William J. Dircks, retired staff director of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has been named executive vice president of the Atomic Industrial Forum.

AIF President Carl Walske welcomed Dircks to the group, saying, "His high professional and personal standing will be an asset to us as we work to revitalize nuclear power."

Edward Wiggin, the current executive vice president, will retire in August. He has been with the forum since its inception almost 30 years ago. AIF represents companies and individuals interested in the "peaceful" use of nuclear energy. Its 500 members include utilities, mining and milling companies, government organizations, and universities and analysts who are researching new applications for nuclear energy.

Dircks most recently was executive director for operations at the NRC. He was responsible for administering licenses and safety regulations for the country's nuclear facilities. He joined the NRC in 1975 after working for environmental groups such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Council on Environmental Quality.

According to an AIF spokesman, there are 98 operable nuclear plants in the United States that last year supplied more than 15 percent of this country's electricity. TRADE

The Department of Justice has approved a request by Adapso Inc. to set industry standards for a computer software protection device that the firm helped to design. The device is intended to cut down on the illegal copying of computer software. Adapso, which represents 800 computer software and service companies, made its request to the Justice Department in February 1985. The group circulated a copy of preliminary industry standards last year and is preparing to send out its amended standards for a final 90-day comment period. They are available to anyone interested in the process. Once the comments are evaluated, the companies interested in developing the device will start production. The hardware protection device is designed so that only 98 percent of a software diskette can be copied. The remaining 2 percent is kept inside a key that plugs into the computer terminal. The key is available only to the purchaser of the software. For a ballot, contact ADAPSO at 1300 North 17th St., Arlington, Va. 22209.

Political fundraiser J. Ballard Everett has joined the National Council of Savings Institutions as director of political affairs. Everett's chief responsibility will be to raise money for the group's political action committee, THRIFTPAC. For the past four years, Everett has worked in the same capacity for the Mortgage Bankers Association. In addition, Peter Knight has been promoted by NCSI from a director to a vice president of mortgage finance.

The recently incorporated Association of Thrift Holding Companies has elected Houston businessman Sonny Bentley as its chairman of the board. Bentley is a past president of the National Council of Savings Institutions. ATHC, based in Washington, is the first association to represent savings-and-loan holding companies since their entry into the marketplace in 1966. Two Washington residents will be staffing the association. Patrick A. Forte, an attorney and the past chairman of Liberty Savings Bank in Warrenton, Va., was named president, and Brian Kehoe, an attorney with Hill, Betts and Nash in Washington, has become general counsel.