Larry W. Brown was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in September 2006 to be a member of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. Prior to 2001, Mr. Brown served on active duty in the United States Navy, and on retirement in 1996 completed a law degree. He began his military service as a Seaman Recruit and retired as a United States Navy Captain after having served from 1963 to 1996 onboard ten ships, including nuclear submarines, destroyers, frigates, supply ships, and a nuclear aircraft carrier. He retired from the Board in February, 2011. Early in his career he qualified in nuclear plant operations on three naval nuclear reactors.
His last two sea tours were as Commanding Officer of the Guided Missile Destroyer USS LUCE (1989-91), and of the Guided Missile Frigate USS MAHLON S. TISDALE (1991-92), respectively. While serving as Commanding Officer, his ships earned many awards including the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award and the Squadron nomination for the Pacific Fleet Lamps (Helicopter) Safety Award. He earned six personal awards while serving in the United States Navy, including the Legion of Merit for service on the staff of the Chief of Operations in 1996.
Upon retirement he completed law school and subsequently worked as an attorney before joining the Administration in 2001. Mr. Brown was assigned to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and worked as the Senior Policy Advisor for nuclear, spent fuel and non-proliferation and nuclear security issues. In this role he provided recommendations on a broad cross-section of key issues to the Office of Nuclear Energy, the Office of Environmental Management, the Office of Non-proliferation and International Security, the Under Secretary, and the Deputy Secretary of Energy.
As a DOE Senior Policy Advisor he coordinated efforts to capture value from the government’s uranium inventories, while encouraging private industry to modernize nuclear fuel cycle facilities in the United States. His efforts contributed to the resolution of private claims for prior transfers of 9,950 tons of contaminated natural uranium, decontamination of nearly 15,000 tons of technetium contaminated natural uranium, and recognition of the value of the government’s large inventory of high assay depleted uranium. At the end of his term at DOE, the stagnant U.S. uranium enrichment industry, which previously had no concrete plans for deployment of new enrichment technology, had begun two privately funded technology development and deployment initiatives.
In 2005 the Deputy Secretary directed him to lead the DOE Task Force that developed the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), subsequently a Presidential initiative, with the objective of eliminating the major impediments to the expansion of commercial nuclear energy, including — on a global scale — closing the nuclear fuel cycle, reducing commercial nuclear waste and stemming the illicit spread of sensitive nuclear technologies. In 2006 Mr. Brown was presented the Secretary of Energy’s Silver Award in special recognition of his work on the President’s Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.
His last position at the Department of Energy before joining the Board was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Corporate Business Operations in the Office of Nuclear Energy where he spearheaded the GNEP international initiative, which has since been embraced by all the world’s major nuclear power nations, and many others.
Since reporting to the Board, Mr. Brown has visited all the defense nuclear sites multiple times, focusing attention on the facilities material condition, formality of operations, and safety issues associated with wet chemistry operations. In addition he has highlighted the importance of DOE establishing the robust radiological safety Research and Development program discussed in the Board’s recommendation 2004-1, and strengthening government contractor oversight principally through thoroughly qualified and adequately staffed Facility Representative (FACREP) programs at each defense nuclear site.
Separate and apart from his duties as a Board Member, he has continued to participate in conferences discussing the future of commercial nuclear power, speaking principally on the issues of non-proliferation of sensitive technologies. In 2007 he spoke on the subject of non-proliferation at the GNR2 (Global Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing and Recycling) Conference, and at the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy conference on “The Role of Nuclear Power in Global and Domestic Energy Policy: Recent Developments and Future Expectations”, and for the third time he participated in the bi-annual US-Japan Workshop on Nuclear Energy.
- J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1998. He is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
- M.A., United States Naval War College, Newport, RI, 1993, (National Security and Strategic Studies).
- B.A., University of Colorado, 1972.(Physics)