Ken Sorenson

Albuquerque, NM, USA

Mr. Ken Sorenson retired from Sandia National Laboratories in January 2018 after 35 years of service. For 23 of these years, Mr. Sorenson served as a technical manager, overseeing technology development for the back-end of the commercial nuclear fuel cycle, including long-term storage and transportation of spent nuclear fuel. Areas of focus for this work included materials degradation of fuel cladding, response of storage and transportation packages to severe mechanical and thermal environments, safeguards and security of nuclear materials, systems analyses, and regulatory analyses. 

He led the development and managed the national laboratory component of the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) program to assess the integrity of spent nuclear fuel in long-term storage and in transport. This program, in collaboration with the DOE national laboratories, the U.S. NRC, and industry, is still active today. Mr. Sorenson managed Sandia’s work for the NRC after the 9/11 attack to assess radiological consequence of potential terrorist attacks on licensed storage and transportation systems. 

Mr. Sorenson served as the President of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM) ( from 2013 through 2014. INMM is an international organization focused on instilling best practices in  nuclear materials safeguards, security, and safety management around the world. He was the technical editor for a reference book titled, Safe and Secure Transport and Storage of Radioactive Materials, and has authored and co-authored numerous journal articles and conference presentations. Currently, he is a consultant to Sandia National Laboratories in knowledge transfer, technical report writing and reviewing, and strategic planning. Mr. Sorenson is also a member of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Committee on the Merits and Viability of Different Nuclear Fuel Cycles and Technology Options and the Waste Aspects of Advanced Nuclear Reactors ( 

He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Arizona, a master’s in civil (structural) engineering from Colorado State University, and an MBA from the University of New Mexico. Mr. Sorenson is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Colorado (No. 0018367).

Areas of Expertise

  • Contract development
  • Contract portfolio analysis
  • DCS System Manufacturing oversight
  • Fuel materials and irradiation effects
  • Fuel performance and reliability
  • Government Policy evaluation and impacts
  • ISO vs safety-related gap assessments
  • Nuclear Nonproliferation, Safeguards & Security support
  • RFP and bid evaluations
  • Safety analyses
  • Security of supply studies
  • Spent fuel examinations
  • Spent fuel storage options and economics