Romney B. Duffey
Dr. Romney Duffey is an internationally recognized multi-disciplinary scientist, consultant, manager, speaker, author, and poet. Born on June 26, 1942, and educated in England, Dr. Duffey has over 50 years of unique experience in the UK, U.S., and Canada in nuclear technology development, risk assessment, industrial safety, nuclear-system design, and accident analysis. As an applied physicist, his career has included a wide span of senior power-industry and government positions as researcher, executive advisor, senior manager, published author, lecturer, and consultant. Dr. Duffey is globally known as a developer of new concepts and designs with innovation advantages and market potential, for contributions to risk management and reliability applications, and to the enhancement of our understanding of the physical world. In addition to working in the U.S., Canada, and the UK his international industrial, laboratory, and technical connections are worldwide.
Dr. Duffey's major technical analyses, interests, and original work are diverse in both topic and scope including:
risk analysis and reliability, including new learning models and methods;
thermal hydraulics and two-phase flow in reactor accidents;
sustainable fuel cycles and nonproliferation;
software and hardware reliability;
power-systems restoration prediction;
hydrogen and nuclear-power impact on climate change;
viral Covid-19 infection rate predictions;
advanced-reactor and design concepts;
memory and cognition theory;
safety management and risk-informed assessment principles; and
operations research, managing disasters, and predicting rare events.
From 1967 to 1977, at the Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories Central Electricity Generating Board, UK, Dr. Duffey developed, defined, and conducted R&D on reactor safety and performance, and on commercial design and bid evaluation assisting in the UK decision to build PWRs. Some of the safety R&D has since become classic references including fundamental work on quenching. He then moved to become a Senior Program Manager at the Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA, under Walt Loewenstein, conducting R&D for U.S. utilities for operating and new plant designs. Using major RD&D contracts, the programs under his overall purview for the utilities included the joint industry and U.S. NRC PWR FLECHT, BWR FIST and B&W MIST and LOFT safety test and analysis programs, and major software development including ATHOS for steam generators. With an ANS study team, Dr. Duffey was among the first to visit Chernobyl NPP and assist in the analysis of the accident sequence. A later key contribution was in the establishment of the pioneering CSAU (aka BEPU) analysis methods for defining uncertainties for reactor licensing purposes working with the team headed by NRC's Novak Zuber with Sol Levy, Gerry Lellouche, Ivan Catton, Brent Boyack, Gary Wilson, Wolfgang Wulff, Peter Griffith, and Kumar Rohatgi, and variations of the approach continue to this day.
In 1987, Dr. Duffey became the Deputy Department Manager and Group Manager, Energy and Systems Technology, EG&G Idaho, Inc., Idaho Falls, ID at the then Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, with responsibility for NRC and DOE safety-technology programs and other national initiatives, and development of programs on waste management, regulation, CFD, risk analysis, large computer codes (like RELAP5) and experiments supporting safety decisions. After briefly consulting with Larry Ybarrondo's Scientech Inc., in 1992, he was appointed Chairman and Senior Advisor, Department of Advanced Technology, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY. Here he oversaw the development and management of U.S. government technology, energy, and analysis programs (for DOE, DOS, EPA, DoD, and NRC), responsible for all aspects and functioning of large (circa $120M/annum) technology and research operations. These many and varied activities included the now rediscovered space-rocket propulsion, enhancing the safety of Russian reactors, treatment of wastes from submarine decommissioning, collaborative U.S. nonproliferation programs with IAEA, and custodian of the ENDF cross section library.
After that experience, in 1999, Dr. Duffey became The Principal Scientist for the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Chalk River as a strategic executive advisor under David Torgerson, responsible for advanced and future concepts; new product development; advice on overall R&D directions; analysis of global energy, environmental scenarios; negotiator for international technical-exchange agreements; and reviewer of energy policy, laboratory management, and market competitiveness. He was active in government and international contacts and technical business activities, in public consultations, and was the designated national technical Expert from the very beginnings of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). Working with Alistair Miller they developed NuWind as a then new approach to the coproduction of sustainable energy in competitive energy markets. With the GEN IV team at AECL, they also produced conceptual designs for high-efficiency, modular, and inherently safe reactors.
With the break-up of AECL, Dr. Duffey returned to the U.S. in 2011 and has enjoyed becoming simply an Author, occasional Consultant, and full-time Idaho resident among its mountains, hawks, deers, and amazing natural beauty. Having founded DSM Associates Inc. as a registered business vehicle, he pursued activities on comparative risks with the oil and gas industry, including after Deepwater Horizon, nuclear safety research, strategic infrastructure analysis, and countermeasure effectiveness and learning and losses in warfare. His most recent analyses and contributions to wider society examine with Enrico Zio the prediction of the infection risks, rates, waves from the Covid-19 pandemic, and the risk and resilience of critical infrastructures (like the electrical power grid) exposed to natural hazards, and with Francesco D'Auria on modern safety needs. Romney continues to publish technical papers and books on risk and safety for rare events, is working on completing his memoirs, and conducts original research on disasters and societal risk.
Francesco D'Auria notes that he met Romney in 1980 as a thermal hydraulic student at a course in California, where Romney was a teacher, and always kept in contact and met on many occasions. Remarkably, Romney hosted, around the year 2000, fifty students headed from Italy to U.S. and Canada and made possible or facilitated visits to Three Mile Island, Darlington, and Chalk River. Dr. Duffey's capabilities to discuss oil platforms, war, Covid, country energy strategies, politics, and hazards (and more …) and to frame all those topics into an analytical and rational picture is (simply) surprising. Contacts with Romney imply learning and, needless to, say, he met, cooperated with, and somewhat streamlined all progress-makers in the area of thermal hydraulics.
Dr. Duffey has written and published some 450 papers and articles (some in the listings below) with 5500 citations at Google Scholar, with over 37,000 online “reads” and 3500 citations at ResearchGate, and is a coauthor of several original texts on errors and learning in technology. Additional selected highlights and the most significant scientific publications of Dr. R. Duffey are listed in the Appendix at the end of this greeting.
On the occasion of his 80th birthday, on behalf of the Founding and current Journal Boards, his colleagues, and friends all over the world, we wish Dr. Romney Duffey a continuous active life in happiness and good health, and further scientific achievements!
Member of the ASME Presidential Task Force on Response to Japan Nuclear Power Plant Events and coauthor of the final report;
Founding member and representative on key GIF Groups (Experts, Economics and Systems);
Author and coauthor of over 450 published technical papers and reports, and coauthor of multiple Chapters in the Handbook of Generation IV Nuclear Reactors (2016), Managing Global Warming (2019), Global Warming: Engineering Solutions (2010), Nuclear Engineering Handbook (2009), Beyond Earth (2006), etc.
Coauthor of original texts Know the Risk (Elsevier, 2002), Managing Risk: The Human Element (Wiley, 2008), and Learning about Risk (KDP, 2021) concerning the safety of modern technological systems, accidents, learning, and the role of human error;
Coauthor of original text Heat Transfer and Hydraulic Resistance at Supercritical Pressures in Power Engineering Applications (ASME Press, 2007); and
Author of Dreams of Life, an anthology of poetry (LifeRich, 2014).
Awards and Distinctions
1981 Electric Power Research Institute Literary (Best Paper) Award
1986 American Nuclear Society Best Paper Award
1989 U.S. NRC Certificate of Appreciation
1990 EG&G Inc. Best Paper Award
1996–2006 ASME/JSME Certificates of Appreciation
2000 ASME Best Paper Award
2004 Elected ASME Fellow
2006 Elected Member International Nuclear Energy Academy
2010 ARS Conference Silver Award
2011 Innovation Award, AECL
2012 ASME President's Certificate
2012 ASME NED Distinguished Service Award
2015 Innovation Award AECL
2016 ASME Nuclear Engineering Division 60th Anniversary Medal
Professional Societies Positions
1989–1990 Chair, ANS Thermal-Hydraulics Division
1998–2007 Member: Conference Board of Canada Innovation Council
2001–2003 Chair, ASME Nuclear Engineering Division
2011–2013 Member, ASME President's Task Force on Fukushima
2018–2019 Member, CNS Council
Generation IV International Forum
2000–2011 Expert Group Member (Canada) and Policy Group Advisor
2000–2005 Chair, SCWR System Committee
Organization and Development of Major Conferences and Symposia
1990 General Chair, ANS International Conference on Noncommercial Reactors USA
1992 Technical Program Co-Chair ANS International Conference on Thermal Hydraulics (NURETH-5) U.S.
1996 General Chair, ASME/JSME International Conference On Nuclear Engineering (ICONE-4) U.S.
2000–2011 Track Leader, ASME/JSME/ChNS ICONE Conferences
2003–2005 Co-General Chair, ICONE 11, Japan and ICONE 13, China
2011 Conference Chair, Future of Heavy Water Reactors, Ottawa, ON, Canada
2011 General Chair, CNS Conference on Supercritical Reactors, Vancouver, BC, Canada