Dr. Sam Vaidyanathan is a leading expert on advanced nuclear fuel development, with experience in the development, testing, and engineering of nuclear fuels, materials, and core components. He has an extensive background in both light water reactors and fast reactors. In 2006, Dr. Vaidyanathan became a senior technical advisor to Lightbridge Corporation.
As a top fuel technology leader at GE Nuclear, Dr. Vaidyanathan was senior program manager and principal engineer for fuel development and plutonium disposition. Among many accomplishments, he coordinated the GE Astro-Space Division’s highly successful national task force for the multidisciplinary effort to qualify uranium nitride fuel for space reactor applications. He also worked in GE’s Nuclear Systems Technology Operation, where he collaborated with scientists from the U.S. government’s nuclear laboratories. Dr. Vaidyanathan, who has led studies on plutonium conversion and on mixed oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication, has also pioneered technical strategies for the disposition of weapon-grade plutonium as MOX fuel in boiling water reactors and has developed methods to better evaluate safeguards during the disposition process. As a consulting engineer, Dr. Vaidyanathan served as an expert on space nuclear reactor power systems and concepts, published in scientific journals on topics such as reliable space reactors, and researched fuel additives in relation to pellet-cladding interaction in nuclear reactors.
Dr. Vaidyanathan earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.