Del Rio’s own Nuclear Physicist

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Dr. Harold McFarlane, a 1963 Del Rio High School graduate, is serving as the Deputy Associate Laboratory Director for Nuclear Programs and Director of the Space Systems and Technology Division of the U. S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory.

Dr. McFarlane recently was the senior technical adviser to the U. S. Department of Energy’s assistant secretary for nuclear energy.  He received an Exceptional Service Award from the DOE in recognition of his “outstanding performance in support of the Office of Nuclear Energy in 2010 and 2011”.

During his tenure at the Office of Nuclear Energy Headquarters, Dr. McFarlane assisted in the coordination of the Office of Nuclear Energy’s support and aid in the Fukushima nuclear reactor difficulties which resulted from the earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Japan.

The Idaho National Laboratory was designated by the Atomic Energy Commission as a national laboratory in the early 1970’s.  Harold McFarlane started his career in Idaho in 1972.  More than 50 nuclear reactors – the largest concentration of reactors in the world -- have been built and operated at INL.  Technology for the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine was pioneered there.

Numerous technical leadership positions have provided Dr. McFarlane responsibility for developing advanced systems for nuclear power plants, the nuclear fuel cycle, and space nuclear power for science and exploration.  He has traveled extensively to Europe and Asia.  In India last February, he worked to further the U.S.–India Civil Nuclear Energy Agreement.

Dr. Harold McFarlane is a past president and a fellow of the American Nuclear Society, and immediate past chairman of the International Nuclear Energy Academy.

He has a master’s degree in nuclear physics and a doctorate in engineering science from Caltech, a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.

Harold McFarlane was the top boy graduate in the DRHS Class of 1963.  A three-year letterman in football, he was captain of the 1962 Wildcat team.  He is the son of Alvis and Evelyn McFarlane of Del Rio. 

Note: We would like to thank Walter Block, Class of 1945 for supplying the above information.