May 19, 2022
Staff Accomplishment

Spitz Qualifies as Criticality Safety Engineer—Analyst

Role designed to assure the safe condition of fissionable materials

Man with short brown hair smiling

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Casey Spitz.

(Photo by Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Casey Spitz, nuclear engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), recently qualified as a Criticality Safety Engineer-Analyst (CSE-A).

The CSE-A is a function within PNNL’s Nuclear and Criticality Safety organization, which is responsible for making sure that all operations with fissionable material remain safe under both normal and abnormal conditions.

At PNNL, this involves all work in the Radiochemical Processing Laboratory, the isolated facilities, and the limited control isolated facilities.

Spitz is among nine PNNL staff who are qualified for the CSE-A role. He will be responsible for performing calculations and writing evaluations that demonstrate safe operations with fissionable materials. He will also monitor changes that could adversely impact safety, as well as provide training and response to both nonconformances and emergency situations involving these types of materials.

“It’s been a long journey with a demanding qualification process” said Spitz, who worked on obtaining the qualification for two years. “I’m excited to contribute more to the continued success and safety of work with fissionable material here at PNNL.”

Spitz joined PNNL in 2017 as a risk analyst in the Risk and Decision Sciences group. Since then, he has expanded his research to include data analysis, modeling, and programming. Outside of criticality safety, his work is primarily in the area of spent nuclear fuel management, with some additional research in tritium production assurance.

Among his projects, Spitz performs data analysis work for spent fuel in transportation and storage and is the project risk manager for multiple line-item construction projects at PNNL.

In 2018, Spitz was one of the team members recognized with the Department of Energy’s Secretary of Energy Achievement Award for “International Multi-Modal Surrogate Spent Nuclear Fuel Transportation Test Team.”

Published: May 19, 2022