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Two National Nuclear Technology Organizations Bestow Statesman Honor on Joseph Farley

WASHINGTON—Joseph M. Farley, retired chairman of the board of Southern Nuclear Operating Co., today was honored with the Henry deWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award. Farley, for whom a two-unit Alabama nuclear power plant is named, was recognized as an industry leader who for more than 40 years made major contributions to the development of nuclear energy.

The Henry deWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award, given annually by the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), was presented to Joseph Farley 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.

A native of Birmingham, Ala., Farley received an engineering degree from Princeton and a law degree from Harvard University before embarking on an electric utility career that was central to energy and economic growth in the Southeast over the past 40 years. He served as president of Alabama Power Co. for 20 years before joining Southern Nuclear Operating Co. upon its incorporation in 1990. At the time of his retirement in November 1992, Farley was serving as chairman of the board of Southern Nuclear Operating Co. and executive vice president and corporate counsel of The Southern Company.

ANS President Ted Quinn noted during his presentation of the Smyth Award that Farley's career with The Southern Company was only part of the vigorous efforts that Farley put forth in support of nuclear energy worldwide.

"Joseph Farley demonstrated his dedication to the peaceful use of nuclear energy through the leadership roles in such organizations as the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, the Nuclear Energy Institute and its predecessor organizations, the Nuclear Power Oversight Committee, and the Edison Electric Institute," Quinn said. "During his time at Southern Nuclear Operating Company, he was often called upon to present testimony to the United States Congress on nuclear-related issues. His expertise was acknowledged and sought after by regulatory bodies, legislators and utility executives."

Even after "retiring," Farley continued to contribute to the future of nuclear energy by serving as chairman of the Nuclear Power Oversight Committee's Ad Hoc Committee on Advanced Reactors, and he has promoted an array of civic, community and charitable endeavors, Quinn noted.

Dr. Smyth 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 to 1954 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. Dr. Smyth 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