Washington, D.C., April 18, 2011 — Dr. Peter B. Lyons was confirmed by the Senate on April 14 as the Department of Energy's assistant secretary for nuclear energy.
"Pete Lyons' depth of expertise and experience make him uniquely qualified for this role, and I am confident he will continue to serve the department, the president and the nation with distinction," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "I applaud the Senate for quickly taking action to approve his nomination, and I look forward to our work together to ensure that safe nuclear power plays an important role in America's clean energy future."
As assistant secretary for nuclear energy, Lyons will serve as the primary policy advisor to the Secretary of Energy and the DOE on key issues involving nuclear energy research, development and demonstration, as well as international nuclear activities.
His responsibilities will include managing federal programs aimed at fulfilling the potential of nuclear power as a major contributor in meeting our nation's energy supply, environmental and energy security needs.
Before his Senate confirmation to his new position, Lyons served as the acting assistant secretary for nuclear energy since November 2010, and as the principal deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Nuclear Energy at the DOE (2009-2010).
Prior to this appointment, Lyons served as a commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 2005 until his term ended in 2009.
From 2003 to 2005, Lyons served as science advisor on the staff of U.S. Senator Pete Domenici and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where he focused on military and civilian uses of nuclear technology, national science policy and nuclear non-proliferation.
From 1997 to 2003, Lyons was assigned by the Los Alamos National Laboratory to serve as science advisor on the staff of U.S. Senator Pete Domenici and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where he focused on military and civilian uses of nuclear technology, national science policy and nuclear non-proliferation.
From 1969 to 1996, Lyons held several positions at the Los Alamos National Laboratory including: director for industrial partnerships, deputy associate director for energy and environment, and deputy associate director — defense research and applications.
Lyons has published more than 100 technical papers, holds three patents related to fiber optics and plasma diagnostics, and served as chairman of the NATO Nuclear Effects Task Group for five years.
Lyons is a fellow of both the American Nuclear Society and the American Physical Society. He received his Ph.D. in nuclear astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology (1969) and his undergraduate degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Arizona (1964).