George F Flanagan

Distinguished Research Staff Member

Dr. George Flanagan is a senior research staff member in the Reactor and Nuclear  Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  Flanagan received a B.S. in engineering science in 1962, M.S. and Ph.D. in nuclear engineering in 1966 and 1969, respectively, all from Iowa State University.


Dr. Flanagan joined ORNL in 1972; prior to that he worked at Atomics International Corporation for 3 years.  He is recognized for his work in reactor safety, reactor licensing, probabilistic risk analysis, and Space Reactors. Most recently he was a member of a Department of Energy/U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) interlaboratory team which developed a licensing framework for advanced nuclear reactors. In 2011, he led the ORNL response effort to support DOE in the Department’s early response to the Fukushima Reactor Accident. In addition, he is considered an authority on research reactor design and safety and has authored training manuals on research reactor and critical facilities for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and currently teaches a course for the IAEA inspectors on research reactor safeguards. In addition to his research activities, he spent 15 years with the ORNL Research Reactors Division, where he held several management positions including Section Head for Research Reactor Design, Safety and Compliance, Associate Division Director, and Acting Division Director of Research Reactor Division. Prior to his work in the Research Reactors Division, he was the Program Manager for Liquid Metal Reactor Physics and Safety.  He also headed a group of risk experts to assist the NRC with the development of their safety goal policy.

Dr. Flanagan is active in several professional societies. He was a founding and charter member of the Society of Risk Analysis and served on the editorial board of the Risk Analysis Journal.  He has been the general chairman for three American Nuclear Society (ANS) topical meetings dealing with the Safety of Liquid Metal Reactors and Probabilistic Risk Analysis.  He has served as the chairman of the national ANS Nuclear Reactor Safety Division and on the national ANS Board of Directors as well as the chairman of the Oak Ridge/Knoxville Section of the ANS. He was the past  chairman of the ANS Standards Board.  He a Fellow of the ANS. Dr. Flanagan has received several awards for his work, including the Distinguished Engineer of the year award from ORNL for 2011 and last year received the ANS Standards Distinguished Service Award.