Evaristo J. Bonano

Albuquerque, NM, USA

Mr. Bonano is a seasoned veteran with broad expertise in the complete nuclear fuel cycle. In a career extending more than 38 years, his work has included diverse research and development projects where he led scores of technical professionals and engaged multiple government agencies. He is an internationally renowned expert in the back end of the fuel cycle.

At Sandia National Laboratories, Mr. Bonano was a senior manager leading five technical departments. His organization’s customers included the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), NASA and other private sector firms, both domestic and international.

His oversight included such programs as small modular reactors, nuclear launch safety analysis, advanced energy conversion system development, fuel cycle systems engineering, used fuel systems engineering, used fuel disposition, and advanced modeling and simulation.

During the Yucca Mountain licensing application process, Mr. Bonano played a key role at Sandia, after it became the Energy Department’s lead national laboratory for repository systems. There, he led a team of 50 engineers and scientists to support the repository’s licensing effort and himself played a key role in shaping the licensing strategy. His work resulted in developing million-year performance estimates approved by the NRC.

In his role as Sandia’s senior program manager, he led more than 300 scientists and staff through Yucca Mountain’s early licensing process. Mr. Bonano and his team responded to more than 600 technical questions from NRC staff and shaped strategies in addressing nearly 600 challenges by intervenors to Yucca Mountain.

Mr. Bonano also provided support for the Energy Department’s Waste Isolation Plant and was a technical project manager for the Department’s Office of Environmental Management, where his work compared existing and emerging environmental restoration/waste management technologies. Mr. Bonano has also advised South Korea’s Atomic Energy Research Institute and Spain’s Nuclear Safety Council.

In addition, he led several small companies. For example, he served as president and CEO at COVANTE Technologies LLC, and at Beta Corporation International.

Mr. Bonano’s degrees in chemical engineering include a B.S. from the University Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (UPRM) and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Clarkson University. He has served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering at the University of New Mexico, and he has published more than 90 technical papers.

He is a member of the UPRM College of Engineering industrial advisory board at, and he is the winner of two Great Minds in STEM awards by the Hispanic National Achievement Awards Conference: Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000 and the Lifetime Achievement – National Laboratory award in 2020.

Areas of Expertise

  • Deep Isolation
  • Fuel Management
  • Government Policy evaluation and impacts
  • Repository and recycling economics
  • Safety analyses
  • Spent fuel storage options and economics