Edward “Ward” Sproat served as the director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management from May 2006 until the end of the administration of George W. Bush. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and master’s degree in dynamics of organizations from the University of Pennsylvania. He began his career in the nuclear power industry at Gas Cooled Reactor Associates in La Jolla, California, where he worked for two years.
Sproat then moved on to PECO Energy, Pennsylvania’s largest utility, where he worked for 25 years. He held the positions of branch manager of the nuclear generation branch in electrical engineering; section manager of computer engineering; manager of projects at Limerick Generating Station; and manager of the nuclear group business unit. During this period, he was directly responsible for the electrical design and licensing activities for the Limerick Nuclear Generating Station during its design and construction phases.
Sproat then served as director of quality management for Philadelphia Electric (part of PECO) and on the staff of the chief executive office from 1991 to 1994. He also held the positions of director of engineering for the entire PECO Nuclear fleet as well as director of engineering and maintenance at the Limerick Nuclear Generating Station. Later, he was the director for strategic programs for PECO Nuclear, responsible for all license renewal projects for the PECO/AmerGen fleet, the development and execution of an integrated strategy for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and the evaluation of advanced reactor concepts.
Next, Sproat moved on to Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear power plant operator, where he held the position of vice president of international projects, responsible for developing and managing Exelon’s interests in various international generation ventures. In that position, he served as a director on the board of Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) Pty. LTD, in the Republic of South Africa. The PBMR board requested Exelon to allow Sproat to assume the duties of chief operating officer (COO). He served as COO from January 2002 until December 2002.
While at Exelon, Sproat served as the lead negotiator for the company in its lawsuit against DOE over the cost of storing waste at Exelon’s nuclear plants. Under federal legislation, DOE was obligated to begin taking spent nuclear fuel from Exelon and other nuclear power companies by 1998. Having failed to meet this deadline, Exelon filed suit. The two sides reached a settlement out of court in 2004 in which DOE agreed to pay Exelon an undisclosed amount to cover the cost of storing the nuclear waste until Yucca Mountain opens.
Before joining the Energy Department and becoming the director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, Sproat was managing partner of McNeill, Sproat & Associates (MS&A) LLC, in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.