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Elected in 1976

“For contributions in nuclear power utilization and in nuclear engineering education.”


THOMAS H. PIGFORD, professor emeritus and founding chair of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and an influential voice in nuclear policy, died at the age of 87 on February 28, 2010. Pigford’s five-decade career in nuclear engineering spanned reactor design, nuclear safety, fuel cycles, and radioactive waste management.

At UC Berkeley, Pigford led a research program to develop the theoretical means for predicting the long-term behavior of radioactive and chemical waste in underground disposal sites. Results of this research have been used in the design of geologic repositories in the United States and abroad. He championed nuclear power but not at the expense of appropriate safeguards for health and the environment. He was respected among scientists and environmentalists alike for his technical expertise and objectivity.

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