Joe Callan has more than 30 years of nuclear experience that includes serving as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Executive Director for Operations. In November 2004, he participated in the development of the “Principles for a Strong Nuclear Safety Culture” as part of the Safety Culture Advisory Committee for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO).
Joe currently serves as an independent nuclear safety consultant and on the Nuclear Safety Review Board for several commercial nuclear power plants. He was also a senior consultant to the Department of Energy, providing assistance at the Yucca Mountain Project in preparation for NRC licensing and inspection activities.
Previously, Joe served in various positions with the NRC, including Resident Inspector at Arkansas Nuclear One power plant, where he provided onsite safety and regulatory oversight. He was Division Director and Regional Administrator for NRC Region IV, an area covering 26 states, where he led the NRC inspection program supporting the licensing and initial startup of the South Texas Project and Comanche Peak nuclear power plants. In these roles, Joe directed and implemented the NRC safety and regulatory oversight program for nuclear power plants, industrial and medical uses of nuclear material, academic and research uses of nuclear material, uranium mining and fuel cycle activities, and decommissioning activities.
As Executive Director for Operations for the NRC, Joe reported directly to the Chairman, providing safety leadership for 2,700 NRC personnel involved in all aspects of its jurisdiction. During this time, he was involved in substantially revising NRC oversight of nuclear power plants, to make the process more objective and risk‑informed. Joe served in the Navy on two nuclear submarines, first as division officer and then as department head. He retired as a Captain of the Naval Reserve.
Joe has been a member of several councils and committees including the Advisory Council for INPO, the INPO National Nuclear Accrediting Board, and the Senior Safety Review Board for CH2MHill Hanford Group.
Joe graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science and pursued graduate studies in nuclear engineering at North Carolina State University. He also completed U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School.