Regents pick nuclear weapons designer to head Livermore

Wednesday June 05, 2002

LIVERMORE – Michael R. Anastasio will lead the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, regents for the University of California announced Tuesday. 

Anastasio, 53, currently is deputy director for strategic operations at Lawrence Livermore, and during his 22 years at the lab has been nationally recognized for his leadership in the design and safe stewardship of nuclear weapons. He will take office July 1, replacing C. Bruce Tarter. 

Anastasio graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a bachelor’s degree in physics and earned his master’s degree at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he also earned his doctorate in theoretical nuclear physics. 

He was the second person given the nod for the job by UC President Richard Atkinson. UC operates the laboratory, which has designed and developed such weaponry and technology as the U.S. Navy’s Polaris missile and speedy methods to identify salmonella. 

Ray Juzaitis, who leads nuclear weapons research at the national laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M., recently dropped out of the running for director after being tabbed by Atkinson, saying his unwarranted link to the Wen Ho Lee debacle would have made it difficult to lead the lab. 

The Energy Department became concerned about Juzaitis’ perceived connection to Lee at the last minute, prompting UC to call off the announcement last month, according to university officials.