at UC’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, during which period he worked on a two-year special assignment (late 2002 to late 2004) in Washington to assist the Director of 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, serving in 1975-1978 as Associate Director of LBL 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.