ANS Winter Meeting: What it will take to “Fuel our Nuclear Future"

December 1, 2021, 3:01PMNuclear News

The 2021 ANS Winter Meeting and Technology Expo began this morning with a Opening Plenary Session chaired by Winter Meeting general chair Amir Vexler, president and chief executive officer of Orano USA. It was an opportunity to both celebrate achievements that are already building a “Nuclear Future” and to identify needs and challenges ahead.

Influential speakers from the U.S. Congress, the Department of Energy, and the Nuclear Energy Institute joined ANS president Steven Nesbit and ANS CEO/executive director Craig Piercy to explore key issues associated with the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle, including supply and demand for high-assay, low-enriched uranium (HALEU). They didn’t stop there, however. They took questions from an in-person and virtual audience that probed other requirements of a sustainable nuclear future, including fueling a human resources pipeline.

Panel shares tips to empower women to succeed in the nuclear field

September 27, 2021, 3:00PMANS News
The panelists at the September 22 Empowering Women to Succeed webinar. Clockwise from top left: Yeremian, Edwards, Rekola, Kandasamy, Camba Lynn, and Von Ruden.

Six women who shared personal stories and tactics to help others succeed in their careers in the nuclear field hope they have ignited a conversation that will continue far beyond a single webinar.

“Empowering Women to Succeed” was hosted by the American Nuclear Society on September 22, presented by a group of four nuclear organizations—ANS, North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN), U.S. Women in Nuclear (U.S. WIN), and the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI)—which have pledged to work together as #AtomicAllies.

Moderated by Rosemary Yeremian, vice president of corporate strategy for X-energy Canada, who recently published a book titled Step Up: The Key to Succeeding in Male-Dominated Businesses, the panel included five other established and emerging nuclear leaders who spoke about their own experiences in the nuclear workforce and the importance of reflection and self-determination.

Yeremian was introduced by Timothy Crook, incoming chair of the ANS Operations and Power Division, who also coordinated the Q&A session that wrapped up the webinar. If you missed it you can watch the recording now, and be sure to check out this Young Members Group Twitter thread.


Woke nuclear?

September 15, 2021, 3:00PMANS Nuclear CafeMaureen T. Koetz

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in posted articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Nuclear Society. The views expressed here are those of the individual authors. ANS takes no ownership of their views. The American Nuclear Society assumes no responsibility or liability for any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions, or ideas contained on this site.

After decades of relinquishing its value and return on investment as “emission-free” electricity generation, segments of the nuclear industry are pursuing actions in several states to secure emission credits for avoiding greenhouse gas emissions. To harmonize electricity market stability and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, states such as New York and New Jersey have enacted programs to award zero emission credits (ZECs) to nuclear plants for their emission-free output.

Dearly earned and too long forgone, air emission credits have been the economic birthright of the nuclear industry since the passage of the 1990 Clean Air Act (CAA) amendments, when emission control capability first became a tradable commodity. Yet it took until 2016 for ratepayers and shareholders to receive even a small fraction of this valuable return on investment.

Pamela Cowan: The Fleet Approach to D&D

September 10, 2021, 2:23PMRadwaste Solutions

Pamela Cowen

Having spent more than 25 years in the commercial nuclear power community, Pam Cowan has spent time in both the front- and back-end operations of nuclear power. It is this experience that she draws upon as the senior vice president and chief operating officer of Holtec Decommissioning International (HDI) to help her build a growing fleet of power plants undergoing decommissioning and demolition.

Cowan, who came to HDI from the Nuclear Energy Institute, is also senior vice president of decommissioning and regulatory affairs for HDI parent company Holtec International and president of the Nuclear Asset Management Company, the owner of the plants. Cowan also serves as a member of the board of directors of Comprehensive Decommissioning International, a decommissioning general contractor, jointly owned by Holtec and SNC-Lavalin.

Radwaste Solutions spoke to Cowan about Holtec’s fleet approach to decommissioning and her plans for HDI.

(Editor's note: Soon after this article was published in Radwaste Solutions, Westinghouse Electric Company announced that Pam Cowan had been appointed president of the company's Americas operating plant services unit. Cowan takes over the business on September 21, following the retirement of current president, David Howell.)

NRC to consider eliminating nonemergency notification requirements

August 19, 2021, 7:01AMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will consider in its rulemaking process issues raised in an August 2018 petition from the Nuclear Energy Institute regarding notification requirements for nonemergency events, according to a notice published in the August 12 Federal Register. The NRC docketed the petition in November 2018 and received public input on it through February 4, 2019.

The petition requested that the NRC amend 10 CFR 50.72, “Immediate Notification for Operating Nuclear Power Reactors,” by removing its nonemergency notification requirements. Currently, 50.72 requires licensees to notify the NRC one, four, or eight hours after the occurrence of a nonemergency event, depending on its nature.

D.C. court dismisses challenge to NRC’s low-level waste policy

May 7, 2021, 12:06PMRadwaste Solutions

A federal court has dismissed a claim by the Nuclear Energy Institute that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had reversed decades of established policy by requiring owners and operators of nuclear power plants to obtain the agency’s approval to dispose of low-level radioactive waste, even in NRC Agreement States.

At issue was a letter the NRC sent to NEI in 2019, stating that licensees must receive agency approval before disposing of LLW. In response, NEI filed a lawsuit against the NRC, claiming that the letter imposes new obligations on licensees without the NRC’s having followed rulemaking procedures required by the Administrative Procedure Act, including publishing notice of the new policy and receiving input from stakeholders prior to implementation.

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Granholm urged to form nuclear waste management office within DOE

May 5, 2021, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

Granholm

The American Nuclear Society joined seven other prominent nuclear organizations in submitting a letter to energy secretary Jennifer Granholm requesting that the Department of Energy establish an office dedicated to developing and managing an integrated nuclear waste storage, transportation, and disposal program. The letter asks that the new office report directly to the energy secretary.

Specifically, the office would do the following:

  • Provide a focal point for work on spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
  • Facilitate necessary engagement with external stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate an intent and commitment to take meaningful action.

Prospects for nuclear in 2021 looking up, says NEI

February 2, 2021, 3:01PMNuclear News

Korsnick

Nuclear Energy Institute president and chief executive officer Maria Korsnick struck a decidedly optimistic tone last week in remarks on nuclear’s future delivered at the United States Energy Association’s 17th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum.

"In 2020, nuclear energy was highlighted in both House and Senate climate reports," she noted. "Congress significantly increased appropriations to accelerate research and development of new nuclear technologies. And we’ve seen the introduction of bipartisan legislation that recognizes nuclear’s contributions to today’s economy and our clean energy future.”

NEI to help regenerate Romania’s nuclear sector

October 21, 2020, 12:00PMNuclear News

Chirica

The Nuclear Energy Institute and the Romanian Atomic Forum (Romatom) have signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in civil applications of nuclear energy, according to Romatom on October 14.

The MOU was signed less than a week after the United States and Romania initialed a draft intergovernmental agreement for cooperation on the construction of two additional reactors at Romania’s Cernavoda nuclear power plant and the refurbishment of Unit 1. Cernavoda currently houses two operating reactors—Units 1 and 2, twin 650-MWe CANDU-6 pressurized heavy-water reactors.

Maria Korsnick, NEI’s president and chief executive officer, and Teodor Chirica, Romatom’s honorary president, signed the MOU during a webinar on investment opportunities and the capabilities of the U.S. and Romanian nuclear industries. Also in attendance were Tommy Joyce, the U.S. Department of Energy’s deputy assistant secretary for global energy security and multilateral engagement, and Dan Dragan, secretary of state in the Romanian Ministry of Energy, Economy, and Business Environment.

More voices come to the defense of Ohio’s H.B. 6 policy

September 8, 2020, 12:06PMNuclear News

Despite high-profile calls to repeal the scandal-tainted Ohio Clean Air Program Act (H.B. 6) and recent legislation crafted toward that end in both the Ohio House and Senate (66 of 99 House members have reportedly co-sponsored Democratic or Republican bills to repeal H.B. 6), the policy behind the measure continues to garner support.

As reported here on August 26, the six commissioners from Ohio’s Lake and Ottawa counties—home to Davis-Besse and Perry, the two nuclear plants saved from early closure by H.B. 6—have made clear their opposition to an immediate repeal of the act.

Duke companies include advanced nuclear in plans to speed carbon reduction

September 4, 2020, 9:38AMNuclear News

Duke Energy Progress and Duke Energy Carolinas have filed their 2020 Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) with state regulators, parent company Duke Energy announced September 1.

The plans outline a range of options to achieve varying levels of carbon reduction, including, for the first time, potential pathways to achieve up to 70 percent carbon-emission reduction through policy and technology advancements.

Aggressive carbon-reduction targets are attainable, the company said, with investments in solar, wind, and energy storage, as well as with advanced nuclear, offshore wind, and other technologies “as they become available.” (Last September, Duke Energy declared its intention to seek subsequent license renewal for the 11 reactors it operates in six nuclear plants in the Carolinas [NN, Oct. 2019, p. 9].)

UWC 2020: A call for transformational change

August 12, 2020, 6:25PMNuclear News

Bowing to current COVID-19 realities but buoyed by the success of June’s virtual Annual Meeting, ANS event planners returned to the virtual realm for this year’s Utility Working Conference. Originally scheduled for August 9–12 at Marco Island, Fla., the condensed event was held Wednesday, August 11, wherever registrants’ computer devices happened to be located.

In addition to 26 educational sessions and workshops, UWC 2020 featured an opening plenary session titled “Achieving Transformational Change: A leadership discussion,” moderated by Bob Coward, MPR Associates principal officer and ANS past president (2017–2018). Plenary panelists included representatives from three utilities—Arizona Public Service (APS), Exelon, and Xcel Energy—plus the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

In addition to coverage of the opening plenary further below, Newswire also covered other UWC sessions from the day, which are available for reading here:

  • More from UWC 2020 Click here
  • More from UWC 2020: Round 2 Click here
  • More from UWC 2020: Round 3 Click here

The opening plenary coverage starts directly below:

DFC drops prohibition on nuclear project financing

July 28, 2020, 7:02AMNuclear News

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has lifted its ban on financing nuclear power projects abroad. Last month, the DFC proposed the change to its Environmental and Social Policy and Procedures, which had specifically prohibited it from offering such support.

The change, announced by the DFC on July 23, also implements a key recommendation made in an April 2020 report issued by the U.S. Nuclear Fuel Working Group, an interagency initiative to review and modernize U.S. nuclear energy policy.

Palo Verde takes home 2020’s top TIP

July 20, 2020, 7:01AMNuclear News

A team from Arizona Public Service’s (APS) Palo Verde nuclear plant, in Wintersburg, Ariz., has won the Nuclear Energy Institute’s “Best of the Best” Top Innovative Practice (TIP) Award for developing in-house software applications that use machine learning to automate such time-consuming tasks as screening reports or searching maintenance logs. The award was announced July 9 during NEI’s first-ever virtual TIP Awards presentation.

Dems’ climate action plan makes room for nuclear

July 2, 2020, 9:28AMNuclear News

House Democrats on June 30 rolled out a vision of what U.S. climate change policy might look like in the event the Democratic party holds its current House majority, retakes the Senate, and wins the White House in November. The vision was presented in the form of a sweeping 547-page majority staff report entitled Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America.

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NEI holds virtual event on future of nuclear industry

June 26, 2020, 9:00AMNuclear News

The Nuclear Energy Institute on June 24 hosted The State of the Nuclear Energy Industry 2020, a three-segment webinar featuring remarks from Maria Korsnick, president and chief executive officer of NEI; an interview with Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), conducted by Jason Grumet, founder and president of the Bipartisan Policy Center; and a panel discussion moderated by Rich Powell, executive director of ClearPath.

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