May 18, 2022, 11:59AMNuclear News

A team from the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy joined ANS Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer Craig Piercy on April 27 for an ANS members–only online event to discuss the Biden administration’s fiscal year 2023 NE budget proposal. The proposed total for the office, $1.675 billion, is more than a $20 million increase from the FY 2022 enacted level of $1.654 billion.

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May 5, 2022, 3:04PMNuclear News

Huff

The Senate has confirmed ANS member Kathryn Huff as the next assistant secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) in the Department of Energy. The bipartisan vote, held earlier this afternoon, was 80–11.

President Biden selected Huff in January to fill the top spot at NE—a post that has been vacant since Rita Baranwal (also an ANS member) announced she was leaving the position on January 8, 2021.

Huff came to the DOE in May of last year to serve as principal deputy assistant secretary for nuclear energy, going on unpaid leave from her position as an associate professor in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign, where she led the Advanced Reactors and Fuel Cycles Research Group.

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April 25, 2022, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) is expanding its Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP). The program originally included internships, competitive research awards, a postdoctoral research program, and the Savannah River Environmental Sciences Field Station. It will now include a technology curriculum, a professional development program, a graduate fellowship program, and an EM/minority-serving institution shared interest research partnership, the DOE announced on April 14.

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April 25, 2022, 9:28AMANS News

ANS is hosting a webinar titled “Budgeting for the Future of Nuclear” on Wednesday, April 27, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (EDT). Representatives from the Department of Energy will discuss the president’s fiscal year 2023 budget request.

Register Now. The webinar is for ANS members only.

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April 20, 2022, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Green pursuit of a low-carbon future absent the introduction of more nuclear power on existing grids is nothing but a fantasy, writes Tristan Justice, a correspondent for the online magazine The Federalist. In an article published on April 15, Justice calls out Apple Inc. for its 2022 Earth Day initiative to donate one dollar for every Apple Pay purchase to the antinuclear World Wildlife Fund, and he claims that Apple is "demonizing" nuclear power while promoting an antinuclear agenda.

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April 19, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

The Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA), a nonprofit advocating for advanced nuclear, has announced the publication of a new report, Fission Vision: Doubling Nuclear Energy Production to Meet Clean Energy Needs. According to the April 13 announcement, the United States needs a “focused national effort” to develop and deploy advanced nuclear technologies to help meet midcentury climate goals.

Current U.S. climate targets (set by the Biden administration) include a 50–52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in net greenhouse gas pollution by 2030 and a net-zero–emissions economy by 2050.

Fission Vision answers the question: What is the role advanced nuclear energy could play at a scale and at a pace to help provide safe, reliable, and affordable clean energy?” said Judi Greenwald, NIA’s executive director. “Fission Vision has three objectives: catalyzing a robust U.S. innovation and commercialization ecosystem, ensuring ‘social license’ to operate advanced nuclear energy, and reimagining and integrating advanced nuclear energy with other clean energy sources. If we can achieve these objectives—and we think we can—advanced reactors will play a major role in meeting our climate and energy goals by at least doubling U.S. nuclear energy production by 2050.”

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April 19, 2022, 12:09PMNuclear NewsBill Foster

Foster

New and existing nuclear reactors are among our most powerful tools if we hope to make a meaningful contribution to climate change before 2050. We don’t have a lot of time to reduce emissions to avoid catastrophic warming. It is our responsibility to develop a comprehensive response to address our dependence on fossil fuels, promote sustainable energy use, and invest in new energy technologies.

Science and engineering continue to make great strides in energy-­related technologies such as advanced nuclear reactors, long-­term energy storage, fusion energy, and the safe and secure handling of spent nuclear fuel. Using every viable tool to combat climate change will help ensure a safer world for us and for generations to come.

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April 15, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

Notwithstanding the snubbing of nuclear in its recently released Green Bond Framework, the Canadian government is showing support for small modular reactors in its 2022 budget plan, which was presented to the House of Commons by the minister of finance, Chrystia Freeland, on April 7.

According to the Canadian Nuclear Association, “This is the first documented government policy that provides explicit financial support for SMRs as a key solution for climate change.”

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April 13, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News

Risch

Manchin

Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) and Jim Risch (R., Idaho) recently introduced the International Nuclear Energy Act of 2022, a measure aimed at developing a strategy to counter the growing influence of Russia and China on the global civil nuclear export market.

Manchin is chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Risch is the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Bill basics: The legislation, according to the lawmakers, would:

  • Establish an office to coordinate civil nuclear exports strategy, establish financing relationships, promote regulatory harmonization, enhance safeguards and security, promote standardization of licensing framework, and create an export working group.

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April 5, 2022, 11:56AMNuclear News

In its latest report on the climate, released yesterday, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) declares the need for immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors for the world to stand a realistic chance of limiting the increase in global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F).

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March 31, 2022, 7:12AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Nuclear Innovation Alliance released a report on March 25 titled “ESG Frameworks and Advanced Nuclear Energy,” discussing how environmental, social, and governance (ESG) frameworks affect advanced nuclear energy technologies. The report, as described in an NIA press release, “includes potential actions the nuclear industry and financial community should consider to promote consistent analytical treatment of nuclear energy within ESG frameworks and efficient access to capital for nuclear investments.”

Need for consistent frameworks: Judi Greenwald, the NIA executive director, explained the need for consistent ESG frameworks, noting that “[n]uclear energy technologies are particularly affected by the inconsistent treatment of some frameworks regarding the ESG attributes of energy technologies. . . . As frameworks are standardized and embedded in policy, if their flaws are not addressed, advanced nuclear energy could be left at a disadvantage in terms of access to capital.”

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March 29, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

The White House yesterday released its $5.8 trillion fiscal year 2023 budget proposal, just two weeks after President Biden signed into law H.R. 2471, the FY 2022 omnibus bill that funds the federal government through September 30.

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March 23, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

Having made significant investments in nuclear energy over the past year and a half (including C$27.2 million announced just last week), the Canadian government bewildered nuclear advocates earlier this month with its Green Bond Framework.

Released on March 3, the framework specifically excludes nuclear energy, along with the transportation, exploration, and production of fossil fuels, arms manufacturing, gambling, the manufacture and production of tobacco products, and the manufacture and production of alcoholic beverages.

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March 23, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News

The Canadian government has announced an investment of C$27.2 million (about $21.6 million) in Westinghouse Electric Canada to support the development of the company’s eVinci microreactor technology.

François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, made the announcement on March 17 during a visit to the company’s Burlington, Ontario, facility.

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March 15, 2022, 3:10PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The election last week of Yoon Suk Yeol as president of South Korea has provided a big boost for that nation’s nuclear energy-related stocks. Yoon, of the conservative People Power Party, defeated Lee Jae-myung, of the incumbent liberal Democratic Party, on a pro-nuclear platform. As reported by marketwatch.com, Yoon has promised to “reinvigorate the nuclear-energy industry by reactivating suspended atomic power plants and resuming building new ones.”

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March 14, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The European Union could reduce imports of Russian natural gas by more than a third within a year through a combination of measures that would support energy security and affordability and would be consistent with the European Green Deal, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.

“Nobody is under any illusions anymore,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol on announcing the release of the report, A 10-Point Plan to Reduce the European Union’s Reliance on Russian Natural Gas. “Russia’s use of its natural gas resources as an economic and political weapon shows Europe needs to act quickly to be ready to face considerable uncertainty over Russian gas supplies next winter. . . . Europe needs to rapidly reduce the dominant role of Russia in its energy markets and ramp up the alternatives as quickly as possible.”

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March 11, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

After offering a small shred of hope that it might be persuaded to keep its remaining power reactors in operation a bit longer to reduce its dependence on Russia for energy, Germany has opted to continue with its nuclear phaseout. The last three operating German reactors, Neckarwestheim-2, Isar-2, and Emsland, are slated for shutdown later this year.

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March 10, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

After months of negotiations, the House passed a fiscal year 2022 omnibus spending package late Wednesday—the same day that congressional appropriators from both chambers unveiled the long-awaited measure.

Labeled H.R. 2471, the 2,741-page, $1.5 trillion package includes all 12 of the standard annual appropriations bills, providing $730 billion for nondefense programs, a $46 billion (6.7 percent) jump from FY 2021, and $782 billion for defense programs, a $42 billion (5.6 percent) boost. (The bill also includes $13.6 billion to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.)

The House also approved, by voice vote, a stopgap bill to extend government funding to March 15 to give the Senate time to review the omnibus bill and send it to the president’s desk for his signature. At this writing, funding for the federal government runs out tomorrow.

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March 1, 2022, 3:07PMNuclear News

In a major change to its subsequent license renewal process, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last week ruled that reviews of SLR applications must rely on a more extensive environmental analysis than that provided by the agency’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants (GEIS). According to the ruling, the GEIS, properly understood, does not cover the SLR period.

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February 24, 2022, 7:01AMANS Nuclear Cafe

This year has been a good one so far regarding interest from state legislatures in the potential of nuclear energy. Examples reported by Nuclear Newswire include, in January, an Indiana bill to incentivize the construction of small modular reactors, and this month, West Virginia’s repeal of its ban on new nuclear plant construction and legislation in Illinois aimed at achieving the same end in that state. Slipping under our radar until now, however, is a measure in Oklahoma introduced earlier this month that would create a feasibility study to examine the possibility of nuclear power in the Sooner State.

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February 10, 2022, 6:58AMNuclear News

Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill yesterday that repeals the state’s quarter-century-old ban on nuclear power plant construction. The legislation, S.B. 4, passed the West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates last month with no substantial opposition and will go into effect in May.

S.B. 4 rescinds article 27A of the West Virginia Code, which prohibited “the construction of any nuclear power plant, nuclear factory, or nuclear electric power generating plant until such time as the proponents of any such facility can adequately demonstrate that a functional and effective national facility, which safely, successfully, and permanently disposes of radioactive wastes, has been developed.” 27A also required nuclear facility construction to be economically feasible for West Virginia ratepayers and in compliance with all applicable environmental protection laws, rules, and requirements.

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February 2, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

Constellation, formerly Exelon Generation, owner and operator of the nation’s largest nuclear reactor fleet, announced this morning the completion of its separation from Exelon Corporation and its launch as a stand-alone, publicly traded company. Headquartered in Baltimore, Md., the new company began trading today on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “CEG.”

Exelon announced last February that it had begun the effort to separate its utility businesses from its competitive power generation and customer-facing energy businesses.

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January 26, 2022, 3:02PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The West Virginia Senate voted 24–7 yesterday in favor of S.B. 4, which repeals sections of the state code banning the construction of nuclear power plants in West Virginia, according to an article in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel. The bill now heads to the House, which is considering a similar measure.

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January 26, 2022, 9:30AMANS News

For more than 50 years, the ANS Honors and Awards Program has recognized outstanding achievements and meritorious service in the various fields served by the American Nuclear Society.

The recipients of the national awards listed below will be honored on June 13 during the opening plenary session of the 2022 ANS Annual Meeting. Honorees will be notified of their selection by May.

All members are encouraged to review the nomination requirements for these awards and consider nominating a qualified colleague. Many ANS awards are open to non-ANS members, and nominating colleagues who are not members is one way to foster new ANS relationships.

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January 21, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

A group of West Virginia state senators—four Republicans and four Democrats—is attempting to overturn the state’s effective ban on nuclear power plant construction.

On Wednesday, their bill, S.B. 4, was approved by the Senate Economic Development Committee. The lead sponsor for the legislation is Sen. Tom Takubo (R., Dist. 17).

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January 19, 2022, 11:39AMPress Releases

Huff

Washington, D.C.— Today, President Joe Biden nominated Kathryn Huff as the Assistant Secretary of Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy. The following statement can be attributed to the American Nuclear Society:

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January 14, 2022, 3:25PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) has been in the news over the past week—and that’s good news for the nuclear community. Last week, The Hill reported on Manchin’s support for climate action, and according to Bloomberg News this week, Manchin is “big on nuclear” and supports the tax credits for nuclear power plants included in the administration’s Build Back Better plan.

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January 13, 2022, 12:01PMNuclear News

Entergy Corporation has announced senior leadership moves that it said support the fleet's succession plans and reinforce its bench strength for its nuclear operations, based in Jackson, Miss.

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January 12, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Exelon Generation—owner and operator of the nation’s largest power reactor fleet—held an online event yesterday outlining the company’s business strategy as it prepares to separate from Exelon Corporation under the name Constellation. The separation is expected to become final on February 1.

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January 11, 2022, 3:03PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Clark

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced today the selection of Brooke Poole Clark as the new secretary to the Commission, effective spring 2022. Clark will replace Annette Vietti-Cook, who is retiring after nearly 40 years of service at the NRC.

In her new position, Clark will provide executive management services to support the Commission and implement Commission decisions. She will be responsible for scheduling Commission meetings, managing the Commission's decision-making process, codifying Commission decisions in memoranda, processing and controlling Commission correspondence, and maintaining the Commission's historical records collection, among other tasks.

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January 4, 2022, 12:01PMANS News

Marzano

Matthew Marzano is beginning a year of service in Washington, D.C., as the 2022 Glenn T. Seaborg Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow, and he is excited about bringing his nuclear power experience to the policy-making process.

“I am most looking forward to the opportunity to learn about the legislative process and the conduct of business on Capitol Hill. Oftentimes we are presented a picture of a dysfunctional Congress through the media, but I’ve gathered through the orientation process and congressional interviews that collaboration is alive and well, especially in the area of clean energy,” Marzano said.

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February 26, 2021, 4:59PMUpdated December 27, 2021, 4:00PMNuclear NewsSteven P. Nesbit and Paul T. Dickman

At the end of 2021, Nuclear News is taking a look back at some of the feature articles published each month in the magazine. This article is from our February issue that focused on policy. Hopefully, Nuclear News will be updating this story in 2022 if the Biden administration follows the recommendation of ANS leadership to fill the vacant seats.

In 2015, we wrote an article for Nuclear News analyzing the history of commissioners appointed to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and assessing their backgrounds, experience, and qualifications at the time of their appointment. At the time, ANS had not established a formal position statement on NRC commissioner appointees. Our article provided an objective assessment of historical patterns and was used to develop ANS position statement #77, The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2016). This article draws upon the 2015 article and provides updated data and analysis. Also, the recommendations of the position statement are applied to the current vacancy on the commission.

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December 20, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News

Bipartisan support for nuclear energy continued on Capitol Hill last week as Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), the committee’s ranking member, introduced the Fission for the Future Act of 2021, a measure backing the commercial deployment of advanced nuclear reactors.

Introduced on December 16, the legislation would prioritize communities affected by the closure of coal and other fossil-fueled generating facilities and assist in the reutilization of those sites to deploy advanced nuclear power plants, promoting job growth in economically depressed regions.

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December 13, 2021, 3:00PMANS Nuclear CafeDonna Kemp Spangler

Kandasamy

Daunting tasks are nothing new for Jhansi Kandasamy. Her record of accomplishments over three decades suggests that she is often the first to succeed where others fall short. “I like to be the first,” she said with a laugh.

Her latest first? Kandasamy was recently named Idaho National Laboratory’s net-zero director. She is charged with achieving net-zero carbon emissions for INL within the next 10 years and her plan is to be 75 percent toward that goal within the next five years.

John Wagner, INL director, announced the Net-Zero initiative on Earth Day 2021, and he acknowledged it won’t be easy. “I understand this is an audacious goal,” he said, “but overcoming significant national challenges is exactly what national laboratories were established to do.”

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December 8, 2021, 7:00AMANS News

In a November letter to President Biden, ANS president Steven Nesbit and U.S. Nuclear Industry Council president and chief executive officer Bud Albright urged the president to proceed with nominations for the two open seats on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The letter stated, “The NRC operates best with a full complement of five qualified commissioners who have diverse and complementary backgrounds. . . . Unfortunately, the commission was last at full strength in January 2021, nearly a year ago.”

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November 22, 2021, 11:59AMANS News

ANS sponsored 10 young nuclear professionals from the Young Generation Network, a branch of the U.K.’s Nuclear Institute, to attend COP26, the 2021 United Nations climate change conference, held in Glasgow, Scotland, where they helped deliver what was “by all accounts nuclear’s best representation at the COP ever,” according to George Burnett, one of four U.K.-based attendees sponsored by ANS.

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November 19, 2021, 6:53AMNuclear News

The Senate on Tuesday evening unanimously confirmed Willie Phillips, chairman of the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia, as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, bringing that body to its full, five-member complement. He was nominated by President Biden in September to fill FERC’s vacant seat and will serve a term that expires on June 30, 2026.

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November 18, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the indirect transfer of the licenses for 23 operating and five decommissioning reactors, as well as their associated independent spent fuel storage installations, from Exelon Corporation to a new company as part of a corporate restructuring, the agency announced yesterday.

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November 17, 2021, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Microsoft, the America-based multinational technology corporation that produces computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services, is looking for a director of nuclear technologies engineering.

Published this week on LinkedIn, the job announcement states, “We are looking for a Nuclear Technologies Engineer to research methods of utilizing nuclear energy and design useful nuclear systems. You’ll monitor and report on engineering processes, including nuclear waste disposal and safety regulations. You will handle complex machinery and resolve on-site emergencies.”

The successful candidate can be based anywhere in the U.S., the announcement added.

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November 16, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News

Surrounded by members of his cabinet, congressional leaders, and others, President Biden yesterday afternoon signed into law the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—representing a much-needed victory for the president, whose approval rating, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, sits at 41 percent.

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November 15, 2021, 3:24PMPress Releases

Statement from American Nuclear Society President Steven Nesbit and Executive Director and CEO Craig Piercy:

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November 8, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear News

After hours of squabbling between left-wing and centrist Democrats, the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill (H.R. 3684)—one of the two main pillars of President Biden’s domestic agenda—passed the House of Representatives late Friday night and has been sent to the White House for signing. The final tally was 228–206, with 13 Republicans joining most Democrats in casting their votes in favor of the legislation.

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November 5, 2021, 9:29AMNuclear News

As Congress awaited key votes yesterday on spending bills that include production tax credits for at-risk plants and a new amendment adding $500 million in supplemental funding over five years to increase the availability of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU), the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a Full Committee Hearing On Potential Non-Electric Applications Of Civilian Nuclear Energy. Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.V.), chairman of the committee, emphasized that “advanced nuclear reactors hold enormous potential to provide opportunity to communities across the country with zero-emission baseload power” and made it clear he expects new reactors to replace retiring coal plants in his home state of West Virginia.

Speaking before the committee were Shannon Bragg-Sitton of Idaho National Laboratory, Paul Chodak III of American Electric Power, and Michael J. Guastella of the Council of Radionuclides and Radiopharmaceuticals.

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November 4, 2021, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

A trio of Republican lawmakers from Western states—Sens. Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), and Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.)—held a press conference at the Capitol yesterday to announce the American Energy, Jobs & Climate Plan, a response to what they termed the “Biden-Kerry Green New Deal.” Also in attendance were fellow Republican senators Ted Cruz (Texas), John Kennedy (La.), and Rob Portman (Ohio).

The plan is “an innovative clean energy and climate strategy with the potential to reduce global [greenhouse gas] emissions by up to 40 percent from today’s levels by 2050 and create thousands of jobs for hard-working Americans,” according to a press release from Sullivan’s office.

In April, the Biden administration announced a target of net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, with an interim target of a 50–52 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2030.

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November 3, 2021, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

“Where nuclear power was once a source of unity for Europe, today it is a source of discord.” So states The Economist’s October 30 “Charlemagne” column—a regular source of commentary on European politics in the weekly publication—before deftly dissecting nuclear power’s continental divide and picking a winner.

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