Nuclear Proliferation Foe Joseph Egan Dies

Nuclear engineer-turned-lawyer Joseph R. Egan, the man who led Nevada’s legal campaign to block a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, died of gastroesophageal cancer May 7. He was 53.

An obituary posted on his firm’s website notes that before his death, Egan arranged for his ashes to be spread at Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada, with the words “radwaste buried here only over my dead body.”

Egan’s wife, Patricia, confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that his family intended to honor his wishes.

The Tribune notes that legal challenges waged by Egan’s firm, Egan, Fitzpatrick & Malsch, helped set back the Energy Department’s project at Yucca by years.

A Minnesota native, Egan earned three degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in physics, nuclear engineering, and technology & policy. He worked in the nuclear power industry and consulted with the United Nations before next earning a law degree from Columbia University.

He practiced with LeBoeuf, Lamb, Green & MacRae in New York, and Shaw Pittman in Washington, D.C., before striking out on his own with a practice focused on nuclear environmental and nonproliferation law.

A memorial mass is set for 4 p.m. May 22 at St. Ann Catholic Parrish, 475 9th Ave South, Naples, Fla. A “Celebration of Life” service will follow from 6-9 p.m. at the Village Center of Ole in Lely Resort, 9075 Celeste Drive, Naples, Fla.

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