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Professor Neil E. Todreas of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering has been awarded the Henry DeWolf Smyth Statesman Award in recognition of "statesmanlike contributions to the many aspects of nuclear energy activities."
The award, established by the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and the Nuclear Energy Institute in 1972, was presented May 18 by James S. Tulenko, ANS president.
Tulenko said of Todreas, "He has bridged academia and public service in contributing to the advancement of the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. His stewardship and leadership in the Nuclear Power Reactor Safety Courses at MIT has had a great influence on utility executives, helping to develop a strong safety culture in our utility industry."
Todreas' career began in the late 1950s when he was an engineer on the Naval Reactors program staff of the legendary Adm. Hyman Rickover. He joined the MIT faculty in 1970 and served as head of the school's Nuclear Engineering Department from 1981-89. In 1992, the Korea Electric Power Co. named Todreas the first KEPCO Professor of Nuclear Engineering at MIT, establishing the professorship with a $2 million endowment.
Todreas has served in various advisory roles with the Department of Energy since 1985, most notably as co-chair of the Generation IV initiative, participating in a wide-ranging discussion on the development of next-generation (or Generation IV) nuclear energy systems.
In accepting the award, Todreas said, "Early in my career, I gained a superb technical education from the technical leaders in the Navy's nuclear reactor program and from MIT's nuclear engineering faculty. Equally significant, I developed from them a passion for this technology because of its ability to make a difference in peoples' lives--a difference throughout the world.
"Nuclear energy is uniquely suited to contribute to the growing energy challenge--environmentally, economically and geopolitically. It produces no greenhouse gases, utilizes uranium fuel, which is abundant worldwide, and can contribute to hydrogen production.
"The receipt of the Smyth Award in part for my efforts in setting in place the building blocks for nuclear energy's future is very much appreciated and will certainly be the spur for my continued efforts to make this vision the future reality."