Robert Alvarez is a Senior Scholar at IPS, where he is currently focused on nuclear disarmament, environmental, and energy policies.

Between 1993 and 1999, Mr. Alvarez served as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment. While at DOE, he coordinated the effort to enact nuclear worker compensation legislation. In 1994 and 1995, Bob led teams in North Korea to establish control of nuclear weapons materials. He coordinated nuclear material strategic planning for the department and established the department’s first asset management program. Bob was awarded two Secretarial Gold Medals, the highest awards given by the department.

Prior to joining the DOE, Mr. Alvarez served for five years as a Senior Investigator for the U. S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, chaired by Senator John Glenn, and as one of the Senate’s primary staff experts on the U.S. nuclear weapons program. While serving for Senator Glenn, Bob worked to help establish the environmental cleanup program in the Department of Energy, strengthened the Clean Air Act, uncovered several serious nuclear safety and health problems, improved medical radiation regulations, and created a transition program for communities and workers affected by the closure of nuclear weapons facilities. In 1975 Bob helped found and direct the Environmental Policy Institute (EPI), a respected national public interest organization. He helped enact several federal environmental laws, wrote several influential studies and organized successful political coalitions. He helped organize a successful lawsuit on behalf of the family of Karen Silkwood, a nuclear worker and active union member who was killed under mysterious circumstances in 1974.

Bob Alvarez is an award winning author and has published articles in prominent publications such as Science Magazine, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Technology Review and The Washington Post. He has been featured in television programs such as NOVA and 60 Minutes.


Snapshots of the Economic Stimulus

An easy-to-follow breakdown of the far-reaching federal stimulus plan.

A New Energy Future Means a New Energy Department

Among Steven Chu’s most daunting challenges will be reforming the Energy Department itself.

Reprocessing Spent Nuclear Fuel Too Risky

Nuclear energy is not the right alternative for the United States.

Nuclear Recycling Fails the Test

The debate over nuclear power is heating up, along with the planet. Can nuclear fuel recycling be part of the mix? Not a chance.

U.S.-Russian Nuclear Agreement Raises Serious Concerns

Many Democrats and Republicans oppose the accord because of fears that Russia is providing Iran with nuclear and military assistance. There are also bipartisan concerns about its potential nonproliferation problems.

The Unfinished Business of Nuclear Disarmament

Coming to terms with nuclear weapons in 2009.

Risky Appropriations: Gambling U.S. Energy Policy on the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership

A critrical review of the U.S. Government’s efforts to establish global nuclear markets.

Nuclear Power in the Age of Global Warming

A critical review of the history of nuclear power and its prospects for mitigating the impacts of global warming.

Analysis: U.S. Department of Energy Budget FY 2009

Despite extraordinary dependence on foreign oil, the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2009 budget does little to find alternatives.

Recycling Nuclear Waste Too Dangerous

President George W. Bush has recently intensified efforts to revive nuclear recycling.

Radioactive Wastes and the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership

An analysis of the impacts of reprocessing U.S. nuclear power spent fuel.

Reducing the Hazards from Stored Spent Power-Reactor Fuel in the United States

This 2003 report underscored the dangers posed by the practice of storing spent fuel on-site at nuclear power plants in the United States. It remains relevant today as Japanese engineers struggle to prevent a nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, Japan.

What About The Spent Fuel?

Until recently, concerns about attacks on nuclear power plants focused mainly on the vulnerability of reactors. Spent fuel ponds may be even more difficult to safeguard.

Don’t Short-Change Nuclear Safety: Tightening Security Around Nuclear Storage Facilities Should Be an Urgent National Priority

The costs of fixing America’s nuclear vulnerabilities may be high, but the price of doing too little may prove far greater.

Fire, Earth, and Water

An assessment of the environmental, safety and health Impacts of the Cerro Grande Fire on Los Alamos National Laboratory,