WASHINGTON—Corbin A. McNeill Jr., chairman and co-chief executive officer of Exelon Corp., today was awarded the Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award. McNeill was honored for his extraordinary leadership, 40-plus years of dedicated service to the nuclear field, and his exceptional vision that has helped set the stage for the resurgence of nuclear energy in the 21st century.
The Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award, given annually by the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), was presented to McNeill during NEI’s annual conference at the Washington Monarch Hotel. The award was established in 1972 to commemorate the life’s work of the Princeton University physicist and U.S. ambassador who played an important role in the development of atomic energy beginning in the 1940s.
“Corbin’s vision and leadership are extremely important at this time for creating an exciting future for nuclear energy in the United States,” said Dr. James Lake, ANS president, upon presenting McNeill with the Smyth Award.
McNeill has been a driving force in many major industry developments in recent years amid the deregulation of the nation’s electricity markets. He was at the forefront of industry consolidation, moving swiftly to acquire nuclear power plants and investing in new nuclear technology. He pioneered the management of refueling outages with efficiencies, now incorporated industrywide, that have dramatically reduced outage times and fostered record levels of electricity production the past two years. He also is among a group of industry executives who have pushed the industry aggressively toward the expeditious extension of power plant operating licenses for an additional 20 years.
“The expansion of the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is, again, being rekindled in the United States, in large part, because of Corbin’s leadership, experience and hard work,” said Edward Quinn, vice president of MDM Services and past president of ANS, who nominated McNeill for the award.
Similarly, former ANS President and previous Smyth Award winner John Simpson lauded McNeill in a nomination letter for his “able devotion to the advancement of nuclear science and engineering.”
Exelon is one of the nation's largest utility services companies and America’s largest nuclear generating company with 17 nuclear reactors in Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. McNeill also is president of Exelon Generation, a unit of Exelon Corp.
Prior to embarking on his electric utility career, McNeill received a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and completed a distinguished, 20-year military career in the U.S. Navy after serving as Commanding Officer of both the USS Tautog and the Naval Nuclear Power School.
McNeill served in senior nuclear executive positions for the New York Power Authority and Public Service Electric and Gas before joining PECO Energy as executive vice president of nuclear in March 1988. He was elected chairman, president and chief executive officer of PECO Energy in July 1997. That same year, McNeill led the aggressive and bold formation of AmerGen Energy, PECO Energy’s joint venture with British Energy, which helped restore prestige and value to nuclear power assets.
In addition, McNeill serves on the board of directors of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), Associated Electric and Gas Services Limited (AEGIS). Until this year, he was a member of the NEI board of directors.
The award is named in honor of Henry DeWolf Smyth, who chaired Princeton’s physics department and authored the federal government’s official report on the development of the atomic bomb, “Atomic Energy for Military Purposes.” He served on the Atomic Energy Commission from 1949-54 and was appointed by President John Kennedy as the U.S. representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with the rank of ambassador until 1970. Smyth also advocated an international partnership to develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org .