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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November 3, 2021, 7:01AMANS NewsSteven P. Nesbit

Steven P. Nesbit

As I write this column, it’s late September, and I’m sitting in Dulles Airport waiting for my connecting flight back to Charlotte from Vienna, Austria, where I attended the 65th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency. It was quite an experience, and I want to share a few observations with you. But first, let me provide some background on the IAEA, which is perhaps not as well-­known to Americans as to those in other countries.

The IAEA was established in 1957 within the United Nations family and as an outgrowth of President Dwight Eisenhower’s famous 1953 “Atoms for Peace” speech. It is the world’s central intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical cooperation in the nuclear field. The objectives of the IAEA’s dual mission—to promote and control the use of the atom—are defined in Article II of the IAEA Statute.

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November 2, 2021, 12:00PMANS NewsCraig Piercy

On behalf of over 10,000 nuclear engineers, scientists, and technologists, the American Nuclear Society urges COP 26 delegates to insist that any agreement arising from COP26 include a strong role for nuclear technology in achieving carbon reduction targets.

Deep decarbonization and electrification of the global economy will require the increased availability of firm, “dispatchable” zero-carbon energy technologies. Nuclear energy is the only energy source with a proven track record of producing firm, zero-carbon energy at the scale needed to meet global goals. Indeed, it’s increasingly clear that achieving net-zero worldwide carbon emissions is simply not feasible without a significant expansion of carbon-free nuclear energy worldwide.

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November 1, 2021, 7:00AMANS News

Commercial nuclear power has accumulated nearly 75 years and 19,000 reactor-years of operating experience around the globe. In that time, nuclear professionals “have developed a proven and effective state-of-the art approach to safety that is a model in any industrial setting, including in the development of next-generation nuclear technology,” states the American Nuclear Society’s Position Statement #51: Safety of Nuclear Power. The Board of Directors approved the revised position statement in October 2021, and it has just been published on the ANS website, replacing a position statement published in 2007.

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November 1, 2021, 5:44AMPress Releases

On behalf of over 10,000 nuclear engineers, scientists, and technologists, the American Nuclear Society urges COP 26 delegates to insist that any agreement arising from COP26 include a strong role for nuclear technology in achieving carbon reduction targets.

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October 28, 2021, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Attendees at the 2021 Women in Nuclear Global Conference, held virtually October 17–21, had the opportunity to learn from nuclear professionals from around the world, including from the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), the group responsible for designing and implementing Canada’s plan for the long-term management of spent nuclear fuel.

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October 28, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News

A new funding model has been introduced by the U.K. government to attract a wider range of private investment into new nuclear power projects, cutting the cost of financing them and reducing the cost to consumers.

The Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill, announced by the government on October 26, will use a model known as the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) to fund future nuclear power plants in Britain. The model is tried and tested, according to the government, and has successfully financed other infrastructure projects, such as the U.K.’s Thames Tideway Tunnel and Heathrow Terminal 5.

Learn more about the RAB model.

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October 21, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News

Svinicki

Kristine Svinicki, former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has joined the board of directors of Southern Company. Southern announced her election as an independent director on Monday. She joins the board’s Business Security and Resiliency Committee, as well as its Operations, Environmental, and Safety Committee.

“As the longest-serving member in the history of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Kristine brings to Southern Company a wealth of experience advising energy policy at the federal and state levels,” said Southern chairman, president, and chief executive officer Tom Fanning. “Kristine’s knowledge of and expertise in nuclear technologies will be invaluable as we pursue the full range of energy resources. Moreover, Kristine’s insight into the energy challenges of tomorrow places Southern Company in a prime position to serve customers, communities, employees, and stockholders well into the future.”

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October 20, 2021, 6:59AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Sixteen ministers from 10 European Union member states argue for adding nuclear energy to the EU taxonomy in a joint letter published last week in leading European newspapers and sent to the European Commission.

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October 18, 2021, 3:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe

In an open letter published last week in Welt, 25 leading German and foreign academics, environmentalists, and journalists attempt to convince the German people that continuing with their nation’s phase-out of nuclear power is not a good idea, and certainly not a green one.

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October 11, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News

The Department of Energy has released its 2021 Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan, outlining steps that it will take to ensure its facilities and operations adapt to and are increasingly resilient to the impacts of a changing climate. As announced by the White House last week , the DOE was one of more than 20 federal agencies to release climate change plans, which were developed in response to President Biden’s executive order on tackling the climate crisis, issued in January.

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October 7, 2021, 6:59AMNuclear News

Duckworth

A bipartisan quartet of senators last week reintroduced legislation aimed at protecting employees of the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission who report nuclear safety violations.

The bill—straightforwardly titled the Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 2896)—is sponsored by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D., Ill.) and cosponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), James Lankford (R., Okla.), and Ron Wyden (D., Ore.). Duckworth had introduced the legislation twice before, in May 2018 and May 2019.

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October 5, 2021, 7:00AMANS News

The recipients of ANS awards will be recognized during the 2021 ANS Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., during the opening plenary and President’s Special Session. The national awards will be presented by President Steven Nesbit and Honors and Awards Committee chair H. M. “Hash” Hashemian.

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October 4, 2021, 12:01PMANS News

The American Nuclear Society has selected a group of Black former students known as the Tennessee-85 to receive the inaugural Social Responsibility in the Nuclear Community Award. The 85 former students are receiving the honor in recognition of their bravery and leadership displayed in desegregating an Oak Ridge school in Tennessee in 1955. A co-recipient of the award is the Secretary of Energy for the leadership displayed by the Atomic Energy Commission (now the Department of Energy) in ordering the all-white Oak Ridge public schools to integrate that year. The award will be presented at the upcoming ANS Winter Meeting.

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September 29, 2021, 1:07PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Australia’s two large lithium-ion storage batteries are getting attention for all the wrong reasons. Hornsdale Power Reserve, a 150-MW battery collocated with a wind farm in South Australia, is being charged in federal court with failing to deliver on promises to respond to grid demands, and of being technically unable to deliver under the terms it was being paid to meet. Proceedings were filed September 22, just before the testing of a second Tesla-manufactured “Big Battery resumed after a two-month delay following a fire in July.

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September 28, 2021, 7:18AMNuclear News

More than a dozen of the world’s leading nuclear industry executives have teamed up with the International Atomic Energy Agency to form the Group of Vienna, with the aim of using nuclear technologies to address global challenges, including climate change, disease, and hunger.

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September 24, 2021, 6:59AMNuclear News

The staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently released a draft white paper outlining strategies for streamlining microreactor licensing. The paper is to be used to facilitate discussion at an upcoming advanced reactor stakeholder public meeting.

“This paper,” the document emphasizes, “has not been subject to NRC management and legal reviews and approvals, and its contents are subject to change and should not be interpreted as official agency positions.”

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September 23, 2021, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Eleven countries have been newly elected to serve on the 35-member board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency for the period 2021–2022. The election took place on September 23 during the plenary session of the 65th IAEA General Conference, in Vienna, Austria. The conference started on September 20 and will run through September 24.

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September 20, 2021, 9:30AMANS News

Nesbit

Following the passage of Illinois’s Energy Transition Act last week, an NPR affiliate in central Illinois hosted a 30-minute panel discussion with three guests to discuss the landmark legislation. The radio program, The 21st Show, invited Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, Mark Denzler, president and chief executive officer of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, and Steven Nesbit, president of the American Nuclear Society, to discuss the different sides of this debate. Two were supporters of the bill, and one was opposed to it.

Background: Because of the “landmark but controversial clean energy bill,” as described on The 21st Show’s website, “Nuclear power plants will be kept online, and solar and wind developments will continue to grow, while coal and natural gas power plants are expected to gradually go off line. In the long term, Illinois's electricity will be produced completely from clean sources by 2050.”

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Governor J. B. Pritzker says he will sign the landmark legislation

September 14, 2021, 7:03AMNuclear News

The yearlong, nail-biting drama over the fate of Exelon’s Byron and Dresden nuclear plants came to an end on Monday afternoon when the Illinois Senate gave its nod to S.B. 2408, a wide-ranging clean energy package that seeks to phase out fossil-fuel power generation in the state and place it on a path to 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2050.

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September 9, 2021, 7:00AMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is seeking qualified candidates for an open position on its Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards. The ACRS is an advisory group that provides independent technical review of, and advice on, matters related to the safety of existing and proposed nuclear facilities and on the adequacy of proposed reactor safety standards. It also advises the NRC on health physics and radiation protection issues.

Interested individuals can find candidate criteria and details in the Federal Register notice published on September 8 and available on the NRC’s website. Resumes will be accepted until December 7.

Resumes should be sent to Makeeka Compton and Jamila Perry, ACRS, Mail Stop T2B50, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, or e-mailed to Makeeka.Compton@nrc.gov and Jamila.Perry@nrc.gov.

More information on the ACRS is available on the NRC’s website.

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August 13, 2021, 12:04PMNuclear News

Last week, Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.) and Mike Doyle (D., Pa.) introduced legislation that would establish a financial credit program for economically challenged nuclear power plants and would authorize funding for “nuclear closure communities.”

The Preserving Existing Nuclear Energy Generation Act (H.R. 4960) is the House companion to certain provisions in a Senate proposal that was reported favorably by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on July 14 and was subsequently included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the $1.2 trillion bipartisan package that the Senate passed earlier this week via a 69–30 vote.

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August 13, 2021, 9:01AMNuclear News

Luria.

Newhouse.

Reps. Dan Newhouse (R., Wash.) and Elaine Luria (D., Va.) late last month introduced legislation to establish a long-term nuclear power purchase agreement program that would direct the secretary of energy to enter into one or more agreements to purchase nuclear power from reactors licensed after January 2020. Dubbed the Nuclear Power Purchase Agreements Act, the bill would also require the secretary to enter into one national security–related nuclear power purchase agreement prior to 2026 to provide reliable and resilient power in “remote off-grid” and emergency scenarios.

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August 12, 2021, 6:59AMANS News

Marzano.

The American Nuclear Society has selected Matthew Marzano to serve as the 2022 Glenn T. Seaborg Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow.

“Matt is in a unique position to provide significant technical assistance to the U.S. Congress on nuclear energy, particularly now as there are important discussions that will shape the future of U.S. energy policy,” said Harsh S. Desai, chair of the ANS Congressional Fellowship Committee and a former congressional fellow himself.

“Members of Congress and their staff will greatly benefit from Matt’s depth of experience in commercial and defense nuclear power plant operations,” Desai said. “The fellowship will also be an opportunity for Matt to develop his policy expertise and learn ‘how the sausage is made.’”

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August 10, 2021, 9:10PMPress Releases

Statement from Craig Piercy, Executive Director and CEO of the American Nuclear Society:

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August 10, 2021, 4:36PMPress Releases

Marzano

The American Nuclear Society has selected Matthew Marzano to serve as the 2022 Glenn T. Seaborg Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow. Marzano is a senior reactor operator at Exelon Generation’s Braidwood nuclear power plant in Braidwood, Ill.

“Matt is in a unique position to provide significant technical assistance to the U.S. Congress on nuclear energy, particularly now as there are important discussions that will shape the future of U.S. energy policy,” said Harsh S. Desai, chair of the ANS Congressional Fellowship Committee and a former congressional fellow himself.

“Members of Congress and their staff will greatly benefit from Matt’s depth of experience in commercial and defense nuclear power plant operations,” Desai said. “The fellowship will also be an opportunity for Matt to develop his policy expertise and learn ‘how the sausage is made.’”

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August 6, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved three of the 12 fiscal year 2022 funding measures, including an Energy and Water Development bill that provides the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) with an increase of 5.5 percent over last year’s allocation—half of the boost recommended for NE last month by House appropriators.

The Senate panel advanced the legislation by a vote of 25–5, with all five no votes from GOP members: Sens. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), John Kennedy (R., La.), Mike Braun (R., Ind.), Bill Hagerty (R., Tenn.), and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.).

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August 3, 2021, 3:01PMANS News

The newly created Spanish Communications Subcommittee (SCS) of the ANS Diversity and Inclusion Committee needs translators, transcribers, and original content developers. Already the group has attracted interested members from all over the world, including Argentina, Spain, Chile, Mexico, and the United States.

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August 3, 2021, 2:41PMPress Releases

The American Nuclear Society welcomes the introduction of H.R. 4819, or the National Nuclear University Research Infrastructure Reinvestment Act of 2021, which aims to boost the educational and research capabilities of our universities’ nuclear science and engineering programs. Strengthening our universities' nuclear education and research is vital to preserving and expanding America’s largest carbon-free energy source as well as saving and prolonging healthy lives through the use of medical isotopes.

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July 21, 2021, 12:01PMANS Nuclear CafeEdward Halpin and Michael J. Reidy

The nuclear community has been one of the safest and lowest-risk industries in the world, allowing it to compete in a crowded energy sector without compromise. This defining ethos is predicated on strong, emotionally safe cultures that have enabled the nuclear power sector to honestly and transparently learn from notable mistakes, such as the design flaws that led to the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident, resulting in a safer, more competitive industry.

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July 21, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News

The United States and the Republic of Ghana have signed a nuclear cooperation memorandum of understanding. The NCMOU is a diplomatic instrument that, according to the U.S. State Department, strengthens and expands “strategic ties between the United States and a partner country by providing a framework for cooperation on civil nuclear issues and for engagement between experts from government, industry, national laboratories, and academic institutions.”

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July 19, 2021, 12:01PMNuclear News

The House Committee on Appropriations last week approved an Energy and Water Development funding bill for fiscal year 2022 that provides an 11 percent increase for the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy.

Reported favorably out of committee on July 16 via a party-line vote of 33 to 24, the House bill sports a total price tag of $53.2 billion, an increase of $1.5 billion from the FY 2021 enacted level. (The committee’s official report on appropriations for the next fiscal year can be found here.)

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July 16, 2021, 1:01PMPress Releases

“On behalf of the 10,000 members of the American Nuclear Society, I thank House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Chairwoman Marcy Kaptur, Ranking Member Mike Simpson, and the full House Appropriations Committee for including increased support for nuclear R&D and education and workforce programs in the Fiscal Year 2022 Energy and Water appropriations bill.

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July 14, 2021, 12:03PMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy's Office of River Protection and the Richland Operations Office hosted a roundtable discussion recently with tribal nations located near the Hanford Site to review the Department’s tribal government policy—Order 144.1, the American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Government Policy—and discuss opportunities for strengthening tribal consultation.

The Office of River Protection is within the purview of the DOE's Office of Environmental Management (EM). The Hanford Site, in eastern Washington state, is a 586-square-mile site that was used as a nuclear production complex during the World War II era.

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July 8, 2021, 3:02PMNuclear News

Motivated by February’s Texas grid debacle and last month’s Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) alert pleading with residents to conserve energy, Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this week issued a letter to members of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), directing them to take immediate action to improve electric reliability across the state. According to the governor’s office, the directives build on reforms passed in the 87th legislative session to increase power generation capacity and ensure the reliability of the Texas power grid.

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