the development of new experimental techniques in reactor physics and their applications to a better understanding of theoretical models of chain reacting systems.”
Kouts was one of the five coinventors of the High Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR), in operation from 1965 to 1999. In 1988 the ANS cited experiments at the HFBR in which “the data obtained have played a central role in the development and understanding of solutions to many problems in solid state physics, chemistry, and structural biology.”
In 1968, Kouts became the first head of the new Technical Support Organization at BNL, which was established to advise and assist the AEC on nuclear safeguards. Five years later, in 1973, he became the AEC director of the Division of Reactor Safety Research. Then in 1975 he became director of the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research for the newly formed Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). He was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the AEC in 1975 and from the NRC in 1976.
Kouts returned to BNL in 1976 as head of the International Safeguards Project Office, being named chair of the Department of Nuclear Energy in 1977. He became a member of the International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1985, and, following the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident in April 1986, he coauthored the IAEA’s report on Chernobyl.
In 1988, Kouts stepped down as department chair, continuing at BNL as a senior physicist. Retiring a year later, he was named presidential appointee to the Defense Nuclear Facility Safety (DNFS) Board, an agency that oversees nuclear safety at DOE defense facilities. He remained there until 1997, then became a consultant until 2000. As Newsday quoted DNFS Chair A. J. Eggenberger, “Kouts had a tremendous influence in nuclear safety matters, essentially through the life of the industry until now.”