Mr. Joseph J. DiNunno

Former Board Member

Retired Board Member Photo

Joseph J. DiNunno was nominated to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board in 1992. Following confirmation by the United States Senate, DiNunno assumed his official duties on August 13, 1992 and served until his retirement in May 2002.  

Prior to joining the Board, he had more than five decades of diverse engineering and environmental experience, including 40 years in the nuclear field in senior positions within both the Federal Government and private industry.

He began his professional career in 1942 as an electrical engineer with Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Shortly thereafter, he joined the Department of the Navy, and for the next 17 years assumed increasingly responsible positions with the Bureau of Ships, the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, and the Naval Reactors Branch of the Bureau of Ships/Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). His initial assignment at Naval Reactors was oversight of the development of advanced instrumentation and controls for naval nuclear reactors. Admiral Rickover subsequently assigned DiNunno as Project Officer for the nuclear power plant of the USS Long Beach.

Upon transferring to AEC in 1959, DiNunno became a member of the regulatory staff that reviewed the safety aspects of the design, construction and operation of nuclear reactors, Space Nuclear Auxiliary Power systems, and a variety of uranium and plutonium processing facilities. Among his assignments was the matrix management of subject matter experts in reactor pressure vessel design, instrumentation and control systems, emergency power systems, core designs and containment systems. He also coordinated the regulatory program of reactor safety research and directed the development of reactor siting and safety standards. In 1967, he was assigned to Paris as AEC's Scientific Representative, where he served as technical liaison with atomic energy authorities in ten European countries, the Nuclear Energy Agency, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. In 1969, Mr. DiNunno returned to AEC headquarters to head the agency's first Office of Environmental Affairs. This office served as the principal AEC interface with local and national environmental groups concerned about the impact of nuclear power development on the environment and with the federal Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and other federal agencies in the development of plans for AEC implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act.

From 1972 to 1983, Mr. DiNunno was employed by the NUS Corporation. As Vice President and General Manager of the Environmental Safeguards Division, and later Technical Director of the Environmental Systems Group, he was responsible for engineering and environmental services provided both industry and the government. He managed and technically directed an inter-disciplinary staff of meteorologists, hydrologists, geologists, ecologists, socio-economists, geographers, land use planners and nuclear engineers. The Environmental Systems Group included both an Ecological Science Laboratory and a Radiation Environmental Monitoring Laboratory. It provided support services to a broad range of clients in the areas of site selection, site qualification, environmental reports, air and waste water discharge permitting and licensing as required to satisfy federal and state environmental protection requirements (National Environmental Policy Act, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation). These services were performed on a wide variety of nuclear and non-nuclear projects, including environmental investigations of sites for both low-and high-level radioactive wastes.

With the exception of 2 years of full-time employment with R.F. Weston (1986-88) in support of the Department of Energy's Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program, Mr. DiNunno continued his professional career part-time (1983-92) as an independent consultant, providing environmental and nuclear safety advisory services to both industry and the government. His career included a number of years as a member of the Space Applications Board of the National Research Council and the Citizens' Advisory Panel on the Cleanup of Three Mile Island.

Mr. DiNunno has written extensively on such issues as the safety of nuclear reactors and environmental considerations in power plant siting. He has also lectured on these topics at universities and industry seminars.

Mr. DiNunno graduated in 1942 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. He earned a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1954. In 1956-57, he received training in nuclear engineering at the Oak Ridge School of Reactor Technology.