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Fuel Cycle & Waste Management
Devoted to all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle including waste management, worldwide. Division specific areas of interest and involvement include uranium conversion and enrichment; fuel fabrication, management (in-core and ex-core) and recycle; transportation; safeguards; high-level, low-level and mixed waste management and disposal; public policy and program management; decontamination and decommissioning environmental restoration; and excess weapons materials disposition.
2021 ANS Virtual Annual Meeting
June 14–16, 2021
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Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear OfficerPalo Verde Generating StationArizona Public Service Company
Maria Lacal is Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer for Arizona Public Service Company (APS), Arizona’s largest electric company. Based in Phoenix, APS serves more than 1.2 million customers and is one of the fastest-growing investor-owned electric utilities in the United States.
Lacal is responsible for all nuclear-related activities associated with the Palo Verde Generating Station, the nation’s largest producer of carbon-free energy. She is also responsible for the nuclear assurance division and employee concerns and safety culture programs.
Prior to joining APS in 2007, Lacal previously served as Director of Operations Support for the Nuclear Division of Florida Power and Light Company. In this capacity Lacal’s responsibilities included the Corporate Functional Area Manager and Accredited Training programs across the fleet. She has held other management positions including Training Manager and Operations Manager at Turkey Point Nuclear Plant. As the Operations Manager, Lacal was responsible for site operations, radiation protection, chemistry programs and associated organizations.
Prior to being appointed Chief Nuclear Officer for APS in January 2020, Lacal served as the Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Oversight. In this role Lacal was responsible for regulatory and oversight areas including, the nuclear assurance division, regulatory affairs and environmental, organizational effectiveness, leadership development and the employee concerns and safety culture programs. Lacal also served as the Vice President of Operations Support from 2011 to 2016 and was responsible for emergency preparedness, nuclear security, fire protection, supply chain, records management, information services programs, and associated organizations at the plant.
Lacal obtained a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Senior Reactor Operator License in 1996. She has also served as Chairman of the Academy Council for the National Academy for Nuclear Training. Lacal is a member of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) Executive Advisory Group; STARS Nuclear Alliance Board of Directors; Nuclear Strategic Issues Advisory Committee (NSIAC); Chairman of the Pressurized Water Reactor Owners Group (PWROG) Executive Committee; Chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) Risk Informed Steering Committee; Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Nuclear Power Council Executive Committee; CNO liaison for EPRI Fuel & Chemistry Executive Committee; executive sponsor of EPRI Fuels Research Integration Committee. She also currently serves as a member of the University of Arizona, Eller School of Business National Board of Advisors, the U.S. Women in Nuclear Executive Advisory Committee and the North American Young Generation in Nuclear Executive Advisory Committee.
Lacal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Miami. She also completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program in May 2015.
Last modified July 15, 2020, 11:33am EDT