For decades, a fleet of large light-water reactors has played an important role in the international energy generation portfolio. In recent years, market conditions, operating costs, and public perceptions have challenged the current fleet of reactors, leading to plant closures and increasing uncertainty about the industry's prospects. However, climate change and geopolitical conditions have recently increased the focus on nuclear power as a critical energy resource. In parallel, investments in small modular reactors and microreactors have the potential to further transform the industry by reducing upfront construction/operating costs and increasing flexibility. This evolution in the nuclear industry has increased the need for a cohort of educated professionals, including risk analysts capable of assessing risks for the aging fleet of reactors as well as new and advanced technologies, all of which are exposed to a range of internal and external hazards (including hazards that may increase as a result of a changing climate). This panel session will bring together representatives from organizations from within the nuclear industry to discuss the current and future needs of the industry for a diverse and qualified workforce. Perspectives from industry, regulation, research, and education will be included. Focus will be placed on the need for risk analysts capable of assessing risks for diverse facility types and the range of internal and external hazards to which these facilities are exposed.


  • Curtis Smith (INL)
  • Jodine Vehec (Holtec Int'l)
  • Jonathan Evans (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission)
  • Jamie Coble (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)


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