The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Dr. Robert Budnitz of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will be speaking on "The Yucca Mountain Repository: Technical Progress Report". The US Department of Energy, charged by the Congress with developing the Yucca Mountain repository as the nation's first deep-geological disposal site for high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, has made major progress on the repository in the last few years. DOE is preparing a license application to be submitted to the US NRC for NRC's review and approval. The design and analysis of both the repository and the surface facilities is well-along. This talk will present a technical progress report on the repository's design concept and DOE's technical approach for assuring safe long-term isolation.
Dr. Budnitz is currently on the staff of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (University of California), working on the Yucca Mountain Project on a special "detail" assignment to DOE in Washington. Formerly he worked for over two decades in a one-man consulting practice in Berkeley, CA, with emphasis on nuclear-facility safety, radioactive-waste management, and environmental effects of nuclear-power production. He is a former Director of Research at the US NRC; and a former Associate Director for Energy & Environment at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He holds a Ph.D. in physics (Harvard, 1968), and a B.A. in physics (Yale, 1961).