WASHINGTON—The nuclear energy industry today bestowed its top individual award on R. Patrick McDonald, retired president of Southern Nuclear Operating Co. and executive director of Advance Reactor Corp. (ARC). McDonald was presented with the William S. Lee Award for Industry Leadership for guidance that has helped prepare the industry, which supplies 20 percent of U.S. electricity needs, for the licensing of the next generation of nuclear power plants.
The award was presented today at the Nuclear Energy Institute's annual conference at the Washington Monarch Hotel.
After a 19-year career with The Southern Company, McDonald from 1993-98 served as executive director of ARC, an industry-government collaboration that pioneered "first-of-a-kind" engineering designs for a new generation of nuclear power plants.
"Pat brought to ARC a steadfast determination to pioneer advanced reactor development. He demonstrated leadership and foresight in coordinating international participation to identify owner/operator requirements," said Erle Nye, chairman of the board of the Nuclear Energy Institute and chairman of the board and chief executive of Texas Utilities Co.
"He was instrumental in working with ABB Combustion Engineering, GE Nuclear, and Westinghouse on the development and standardization of three advanced reactor designs. And he provided significant guidance to the industry in the design certification process. Pat has devoted a lifetime—all of his talents and efforts—to the nuclear energy industry. We are the better for it, and we will always be grateful."
McDonald joined The Southern Company system in 1974 at Alabama Power Co. as manager of operations quality assurance. He was elected vice president of power supply services in 1977, vice president of nuclear generation in 1980 and senior vice president in 1984. In 1988, when The Southern Company announced plans to form Southern Nuclear
Operating Co., he was elected executive vice president of Georgia Power and executive vice president of Alabama Power. In 1991, he became president of Southern Nuclear Operating Co. In 1992, he was elected chief executive officer and in 1993, chairman of the board.
The William S. Lee Award for Industry Leadership, formerly the Chairman's Award, was renamed in Lee's honor following his death in 1996. Lee, who in many ways was the industry's most vocal safety advocate in the aftermath of the 1979 Three Mile Island accident, was serving as chairman emeritus of Duke Power Co. when he died. Lee was a recipient of the Chairman's Award for Industry Leadership in 1995.
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.