Members of state nuclear advisory council named

July 17, 2023, 12:05PMNuclear News

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has announced appointments to his Tennessee Nuclear Energy Advisory Council, established recently via executive order to help position the Volunteer State as a national leader in nuclear innovation.

The order, signed May 16, called for a panel composed of members of the governor’s administration, the Tennessee General Assembly, the state’s congressional delegation, and key nuclear industry stakeholders.

“Tennessee can lead America’s energy independence and deliver continued economic growth with safe, reliable, and clean nuclear energy for the future,” Lee said in a July 13 news release from his office. “I am confident that these appointees will use their unique industry expertise to ensure that Tennessee is the top state for nuclear energy companies to invest and succeed, creating quality jobs and greater opportunity for Tennesseans.”

Lee’s lineup: The following individuals have been appointed to the council, including six American Nuclear Society members:

  • Tracy Boatner, East Tennessee Economic Council, workforce development representative and ANS member
  • Adam DeMella, ADG Strategies, congressional delegation designee and ANS member
  • Hash Hashemian, Analysis and Measurement Services, nuclear industry representative and ANS member
  • Wes Hines, University of Tennessee, higher education representative and ANS member
  • Maria Korsnick, member-at-large and ANS member
  • Don Moul, Tennessee Valley Authority representative and ANS member
  • David Salyers, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
  • Braden Stover, director of legislation, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Patrick Sheehan, director, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency
  • Loong Yong, Spectra Tech, congressional delegation designee
  • Jeff Smith, Oak Ridge National Laboratory representative
  • Terry Frank, Anderson County mayor, local government representative
  • Chris Jones, Middle Tennessee Electric, utilities representative
  • Jennifer Stone, Thompson Engineering, energy production representative
  • Sen. Ken Yager, Tennessee Senate, lieutenant governor appointee
  • Rep. Clark Boyd, Tennessee House of Representatives, speaker of the house appointee
  • Michelle Amante-Harstine, member-at-large
  • Blake Harris, member-at-large
  • Steve Jones, member-at-large
  • Padma Raghavan, member-at-large
  • Ken Rueter, member-at-large
  • Lang Wiseman, member-at-large

Council tasks: According to the executive order, by October 31, 2024, the council is to deliver to the governor and state lawmakers a report containing the following:

  • Legislative, policy, and budgetary changes to address regulatory, workforce, or educational barriers that exist to the creation and expansion of nuclear energy facilities in Tennessee.
  • Funding opportunities for state government, local governments, and the private sector.
  • Storage and waste practices that continue the state’s long history of conserving Tennessee’s natural resources.
  • Federal actions that Tennessee should pursue with federal partners and agencies.

Background: TVA announced in February 2022 that it would prepare a construction permit application for a GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) BWRX-300 small modular reactor at the Clinch River site near Oak Ridge, Tenn. Clinch River currently holds the only Nuclear Regulatory Commission early-site permit for SMRs.

And in March of this year, GEH announced that it would develop a standard design for the BWRX-300 with TVA, Canada’s Ontario Power Generation (OPG), and Poland’s Synthos Green Energy (SGE). Following the announcement, representatives of the four companies signed a technical collaboration agreement to invest in the development of the BWRX-300 standard design and detailed design for key components, including the reactor pressure vessel and reactor internals. According to a March 23 TVA release, “GEH is committed to standard design development and anticipates a total investment of around $400 million associated with the development.” That cost is to be met in part by contributions from TVA, OPG, and SGE. The power producers will additionally form a Design Center Working Group intended to ensure the standard design will be deployable—and licensable—in multiple jurisdictions.

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