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William E. Kastenberg

Professor Emeritus
Email: 
kastenbe@nuc.berkeley.edu
Office: 
4103 Etcheverry Hall
Phone: 
510-643-0574
Fax: 
510-643-9685
Education: 

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, Nuclear Engineering, 1966
M.S., University of California, Los Angeles, 1963
B.S., University of California, Los Angeles, 1962

Teaching and Research: 

Ethical issues in emerging technologies, risk assessment and risk management for technological and natural complex systems, nuclear reactor safety, environmental risk analysis, environmental conflict resolution.

Honors and Awards: 

National Academy of Engineering
Fellow of American Nuclear Society
Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science
Chancellor's Professorship
Arthur Holly Compton Award by the American Nuclear Society

Selected Publications: 

Kastenberg, W.E., Frank, M.V., "A Rational for a Set of Risk-Based Safety Goals for Launching Space Nuclear Power Plants", Proceedings of the Space Nuclear Conference 2005, San Diego, California, June 5-6, 2005, Paper 1140

Frank, M.V., Kastenberg, W.E., "A Quasi-Dynamic Risk Analysis Framework for Space-Reactor Missions", Proceedings of the Space Nuclear Conference 2005, San Diego, California, June 5-6, 2005, Paper 1144

Kastenberg, W.E., "Development of Risk-Based and Technology-Independent Safety Criteria for Generation IV Systems", Proceedings of the International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment, PSA '05, San Francisco, California, September 11-15, 2005. Paper 137391

Kastenberg, W.E., "A Framework for Assessing and Managing the Risks of Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems", Proceedings of the International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment, PSA '05, San Francisco, California, September 11-15, 2005. Paper 137390

Kastenberg, W.E., Frank, M.V., "A Trial Set of Quantitative Safety Goals for Nuclear Powered Spacecraft", Proceedings of the International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment, PSA '05, San Francisco, California, September 11-15, 2005. Paper 137857

Frank, M.V., Kastenberg, W.E., "A Risk Management Framework for Space-Reactor Missions", Proceedings of the International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment, PSA '05, San Francisco, California, September 11-15, 2005. Paper 137412

Referred Publications:

Katsumata, P.T., Kastenberg, W.E., "Fate and Transport of Methanol Fuel from Spills and Leaks," Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials, Volume 13, Number 4, pp. 485-498, (1996).

Kastenberg, W.E., Gratton, G.J., "Hazards of Managing and Disposing of Nuclear Waste," Physics Today, pp. 41-46, June 1997.

Katsumata, P.T., Kastenberg, W.E., "On the Impact of Future Land Use Assumptions on Risk Analysis for Superfund Sites," Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association, Volume 47, pp. 881-889, August 1997.

Katsumata, P.T., Kastenberg, W.E., "On the Assessment of Health Risks at Superfund Sites Using Monte Carlo Simulations," Journal of Environmental Science and Health, A32 (9 & 10), pp. 2697-2731, October/November 1997.

Maxwell, R.M., Pelmulder, S.D., Thompson, F.B., and Kastenberg, W.E, "On the Development of a New Methodology for Groundwater-Driven Health Risk Assessment," Water Resources Research, Volume 34, No. 4, pp. 833-847, April 1998.

Katsumata, P.T., and Kastenberg, W.E., "On Using Residual Risk to Assess the Cost Effectiveness and Health Protectiveness of Remedy Selection at Superfund Sites," Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Volume 62, pp. 131-151, October-November 1998.

Catton, I., and Kastenberg, W.E., "Reactor Cavity Flooding as an Accident Management Strategy'" Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Volume 62, pp. 59-70, October-November 1998.

Katsumata, P.T., and Kastenberg, W.E., "On the Assessment of the Maximally Exposed Individual (MEI) at Superfund Sites Using Monte Carlo Simulation," Journal of Environmental Science and Health, A (32), No. 6, pp. 951-985, (1998).

Lowenthal, M.D., and Kastenberg, W.E., "Industrial Ecology and Energy Systems: A First Step." Resources, Conservation & Recycling, Elsevier, Volume 24, pp. 51-63, (1998).

Bennet, D.H., McKone, T.E., Matthies, M., Kastenberg, W.E., "General Formulation of Characteristic Travel Distance for Semi-Volatile Organic Chemicals in a Multi-Media Environment," Environmental Science & Technology, Volume 32, pp. 4023-4030, (1998).

Liu, C., Bennett, D.H., Kastenberg, W.E., McKone, T.E., and Browne, D., "A Multimedia, Multipathway Exposure Assessment of Atrazine: Fate, Transport and Uncertainty Analysis," Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Volume 63, pp. 169-184 (1999).

Bennett, D.H., Kastenberg, W.E, and McKone, T.E., "A Multimedia, Multipathway Risk Assessment of Atrazine: The Impact of Age Differentiated Exposure Including Joint Uncertainty and Variability," Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Volume 63, pp. 185-198, (1999).

Bennett, D.H., Kastenberg, W.E., and McKone, T.E., "General Formulation of Characteristic Time for Persistent Chemicals in a Multi-Media Environment," Environmental Science and Technology , Volume 33, pp. 503-509, (1999).

Maxwell, R.M. and Kastenberg, W.E., "Stochastic Environmental Risk Analysis: an Integrated Methodology for Predicting Cancer Risk from Contaminated Groundwater," Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, Volume 13 (1-2), pp 27-47, April 1999.

Maxwell, R.M., Kastenberg, W.E., and Rubin Y., "A Methodology to Integrate Site Characterization Information into Groundwater-Driven Health Risk Assessment", Water Resources Research, Volume 35 (9), pp 2841-2856, September 1999.

Maxwell, R.M. and Kastenberg, W.E., "A Model for Assessing and Managing the Risks of Environmental Lead Emissions," Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, Volume 13 (4), pp 231-250, 1999.

Bennett, D.H., McKone, T.E., and Kastenberg, W.E., "Evaluating Multimedia Chemical Persistence; A CART Analysis," J. of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Volume 19 (4), pp. 810-819, 2000.

Bennett, D.H., McKone, T.E., and Kastenberg, W.E., "CART Screening Analysis of Persistence: A Case Study,” in Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic Chemicals II: New Chemicals, edited by Lipnick, Jansson, Mackay and Peters, Oxford University Press, (2001).

Bedsworth (nee Wells), L.L., Kastenberg, W.E., "Science and Uncertainty in Environmental Regulation - Insights From the Evaluation of California's Smog Check Program," Science and Public Policy, Volume 29, No. 1, pp 13-24, (2002).

Bennett, D., McKone, T.E. and Kastenberg, W. E. "Characteristic Time, Characteristic Travel Distance, and Population Based Potential Dose in a Multimedia Environment: A Case Study," in Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: Theory and Practice, edited by Dennis J. Paustenbach, Wiley-Interscience, New York, pp 610-643, (2002).

Hauser-Kastenberg, G, Kastenberg, W.E., and Norris, D. “Towards Emergent Ethical Action and the Culture of Engineering,” Science and Engineering Ethics, Volume 9, Issue 3, (2003).

Ismail, I. A. and Kastenberg, W.E., “Coral Reef Risk Assessment Modeling Using Geographical Information Systems,” Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 39, (2004).

Kastenberg, W. E. and Richard Wilson, “Risk of Nuclear Powered Space Probes,” Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Volume 86, pp 53-59, (2004).

Bedsworth (nee Wells), L.L., Lowenthal, M., Kastenberg, W.E., "Uncertainty and Regulation: The Rhetoric of Risk in the California Low-Level Waste Debate," Science, Technology and Human Values, Volume 29, No.3, pp 406-427 (2004).

Recent Papers Appearing in the Proceedings of Conferences
Kastenberg, W.E., Peterson, P.F., Ahn, J., Burch, J., Casher, G., Chambre, P.L., Greenspan, E., Olander, D.R., Vujic, J., Bessinger, B., Cook, N.G.W., Doyle, F.M., Hilbert, B., "Scenario Assessment of Autocatalytic Criticality in the Yucca Mountain Geologic Repository," Proceedings of the Waste Management '97, Tucson, AZ, March 2-6, 1997.

Kastenberg, W.E., Rice, D.W., Dooher, B.P., Cullen, S.J., Everett, L.G., "Risk-based Corrective Action - Application to California LUFT Sites," Proceedings of the 21st Biennial Ground Water Conference, pp. 79-86, Sacramento, CA, September, 1997.

Rice, D.W., Dooher, B.P., Cullen, S.J., Everett, L.G., Kastenberg, W.E., "Summary of LLNL/UC LUFT Cleanup Recommendations," Proceedings of the 21st Biennial Ground Water Conference, Sacramento, CA, September, 1997.

Gratton, L., Kastenberg, W.E., Peterson, P.F., "Bounding Energy Production Estimates for Autocatalytic Fissile Material Deposits in Geologic Media," Proceedings of the Topical Meeting of the ANS-EWS Criticality Safety Challenges in the Next Decade, Chelan, WA, September 7-11, 1997.

Kastenberg, W.E., Gratton, L., Greenspan, E., Ahn, J., Chambre, P.L., Olander, D.R., Peterson, P.F.,Vujic, J., "Possibility of Autocatalytic Criticality in the Yucca Mountain Repository," Proceedings of the International Conference on Future Nuclear Systems, Global '97, pp. 926-930, Yokahame, Japan, October 5-10, 1997.

Greenspan, E., Ahn, J., Elias, E., Kastenberg, W.E., Brown, N.W., Hassberger, J., Cho, N.Z., Kim, T.H., "Nuclear Energy Systems Having Low Proliferation Risk," Proceedings International Specialist Meeting on Future Nuclear Systems and Fuel Cycle Options, Tokyo Institute of Technology, pp. 104-120, Tokyo, Japan, October 13, 1997.

Pelmulder, S., Kastenberg, W.E., "Risk-Informed Decision Making as a Component of Environmental Policy," Proceedings of the ANS Risk Based Performance Meeting, Pasco, WA, April 6-8, 1998.

Lowenthal, M.D., Kastenberg, W.E., "A Risk-Based Alternative to the Current U.S. Radioactive-Waste Classification System," Proceedings of the Waste Management '98, Tucson, AZ, March 1-5, 1998.

Cho, N.Z., Hong, S.G., Kim, T.H., Greenspan, E., Kastenberg, W.E., "Fuel Self-Sufficient and Low Proliferation Risk Multi-Recycling of Spent Fuel," Proceedings 13th KAIF/KNS Annual Conference, pp. 417-425, Seoul, Korea, April, 1998.

Gratton, L., Greenspan, E., Kastenberg, W.E., Peterson, P.F., Stone, N., Zimmerman, J., "Phenomena Affecting the Dynamics of Critical Deposits in TUFF," Proceedings of the 8th International High Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference, pp. 450-452, Las Vegas, NV, May 11-14, 1998.

Lowenthal, M.D., Greenspan, E., Moir, R., Kastenberg, W.E., Fowler, T.K., "Industrial Ecology for Inertial Fusion Energy: Selection of High-Z Material for HYLIFE-II Targets," Proceedings 13th Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy, Nashville, TN, June 7-11, 1998.

Greenspan, E., Aoki, K., Elias, E., Kastenberg, W.E., Stone, N., Brown, N.W., "Compact Long Fuel-Life Reactors for Developing Countries," Proceedings of the International Conference on Emerging Nuclear Energy Systems, pp. 74-83, Tel-Aviv, Israel, June 28-July 2, 1998.

Greenspan, E., Cho, N.Z., Hong, S.G., Kim, T.H., Kastenberg, W.E., "Multi-Recycling of Spent Fuel With Low Proliferation Risk," Proceedings of the International Conference on Emerging Nuclear Energy Systems, pp. 445-464, Tel-Aviv, Israel, June 28-July 2, 1998.

Maxwell, R., Pelmulder, S., Kastenberg, W.E., "Management in the Face of the Unknown Known: On the Use of Groundwater Driven Health Risk Assessment in Contaminated Waste Site Management," Proceedings of PSAM-IV International Conference, New York City, NY, September 13-18, 1998.

Bennett, D.H., Kastenberg, W.E., McKone, T.E., "Determining the Appropriate Spatial Scale for Managing Environmental Risks," Proceedings of PSAM-IV International Conference, New York City, NY, September 13-18, 1998.

Gratton, L., Kastenberg, W.E., "The Perceived Risk of Repository Criticality and Its Potential Impact on the Yucca Mountain Project," Proceedings of PSAM-IV International Conference, New York City, NY, September 13-18, 1998.

Pelmulder, S., Kastenberg, W.E., "Risk-Informed Decision Making For Remedial Action," Proceedings of PSAM-IV International Conference, New York City, NY, September 13-18, 1998.

Wells, L., Kastenberg, W.E., "Incorporating Institutional Issues in Environmental Decision Making," Proceedings of PSAM-IV International Conference, New York City, NY, September 13-18, 1998.

Bennett, D.H., Kastenberg, W.E. and McKone, T.E., "Overall Human Exposure Based on Spatial Range and Persistence," Society for Risk Assessment Paris, France, (1998).

Bennett, D.H., McKone, T.E., and Kastenberg, W.E., "CART Screening Level Analysis of Characteristec Time - A Case Study," American Chemical Society Annual Meeting, May, (1999).

Gratton, L., Kastenberg, W.E., "The Use of Stakeholder Archetypes in Modeling the Evolution of Perceived Risks," International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment, Washington, DC, August 22-26, 1999.

Lowenthal, M.D., Ahn, J., Chambre, P.L., Greenspan, E., Kastenberg, W.E., Park, B.H., Stone, N., "Impacts of Waste Transmutation on Repository Hazards," International Conference on Future Nuclear Systems, Global 99, Jackson Hole, WY, August 29-September 3, 1999.

Wells, L., Kastenberg, W.E., "Uncertainty at the Science-Policy Interface, A Tool for Decision Making," European Society for Risk Analysis, 9th Annual Conference - Facing the New Millenium, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, October 10-13, 1999.

Kastenberg, G.H., Kastenberg, W.E., Norris, D., "On Redefining the Culture of Engineering: A New Course on Ethics and the Impact of Technology on Society," ASEE/SEFI/TUB International Colloquium on Global Changes in Engineering Education, Berlin Germany, September 15-18, 2001.

Kastenberg, W.E. and Lowenthal, M. "Experience with Disposal of Low-level Radioactive Waste: Building Confidence For and Against the Regulations" Proceedings of the International Conference: Global 2001, Paris, France, September 7-13, 2001.

Kastenberg, W.E., Hauser-Kastenberg, G. and Norris, D. "Risk Analysis and Ethics: Research Needs for Emerging Technologies", Proceedings of the International Conference on Ethics and Technology, Technical University of Delft, Delft, The Netherlands, April 22-24, 2002.

Kastenberg, W. E., "On Redefining the Culture of Risk Analysis" Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management, San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 22-27, 2002.

Kastenberg, W.E. Hauser-Kastenberg and Norris, David, “A New Way of Thinking About Sustainability, Risk and Environmental Decision Making,” Proceedings of a Symposium on The Sustainability Axiom in the Light of the World Cultures, Staffelstein, Germany, February 24-25, 2003. To appear in The Cultural Dimensions of Sustainability, edited by P.A. Wilderer, E.D. Schroeder and H. Kopp, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, Germany (2004).

Kastenberg, W.E., Hauser-Kastenberg, G and Norris, D., “Shifting the Paradigm of Risk Analysis,” Proceedings of the International Seminar on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies, 29th Session, Erice, Italy, May 10-15, 2003. Published by World Scientific, Inc., Singapore (2003).

Kastenberg, W. E., “Risk Analysis: Shifting From Complicated to Complex Systems,” Keynote Presented at the Workshop on Complexity, Networks and Resilience, Royal Institute for International Affairs, Chatham House, London, UK, September 17-18, 2003. To appear in Complexity, Networks and Security: Interdependence and Security, edited by M. Dillon and C. Wright, Brookings Institute, 2004.

Zhou, Y., Brose, U., Kastenberg, W. and Martinez, N. “An Approach to Holistic Ecological Risk Assessment: Food Web Responses to a Warmed Climate as a Case Study,” Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Complex Systems, Boston, Ma, May 16-21, 2004.

Kastenberg, W.E., Hauser-Kastenberg, G., and Norris, D. “A Risk Framework for Emerging Technologies,” Proceeding of the 7th International Conference on Probabilistic Safety assessment and Management, PSAM-7, Berlin, Germany, June 13-18, 2004.

Zhou, Y. and Kastenberg, W.E. “Quantification of Human Health Risk Reduction Following the Introduction of Bt Cotton,” Proceeding of the 7th International Conference on Probabilistic Safety assessment and Management, PSAM-7, June 13-18, 2004.

Additional Info: 

Biological Sketch

On December 31, 2007, William E. Kastenberg retired as the Daniel M. Tellep Distinguished Professor of Engineering Emeritus from the University of California, Berkeley. He was subsequently appointed as a part-time Administrative Law Judge—Technical on the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board for the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Dr Kastenberg was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997, and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1990 and the American Nuclear Society in 1978. He has won distinguished teaching awards from the American Society for Engineering Education, (1973), and the Engineering Graduate Students' Association at UCLA, (1971).

Professor Kastenberg joined the faculty at UCLA in 1966 and after 28 years, returned to Berkeley to become Chancellor's Professor and Chairman of the Department of Nuclear Engineering. Dr. Kastenberg has taught courses in risk assessment, risk management, ethics and the impact of technology on society, nuclear reactor analysis, nuclear reactor safety, toxic waste control, energy and the environment, and applied mathematics.
Professor Kastenberg served as Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (1981-1985) and Chairman of the Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering Department (1985-1988) at UCLA. In 1999, UC President Richard Atkinson appointed Professor Kastenberg Chairman of the Scientific Panel for the Advisory Committee on Low-Level Radioactive Waste. The Advisory Committee and Scientific Panel (1999-2000) were formed and reports were written at the request of California Governor Grey Davis. In November 2004, at the request of UCOP, Dr. Kastenberg made a presentation to the UC Board of Regents on the question of whether or not the University should manage the national weapons laboratories (Los Alamos and Livermore).

Dr. Kastenberg's research interests include the development and application of risk assessment and risk management methods for complex technological and natural systems. More recently, he has focused on ethical issues concerning the development of new technologies, multi-stakeholder decision making and on the quantification of uncertainty. He was Director of the Risk and Systems Analysis for the Control of Toxics (RSACT) Program at UCLA (1985-1994) and Chairman of the Steering Committee for UCLA's Center for Clean Technology (1992-1994). At Berkeley, he was a member of the Executive Committee for the U.C. Berkeley Center for Nuclear and Toxic Waste Management (1996-2000), which carried out research on both technical and institutional issues.

Dr. Kastenberg has served as Chairman of the Nuclear Reactor Safety Division of the ANS. In 1990, he was appointed by the Governor of California to the Independent Safety Committee for the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, and served for 10 years. Professor Kastenberg has also been a member of the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Facility Safety, U.S. Department of Energy (1988-1991) and has served on review committees for the Environment, Safety and Health Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Environment and Energy Directorates at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Reactor Analysis Division at Argonne National Laboratory and the Department of Advanced Technology at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He spent a sabbatical year at the Nuclear Research Center in Karlsruhe, West Germany, (1972-1973), and a sabbatical year as a Senior Fellow with the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, USNRC, (1979-1980).


Professor Kastenberg has authored or co-authored over 150 published papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings related to nuclear reactor safety, risk assessment, risk management, public health and environmental risk assessment, and multi-stakeholder decision making. These include published papers on high-level radioactive waste disposal, on severe accident mitigation systems, value-impact assessment for decay heat removal systems in light water reactors, and on the allocation of safety goals for liquid metal reactors. In the environmental arena, he has published papers on risk analysis techniques for problems associated with toxic waste control with emphasis on metal emissions from incinerators, and groundwater contamination. The latter involves volatile organic compounds and pesticides. Professor Kastenberg was project director and principal investigator for a Nuclear Regulatory Commission research program on the "Management of Severe Accidents at Nuclear Power Plants."