Nuclear Engineer Radkowsky Dies
Mar. 05, 2002
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Alvin Radkowsky, a U.S.-born nuclear engineer who was instrumental in creating the first nuclear submarines and later developed a reactor fuel designed to produce less dangerous waste, died in Israel last month, officials at Tel Aviv University said Tuesday. He was 86.
Radkowsky, professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University, died Feb. 17 in a Tel Aviv hospital after suffering from several bouts of pneumonia.
Born in Elizabeth, N.J., Radkowsky was the chief scientist of the U.S. Office of Naval Nuclear Propulsion for 24 years. He played a leading role in the design of the first nuclear submarine and the first commercial nuclear power plant.
An observant Jew, Radkowsky moved to Israel in 1972. In recent years he developed a new type of nuclear fuel designed to decrease the amount of dangerous plutonium in nuclear waste from power plants by replacing much of the uranium at the core of the reactor with thorium.
``He made monumental inventions in the field of nuclear engineering throughout his career of 50 years,'' said Gideon Langholz, dean of the faculty of engineering at Tel Aviv University.
Radkowsky was a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Nuclear Society. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1991.
He is survived by his wife Annette; a daughter, Gilah Chukat; a brother, Lawrence Radkowsky, and six grandchildren.