Ed Lyman

Senior scientist

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Dr. Lyman received his PhD in physics from Cornell University in 1992. He was a postdoctoral research scientist at Princeton University's Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, and then served as Scientific Director and President of the Nuclear Control Institute. He joined UCS in 2003. He is an active member of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management and has served on expert panels of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. His research focuses on security issues associated with the management of nuclear materials and the operation of nuclear power plants, particularly with respect to reprocessing and civil plutonium. Areas of expertise: Nuclear terrorism, proliferation risks of nuclear power, nuclear weapons policy

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Ed's Latest Posts

UCS to the NRC: Stop Dragging Your Feet on Important Nuclear Security Updates

Yesterday, UCS sent a letter to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) chairman Stephen Burns urging the NRC to quickly issue new versions of two outdated security documents that play a critical role in defining how nuclear plants can be adequately protected against terrorist attacks. Read more >

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Reflections on the IAEA Nuclear Security Conference: More Participants, Less Focus

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the conference on nuclear security in Vienna sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The conference was enormous, with 2,000 participants from 130 countries. The US official delegation alone had over 100 people. I heard (but have not substantiated) that the ministerial meeting that preceded the technical meeting attracted a larger number of national delegations than any other IAEA conference in its history. By one measure—inclusivity—the conference seems to have been a success.

However, that success came at a price: a reduction of focus on the most serious nuclear threat—the theft of fissile materials (highly-enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium) that terrorists could use to make improvised nuclear weapons. Read more >

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Photo: Savannah River Site

Let’s Get a Better Deal on Plutonium Disposition

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to renegotiate international agreements to get “better deals” for the United States. A good place for him to start would be the U.S.-Russia Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA), which obligates each country to dispose of 34 metric tons of excess plutonium from their military stockpiles, so the dangerous material cannot easily be reused for nuclear weapons. Collectively, this plutonium is enough for more than 15,000 nuclear bombs. Read more >

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New Army Corps of Engineers Report Reveals that the Problems with MOX Run Deep

Late Friday afternoon, the Department of Energy released an updated assessment of the status of construction of the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) at the Savannah River Site (SRS). The report contains more bad news for the troubled facility. Read more >

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Nuclear Plant Security on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11: The Need to Remain Vigilant

Although the September 11, 2001, attacks are becoming a distant memory, it would be a big mistake to forget that the danger to the United States from both international and domestic terrorists remains very real today. Unfortunately, U.S. nuclear power plant owners are experiencing collective denial about their facilities’ vulnerability to sabotage attacks that could cause widespread radiological contamination. Read more >

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