Robert Alvarez is a Senior Scholar at IPS, where he is currently focused on nuclear disarmament, environmental, and energy policies.

Between 1993 and 1999, Mr. Alvarez served as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment. While at DOE, he coordinated the effort to enact nuclear worker compensation legislation. In 1994 and 1995, Bob led teams in North Korea to establish control of nuclear weapons materials. He coordinated nuclear material strategic planning for the department and established the department’s first asset management program. Bob was awarded two Secretarial Gold Medals, the highest awards given by the department.

Prior to joining the DOE, Mr. Alvarez served for five years as a Senior Investigator for the U. S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, chaired by Senator John Glenn, and as one of the Senate’s primary staff experts on the U.S. nuclear weapons program. While serving for Senator Glenn, Bob worked to help establish the environmental cleanup program in the Department of Energy, strengthened the Clean Air Act, uncovered several serious nuclear safety and health problems, improved medical radiation regulations, and created a transition program for communities and workers affected by the closure of nuclear weapons facilities. In 1975 Bob helped found and direct the Environmental Policy Institute (EPI), a respected national public interest organization. He helped enact several federal environmental laws, wrote several influential studies and organized successful political coalitions. He helped organize a successful lawsuit on behalf of the family of Karen Silkwood, a nuclear worker and active union member who was killed under mysterious circumstances in 1974.

Bob Alvarez is an award winning author and has published articles in prominent publications such as Science Magazine, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Technology Review and The Washington Post. He has been featured in television programs such as NOVA and 60 Minutes.

Latest

Nuclear radiation suits

Rebranding the Nuclear Weapons Complex Won't Reform It

The latest effort examine and reform the U.S. nuclear weapons complex is being dominated by the interests of weapons contractors.
The Storage and Disposal Challenges of High Burnup Spent Power Reactor Fuel

The Storage and Disposal Challenges of High Burnup Spent Power Reactor Fuel

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has bowed to the wishes of nuclear reactor operators, motivated more by economics than safe spent nuclear fuel storage and disposal.
The West Lake Landfill: A Radioactive Legacy of the Nuclear Arms Race

The West Lake Landfill: A Radioactive Legacy of the Nuclear Arms Race

The wastes in this disposal site come from the dawn of the nuclear age. It is a danger to workers and the surrounding community and should be removed and isolated.
Minding the Nuclear Fault Line

Minding the Nuclear Fault Line

The federal government should transfer the spent nuclear fuel held at a shuttered nuclear power plant in Southern California before the next earthquake strikes.
Report: Reducing the Hazards of High-Level Radioactive Waste in Southern California

Report: Reducing the Hazards of High-Level Radioactive Waste in Southern California

A new IPS report addresses the potential risks of spent nuclear fuel storage at the San Onofre Nuclear Station (SONGS).
America’s Own Loose Nukes

America's Own Loose Nukes

The government can't simply bury its uranium-233 problem.
Managing the Uranium-233 Stockpile of the United States

Managing the Uranium-233 Stockpile of the United States

A shocking IPS report about the U.S. government's mismanagement of a dangerous bomb-grade nuclear material that they now want to bury straight into the ground.
A Radioactive Conflict of Interest

A Radioactive Conflict of Interest

Having the Energy Department manage radiation health research makes as much sense as giving tobacco companies the authority to see if smoking is bad for you.
Nuclear Tuna and NPR’s Trivialization

Nuclear Tuna and NPR's Trivialization

NPR shouldn't trivialize the risk of radioactive tuna from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Line-by-line Analysis of National Defense Authorization Act, Nuclear Provisions

A detailed analysis of the actions and impact of sections relating to nuclear weapons in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013.
Why Fukushima Is a Greater Disaster than Chernobyl and a Warning Sign for the U.S.

Why Fukushima Is a Greater Disaster than Chernobyl and a Warning Sign for the U.S.

The radioactive inventory of all the irradiated nuclear fuel stored in spent fuel pools at Fukushima is far greater and even more problematic than the molten cores.
Two Years After IPS Study, Department of Energy Moves to Dispose Plutonium

Two Years After IPS Study, Department of Energy Moves to Dispose Plutonium

More than 12.7 metric tons of plutonium that were previously declared "already disposed" will be discarded in a deep geological site away from humans.
Improving Spent-Fuel Storage at Nuclear Reactors

Improving Spent-Fuel Storage at Nuclear Reactors

Storing spent radioactive fuel in dry form rather than in increasingly jammed cooling pools is much safer, and can be done with already available funds.
No Nuclear Nirvana on the Horizon

No Nuclear Nirvana on the Horizon

Nearly a year after the Fukushima disaster and more than three decades after the Three Mile Island accident, nuclear power remains expensive, dangerous, and too radioactive for Wall Street.
The Human Face of the Nuclear Arms Race

The Human Face of the Nuclear Arms Race

The pernicious quest for nuclear arms all in the name of a "greater good" - has tens of thousands of human faces, who paid a bitter price, which we should not forget.

[VIDEO] A Former Insider's View of Nuclear Safety

In this interview with LinkTV's Miles Benson, we discuss where the nuclear industry falls short, and why more people should be concerned.

Quake Should be a Wake-up Call

Last month's earthquake constituted twice the ground motion that the reactors were designed to withstand. But the nuclear industry continues to delay and stonewall recommendations for safer storage.
Obama’s Commission on America’s Nuclear Future Endorses IPS Study

Obama's Commission on America's Nuclear Future Endorses IPS Study

President Obama's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future cites an IPS paper as a reason for endorsing measures to increase spent reactor fuel storage in hardened, dry containers.

Dangerous Nuclear Spent Fuel Pool Near Epicenter of East Coast Earthquake

An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale just occurred less than a hour ago. Its epicenter was in Mineral, Virginia, approximately 10 miles from two nuclear power reactors at the North Anna site. According to statement by a representative of Dominion Power the two reactors were designed to withstand a 5.9 to 6.1 quake.

Fixing America's Nuclear Waste Storage Problem

The corporations that own the nation's nuclear reactors are stuffing about four times more spent fuel into storage pools than the pools were designed to accommodate. Here's what we can do to fix this dangerous problem.

Project Director and Associate Fellow

Institute for Policy Studies

Nuclear Policy

bob@ips-dc.org

Topics of Interest

environment, Nuclear Policy, Nuclear Waste, nuclear weapons