William Shields

Proven Experience


William Shields

iconDr. Shields is in his 38th year of work in the nuclear industry. As both a technical professional and attorney, he has served the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, private clients in the commercial and defense nuclear arenas, and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB). His expertise spans all aspects of both NRC’s and DOE’s nuclear safety programs. In the field of fire protection for nuclear facilities, Dr. Shields has 31 years of experience, serving six years on the NFPA’s Code Committee for Nuclear Facilities and currently teaching nuclear facility fire protection at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
      Dr. Shields holds a degree in physics from MIT, a law degree from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in Science and Technology Studies. His professional affiliations include the American Nuclear Society, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, and the National Fire Protection Association. He is admitted to practice law in Minnesota and the District of Columbia, and is a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. Since retiring from full-time federal service in 2011, Dr. Shields has served as a consultant to government clients on nuclear matters.

Sustainable Results

iconIn all phases of his career, Dr. Shields has taken on the most complex technical and regulatory problems for his nuclear clients in government and private industry. In ten years of service to the NRC, Dr. Shields worked in all technical and regulatory areas of nuclear power plant licensing and enforcement. He was a specialist in rule-making and guidance development, and worked on new safety rules and guides for fire protection, environmental qualification, pressurized thermal shock, anticipated transients without scram, station blackout, seismic qualification, leak before break, emergency planning and backfitting. He was the agency’s leading expert on the Price-Anderson Act and became known for his expertise in fire protection requirements for power reactors.
      In private consulting after leaving NRC, Dr. Shields served as technical and regulatory consultant to 22 nuclear utilities and major utility groups such as the Nuclear Utility Fire Protection Group, the Equipment Qualification Group, the Seismic Qualification Group, and the Station Blackout Group. He traveled to numerous plant sites to assist utilities in preparing for NRC inspections, and also counseled utilities on enforcement strategy. At the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, Dr. Shields served in the dual role of fire protection engineer and lawyer, providing a wide range of technical, regulatory and legal services for the DNFSB’s safety oversight program.
      In 2006, Dr. Shields received the Department of Energy’s Walter Maybee Award for Career Service in Fire Protection, and upon retirement in 2011 the Board awarded him the prestigious Chairman’s Medal. His position upon retirement from DOE was Senior Counsel for Nuclear Engineering.