Dr. Ronald G. Ballinger was appointed to the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board by President Joseph Biden on October 25, 2022.
Ronald G. Ballinger is a Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Science and Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Professor Ballinger was also Head of the H.H. Uhlig Corrosion Laboratory in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. Professor Ballinger was active in the teaching of graduate and undergraduate subjects in reactor design, fuel performance, radiation effects, corrosion engineering, chemistry, mechanical behavior, and physical metallurgy.
Professor Ballinger served for 8 years in the nuclear navy before attending college. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1975. He received his S.M. in Nuclear Engineering in 1977 and in Materials Science and Engineering in 1978. He received his Sc.D. in Nuclear Materials Engineering in 1982. After receiving his Sc.D., he joined the faculty at MIT.
Professor Ballinger's areas of specialization are materials selection and engineering of nuclear engineering systems with an emphasis on environmental degradation and life assessment of these systems. Specific areas of research were: (1) environmental effects on material behavior, (2) physical metallurgical and electrochemical aspects of environmentally assisted cracking in aqueous systems, (3) stress corrosion cracking and hydrogen embrittlement in Light Water Reactor (LWR) systems, (4) failure analysis of engineering structures, (5) the effect of radiation on aqueous chemistry, (6) experimental fatigue and fracture mechanics, (7) degradation of materials properties and their effects on component life, (8) nuclear fuel performance including, gas reactor coated particle fuel and environmental degradation, processing, and storage of metallic uranium fuel, and (9) materials development for advanced reactor and fusion systems including, supercritical water, supercritical carbon dioxide, liquid metal, high temperature gas reactor and cryogenic structural applications.
Professor Ballinger was a founding member and still is a member of the International Cooperative Group on Environmentally Assisted Cracking of Light Water Reactor Materials (ICG-EAC). The ICG-EAC is charged with the development of methodology for understanding of LWR materials.
Professor Ballinger has served on several U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) committees dealing with the stabilization, processing and disposition of metallic uranium fuel from the production reactors as well as from research reactors including teams to evaluate options for the Hanford, Savannah River, and Idaho National Engineering Laboratory sites. He has been, a member of several DOE committees to evaluate advanced reactor options and materials for these options. These committees include: (1) Independent Technical Review Group: Design Features and Technology Uncertainties for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant, (2) Power Conversion Unit Study Committee, and (3) the Idaho National Laboratory Materials Review Board. Professor Ballinger was a member of the Independent Performance Assessment Review Panel that evaluated the total system performance assessment for the license application for the Yucca Mountain waste repository.
Professor Ballinger was appointed to the NRC Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards in 2013. He was reappointed to a third 4-year term in 2021.