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Recent Past Meetings of the DC ANS Local Section

John E. Kelly
Depty Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Reactor Technologies

U.S. Department of Energy

December 2013
Generation IV Reactor International Efforts

Deputy Assistant John E. Kelly discussed worldwide delopment participation in Genration IV reactors, from the DOE point of view. Topic covered included basic operation principals of various Generation IV reactors, as well as current construction of Gen IV reactors in China and Russia.

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Commissioner William C. Ostendorff
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

October 2013
A Status Report on the U.S. Nuclear Program

Commissioner Ostendorff gave his views on current events in the U.S. nuclear power industry, from the NRC point of view.  Topics covered included Operating Reactors; New Reactors; and High Level Waste. 

The economics of nuclear power has been changed by the shift in the natural gas industry and the working of electricity markets, resulting in the closure of Kewaunee and the planned closure of Vermont Yankee.  Crystal River and SONGS have closed because of the significant risks of major repair programs.The Vogtle and Summer projects well along in their construction programs.  Several small modular reactor projects are moving ahead also.Yucca mountain is under legal review and its future is uncertain.  The Waste Confidence Rule process is moving ahead, with only one major Commission decision likely to be delayed (Indian Point license renewal).Commissioner Ostendorff also answered a range of questions from the audience.

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Dr. Mark H. Whitnall
AFRRI Scientific Advisor
Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute

September 2013
How Does Science Work?

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Dr. Mike Corradini
ANS President
Wisconsin Distinguished Professor
University of Wisconsin-Madison

May 2013
Year in Review -
What's on the Horizon for Nuclear?

The May meeting for DC-ANS is traditionally a time for awards, and this year was no different! 

On May 7, David Ebert and Lewis Battist were recognized for 50 years with the Society. Farideh Emami Saba and Nigel Mote were honored for 25 years with the Society. Additionally, Catherine Barr, Ian Nakayama, and Henry Love and Julian Thomassie were recognized as the DC-ANS Science Fair winners (DC, Fairfax, and NOVA, respectively). They all gave an impressive snyopsis of their winning projects. After handing out the awards, Dr. Mike Corradini, ANS President, spoke about the future of nuclear power and what role ANS can play in ensuring that nuclear is an option for the US in the future. He also discussed changing the perspective for nuclear from "controlling it" to "XXX." After his presentation, Dr .Corradini answered questions from the audience about a variety of topics including the importance of energy diversity and keeping nuclear in the US' energy portfolio.

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Dr. Philippe M. Bardet
Assistant Professor
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The George Washington University

April 2013
Nuclear Energy, Physics, Chemistry,
and Non-Proliferation research and education
at the George Washington University
On April 11, Dr. Philippe Bardet, Assistant Professor at George Washington University, spoke at an intimate gathering of DC-ANS. Dr. Bardet spoke about nuclear energy, physics, chemistry, and non-proliferation research and education at the George Washington University. Dr. Bardet not only discussed work at the University as a whole, but also discussed work that his students are currently doing. After his presentation, Dr. Bardet answered questions from the audience about his research and perhaps got a few new ideas from the audience as well. Dr. Bardet provided an exciting look into the future of nuclear science and technology!  

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Caution!  Presentation file is 31 MB.

Luis Echávarri
Nuclear Energy Agency
Director-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
March 2013
The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) 

On March 12, Mr. Luis Echávarri, Director-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), addressed a sold out crowd at the DC-ANS dinner meeting. Echávarri spoke about the NEA's mission, strategic plan, and organization. He also discussed a couple key projects the NEA is involved in, as well as NEA's goals for the next few years. Echávarri ended his presentation by talking about factors that will affect the future of nuclear power.  There were over 60 people in attendance. After his presentation, Echávarri answered questions from the audience, and the audience enjoyed this opportunity to get to know more about the NEA.

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Darshak Dholakia & Ajay Kuntamukkala
Hogan Lovells US LLP
February 2013
US Nuclear Export Controls
and Proposed Changes on the 810 Agreement

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Dr. John E. Kelly
Department of Energy/Office of Nuclear Energy
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Reactor Technologies

January 2013

Allison M. Macfarlane

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission
December 2012

On Decmeber 6, the Honorable Allison Macfarlane, Chairman, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, spoke at the DC-ANS dinner meeting. Macfarlane spoke about the Waste Confidence Decision, the status of post-Fukushima activities at the NRC, and her initial observations from her first few months at the NRC. There were over 40 people in attendance. After her presentation, Macfarlane answered questions from the audience about a range of topics including how new seismic information will affect licensees, the status of small modular reactors, and her thought's on ASME's proposed nuclear safety construct. The audience enjoyed this opportunity to get to know the new Chairman.

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Donald Hoffman
President Excel Services & Vice President ANS
November 2012

Report from ANS & Post Election Wrap‐Up:
What does it mean for nuclear energy?

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Dr. Mohammad Modarres
Minta Martin Professor of Engineering
Director, Reliability Engineering Program
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland
October 2012
Safety Aspects of SMRs: A PRA Perspective

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By Suzanne Schroer

On October 25, Dr. Mohammad Modarres from the University of Maryland, spoke at the DC-ANS dinner meeting. Modarres spoke about the safety aspects of small modular reactors from a probabilistic risk assessment perspective. There were 30 people in attendance. During his presentation, Modarres answered questions from the audience about the design of helical steam generators, integrated reactor coolant pumps, hydrogen generation during severe accidents, instrumentation, and control room dynamics. The presentation was a great beginning to a new DCANS year. 

Dr. George Apostolakis
Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner
April 2012
Opportunities and Challenges for Accident Risk Assessment and Management
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Masaya Yasui
Deputy Director General for Nuclear Safety Regulation Reform at the
Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI)
March 2012
Causes and Countermeasures:  The Accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations

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By Madeline Feltus 
Approximately 125 people attended the March 13, 2012, ANS DC Local dinner meeting to hear Masaya Yasui, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of the government of Japan, detailed presentation about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident(s) after the March 2011 tsunami event.  Mr. Yasui is the head of the METI Nuclear Safety Regulation Reform section, which has the mandate to investigate the Fukushima accident progression, issues caused by the hydrogen explosions, and examine the countermeasures used by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) nuclear plant engineers to cool the Fukushima Daiichi reactor cores, and get the situation stabilized.  The details provided by Mr. Yasui were very extensive and included: accident sequence information, details about the on-site and external power supply systems, containment and confinement structures’ venting, dose measurements, cooling system details, seismic accelerations observed, information about the spent fuel pool in Unit 4, and how data was obtained under the extreme conditions during and after the initial accident phases.  The pictures of the devastation were amazing, especially photographs of the destruction of the off-site power transmission equipment and switchyard air-blast breaker insulators. The details presented by Mr. Yasui were fascinating and gave attendees the perspective on how much the TEPCO engineers had to handle during the early phases of the accident and how much effort it will take to restore the plant from the earthquake and flooding caused by the tsunami. The slides, chocked full of numerical data and details, provide new and more comprehensive information about the events, and are available on the link given here.

The attendance for this event broke recent ANS DC Local Section records for the NRC auditorium, so that the organizers had to limit the number of members signed up for the sit-down dinner hour, and request that others come later just for the presentation part.  Several Japanese dignitaries and guests, NRC and DOE VIPs, and out-of-town visitors came as a result of the publicity for our local section’s event targeted towards those who were also attending the NRC Regulatory Information Conference meeting. Everyone expressed their appreciation for Mr. Yasui’s willingness to provide so much information during his presentation, and answer the many questions posed afterwards.

Steven Freel
Vice President/Chief Technology Officer, GSE Systems
February 2012
Simulation and Training Solutions for the Nuclear Power and Other Industries

Jack Edlow
January 2012
Edlow International Company: Transportation of Radioactive Materials

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Summary by Madeleine Feltus
Approximately 25 people attended the January 24, 2012, ANS DC Local dinner meeting to hear about the 50-year history of Edlow International, their radioactive shipment experience, and the challenges involved with transporting nuclear materials worldwide.  Jack Edlow’s enthusiasm and sense of humor shone brightly as he described the types of shipments, modes, extenuating circumstances, and circuitous routes needed. He explained using a nuclear fuel cycle diagram that Edlow “does the arrows” between each step.  Jack’s 40 years of experience and his staff’s capabilities have been able to handle difficult situations, including re-routing and changing transportation modes because of earthquakes (Chile), possible ambush situations (Bogota, Columbia), and handling communications and finding safe havens for US truck shipments on 9/11/01.  Jack has had to deal with Greenpeace activists and politicians who threatened to block train shipments, governmental agency “red tape” and differences in international rules and regulations.  Edlow International’s outstanding safety record, dependability and “hands on” service have provided the nuclear enterprise 50 years of excellent service. Jack’s “war stories” were fascinating and gave attendees new and fresh perspectives on all of the gritty details and planning needed to ship any nuclear materials, anywhere, by any way.  Everyone enjoyed Jack’s delightful presentation and was actively engaged during the lively Q&A session.

David Skeen
Director, Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate
November 2011
NRC Response to Fukushima Dai-ichi Accident

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Summary by Suzanne Schroer
On November 16, David Skeen of the NRC, Director, Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate, spoke at the DC-ANS dinner meeting (in a last minute speaker change that day).  Skeen spoke about the NRC's response to the events at Fukushima Daiichi, and future plans for addressing lessons learned from the event.  There were over 60 people in attendance. After his presentation, Skeen answered questions from the audience about how the NRC is addressing multi-unit accidents (still being reviewed since single unit accidents have been the status quo), communication on the evacuation zone after the accident (the NRC made a conservative, but justified, choice), and his view on land contamination (will have to be addressed by Commission policy). 

Anthony Pietrangelo
Senior VP & Chief Nuclear Officer, NEI
October 2011
U.S. Industry Leadership in Response to Events
at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

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Joe Colvin
President, ANS
May 2011

Nuclear Progress:  Seizing the Opportunities

View photos of meeting
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Summary by Suzanne Schroer
The May 10 meeting of the DCANS had a great turnout with over 50 people in attendance. The meeting began with awards galore. David Black, Ray Daniels, and Rolland Langley were honored for 50 years with the Society, and Harry Felsher and Dennis Morey were presented certificates for 25 years. Travis Latchman was recognized as the winner of the Prince George's County Science Fair. Travis also gave a short synopsis of his research, which awed the crowd (especially since he's only a sophmore in high school!). The speaker for the evening was Joe Colvin, President, National ANS.  Colvin spoke about what ANS National is doing and how we can find out more information about their involvement. The future of nuclear power was discussed, as well as the development of new reactor designs (specifically the AP1000) around the world. He also spoke about how National ANS was (and is) a player following the events in Japan. After Colvin's speech, a Q&A session was held and questions were asked on improvements ANS National is making in their media relationships following the events in Japan, the status of the reactors in Japan, the plant design of the Japanese reactors, if new BWRs will be built after the events in Japan, and if the event in Japan is actually building support from some outside the nuclear community. Interestingly enough, the answer to last question is yes because many (especially incoming students) are viewing the events as a wonderful learning experience.

Finis Southworth
Chief Technology Officer, AREVA NP Inc.
April 2011

High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors -- Needed now, more than ever!

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Summary by Kevin Witt and Madeline Feltus

The DC-ANS Dinner Meeting on April 12 was a successful event with over 40 people in attendance. Finis Southworth was the presenter; he is the chief technology officer for Areva. Finis talked about the background of the NGNP program and had a slide with the sponsors of the program. Some recent additions to the coalition included Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) and SGL. The reason for the petroleum industry interest is because of the high temperatures used in the reactors and their applicability to recovery of oil from tar sands in Canada. Other energy-intensive users include petro-chemical refining, chemical suppliers, such as DOW and Eastman, and fertilizer/ammonia companies, e.g. Potash, who would seek to reduce their dependence on imported oil. These companies would use the NGNP gas reactor technology to supply electricity, process heat or steam, and collocate the nuclear plant next to their industrial sites. 

Finis went over the key features of the Areva High Temperature Reactor (HTR), which includes the passive cooling features of the system. Finis highlighted the ability of the reactor to be cooled without power which means that a situation like that in Japan could not occur in one of these reactors. The presentation also covered the needs and economic perspective from the Dow Chemical Company, as the presentation was created by the Dow liaison. Dow is interested to use one of these reactors for some of their major chemical processing plants, where right now they are using coal power which results in the release of a large load of greenhouse gases. Finis pointed out that this technology can be competitive with natural gas, if using the larger combined size of the reactors. The last slides of the presentation were focused on the recent Japanese event and it was interesting to note that the Areva HTR would be immune to a lot of the problems that were experienced at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Additional reference: 

INL/EXT-10-19037, High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor Projected Markets and Preliminary Economics August 2010

André-Claude Lacoste
Chairman, French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN)
March 2011

Towards a European nuclear safety and radiation protection regulatory approach

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Summary by Steven Ward

On March 10, DC-ANS held a dinner meeting in the auditorium of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission featuring Andre-Claude Lacoste, Chairman of the French Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ASN).  Mr. Lacoste spoke about progress towards a European regulatory approach for safe use of nuclear power and materials.  If records existed this meeting probably set an attendance record.  We had 80 people in attendance.  DC-ANS was pleased to welcome members of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Northeast Chapter and a large group of international attendees who had been participating in the NRC’s Regulatory Information Conference.

Mr. Lacoste provided the audience with a brief overview of the ASN.  It was interesting to note that ASN has a five-member Commission and only around 450 staff.  They have a separate technical arm to support the regulatory process, with around 400 people.  Despite having only one-fourth the staff of the NRC, ASN is responsible for 125 nuclear sites (power plants and fuel cycle sites) and use of radioactive materials in France.  France has a complete fuel cycle, including reprocessing plants.  Mr. Lacoste discussed how European regulatory agencies had gradually started forming non-binding organizations (clubs, as he called them) to start working together on improving safety.  Out of these organizations came the desire to create a regulatory framework for safety that could be applied throughout Europe.  Mr. Lacoste discussed the basis for this approach and some of the difficulties encountered when trying to reconcile different regulatory approaches across the European Union.  He presented the three pillars of nuclear the European approach for safety – bilateral cooperation, networks of regulators, and legislation.  This becomes even more complicated considering the different technologies used for reactors across Europe.  In spite of challenges, much progress has been made towards developing the legal and technical frameworks.  Mr. Lacoste also predicted that a unified Europe regulatory approach would work well with the US as an equal partner in improving nuclear safety.  After the presentation, Mr. Lacoste responded to questions from the audience on a variety of topics.  Overall, it was a great meeting and wonderful to see so many in attendance!

Ed Kee
VP, NERA Economic Consulting
February 2011

The Global Nuclear Power Market: Asia [China!!] Leads the Way

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Summary by Kevin Witt

On Tuesday, Feb 15, DC-ANS held a dinner meeting at the Far East Restaurant featuring Edward Kee, Vice President of NERA Economic Consulting to speak about global nuclear power development. We had 42 people in attendance. Before the presentation, we conducted some section business.  A proposal was offered to amend the local section rules to allow for electronic voting. After some discussion, the matter was put to a vote and all local members in attendance voted to approve the amendment. After the vote, the section presented an award to Kaushik Chatterjee in recognition of his submitted paper for the DC-ANS Paper Competition. Kaushik won the competition and the local section gave him an award and a check for $500. We also announced that Kaushik had won the DCCCEAS paper competition which was a much broader competition, and he will receive an award at the annual engineering week banquet on February 26.

After the business portion, the speaker started his presentation. Ed spoke about the background of NERA which is involved in a lot of different things in the nuclear industry such as advising DOE on loan guarantees for nuclear power plants and advising developing countries on the methodology for pursuing a nuclear power program. Ed talked about the relative costs of building a nuclear power plant and why there are different costs in different countries. One interesting fact was that government run nuclear build projects can actually be cheaper than private companies conducting the same activities. Ed outlined how a developing country can actually make several economic benefits for themselves whereas they can build an infrastructure to have a hand in the global nuclear supply chain which would have a lot of benefits for that country. Ed talked about China’s program to build a lot of the same type of reactor (AP-1000) and it appears that the way the Chinese are conducting this activity (investing in capability), it is a very economical solution. He views the first plant being built as a proof of concept and ups the learning curve, which subsequently makes future power plants cheaper to build since they already have the experience. Ed’s assessment of the market for new nuclear power in the US is not real positive, as prices to build plants are way too high, the learning curves are still relatively low and it is not cost competitive with other sources of power such as gas or coal. Ed’s view is that there will probably be a few new plants built in the southeastern US due to the regulated electricity markets, but does not view other proposed plants as having a good chance of success. After the presentation, Ed fielded some intriguing questions from the audience including topics such as Calvert Cliffs, small modular reactors and a brief discussion on intellectual property. Ed also discussed the issues about the DOE's loan program in terms of limited loan amounts and fees imposed that impact utilities' economic viability of new plant construction. Overall, a very good meeting!

Dr. Gail Marcus
Author & Former ANS President
January 2011
Nuclear Firsts: Milestones on the Road to Nuclear Power Development

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Summary by Suzanne Schroer
Our recent book signing event with Gail Marcus was a success! Almost 50 people attended the event (45 to be exact). While most of the group were section members (75%), we had several community members attend. We also had several people join the Section that evening. Dr. Marcus focused her presentation on how she came up with the idea of the book and what the basis for it was. She came up with the idea because she found herself attending many 50th anniversarys. She chose to focus the book on "firsts" because they won't be supplanted or overcome by events. She also wanted the book to have a 'timeline' feel, so the reader would know what was happening around each of the firsts. She ended the presentation with the thought that "firsts" are not the only measure of success. France, for example, was completely absent in early research because they were being occupied, but now has the largest percent of electricity generated by nuclear power. The Section decided to feature Dr. Marcus at the dinner meeting for a couple of reasons. One being, several of the Section members were used as resources during her research. Additionally, we wanted to do something a little different than our typical dinner meeting, and we thought that a book-signing would be a good event. Dr. Marcus is also a member of our local Section (and has been for a number of years), so we thought it would be great to feature a Section member.

Richard Barrett
Principal Systems Analyst, AdSTM, Inc.
December 2010
The NRC Sponsored International Regulatory Development Partnership (IRDP)

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Summary by Kevin Witt
Rich Barrett of AdSTM led an interesting discussion of the NRC sponsored project entitled, “International Regulatory Development Partnership.”  Mr. Barrett gave a very good overview of the project and encouraged substantive dialogue from the 30 audience members. The purpose of the partnership is to provide general guidance to countries considering developing nuclear power regulatory authorities and it covers all aspects of the nuclear power plant lifecycle from siting and construction to operation to eventual decommissioning. Currently, the most involved countries under this partnership are Vietnam, Kazakhstan and Armenia. There are several other countries that are also interested in pursuing the assistance from the US. AdSTM has created a number of training workshops and classes as well as guidance documents to help these developing countries construct a basis for nuclear power regulation. In summary, Rich outlined the IRDP effectiveness with participating countries in developing a nuclear regulator capable of licensing a new reactor. Also, Rich outlined the balance between development, training and bi-lateral consulting activities. The meeting concluded with very intriguing questions from the audience and everybody applauded Rich for the excellent presentation.
T. J. Kim
Licensing Manager, B&W mPower
November 2010
B&W mPower Reactor Design Concept

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Summary by David Ebert

The Washington D.C. Section of the American Nuclear Society (DCANS) held a dinner meeting on Nov. 2, 2010, at the Far East Restaurant in North Bethesda.  The featured speaker was T.J.Kim of B&W Nuclear Energy giving a presentation on the Small Modular Design reactor called mPower.  The lively meeting was well attended by over 50 nuclear professionals from the Washington D.C. area.  

Dr. Hash Hashemian
President, Analysis and Measurement Services Corporation
October 2010
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By Ray Daniels
Dr. Hash Hashemian, President of Analysis Measurement Services in Knoxville, TN  spoke at the Washington, DC Section of the American Nuclear Society on October 14, 2010, at the Far East Restaurant. Dr. Hashemian described the DOE government program to stimulate R&D for companies with less than 500 employees. The program  is divided into three phases. Phase I is < $0.5 Million, Phase II is < $1M, and  Phase III is < $3M.
Analytical Measurement Services is a boutique company for analyzing data. Their clients are nuclear power plants (NPP) in the USA, Spain and Korea. Dr. Hashemian characterized NNP as having buried treasure (data) which can be used  to improve reliability, availability, and productivity. AMS uses instrumentation, visual inspection and acoustic monitoring as sources of data for control purposes and as diagnostics for corrective
actions and for calibration. Results of AMS analyses are used for predictive maintenance based upon neutron radiography, vibration analysis, analysis of lubricants. His specialists use data  from temperature, pressure and neutron flux for prediction  of time to failure for components.

He gave examples of sensing line blockage in valve piping by plotting amplitude versus frequency. Core barrel vibration in boiling water reactors was analyzed using this method. Wireless sensors available in reactors containments can be used to obtain real time information and are being evaluated by ASME under Section XI. Monitoring of impedance of cable connections can be used for useful information.
A lively question and answer period ensued.

William D. Magwood IV
Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
September 2010

Commissioner Magwood Kicks-off This Year’s ANS Program Season
by Rosemary Reeves

The new program year for the ANS Washington DC Section got started  September 15 with a very successful dinner meeting hosted by the NRC.  After a bountiful buffet dinner of chicken parmesan, Italian pasta and the works, the joint ANS and HPS crowd of over 80 people were fortunate enough to share a bit of wit and wisdom from NRC Commissioner William Magwood.  The Commissioner started with a few of the highlights of his career, including his work as the Director of Nuclear Energy with the U.S. Department of Energy where he led the creation of the "Nuclear Power 2010" initiative and his early days as a scientist for Westinghouse in Pittsburgh.  He then shared that shortly after he cut back his consulting schedule, he was asked to serve as a Commissioner.  Although he was initially reluctant to take on such a demanding assignment, his dedication to public service won out, and he has spent the past 6 months adjusting to his new role at the NRC. 

He compared his experience working with the DOE to his current role as a Commissioner at the NRC, and noted that the cultures within the two agencies are very different.  Showing his sense of humor, he likened the DOE operating mode to a state of chaos, with a vast range of activities underway at anytime, while the NRC is the most disciplined organization he has ever seen, maintaining a steady focus on establishing policies to ensure nuclear safety.  His success in both organizations demonstrates his flexibility as an executive.  Upon reflection of why NRC has repeatedly been ranked as the “best place to work” in the federal government, he noted the extra management attention on the career paths of the staff as a significant difference  that surpasses what DOE typically provides as a probable factor.
He purposely kept his presentation short so that he could allow the audience an opportunity to ask questions, and the audience didn’t hold back.  Although one or two questions were too politically sensitive to address, the majority of them provided the basis for a very interactive discussion on current nuclear issues.   Some of the questions that were asked and the answers the Commissioner provided are below. 

1.    The nuclear workforce is changing, and most of the experienced NRC staff who reviewed the license applications for the current fleet of reactors have either retired, or will be retiring shortly.  Who is going to review the license applications for the new reactors?  While it is true that many of the experienced professionals at the NRC are retiring, it should be noted that the NRC has very high standards for hiring the very best engineers and scientists from well-known, accredited universities. In addition, the NRC has established various knowledge-management and mentoring programs to collect and share the expertise of its professionals, as well as extensive training programs to bring new employees up to speed quickly.  These and other, similar programs are ways that the NRC is actively involved in “growing the expertise” from within the agency.  The National Labs may also play a role in ensuring safety for the new  generation of reactors. In short, it will be just like NRC did the first time, back in the 70’s.
2.    In the past, NRC Commissioners have had the tendency to select one or two issues or areas for special focus during their term - is there any particular issue or area that you hope to become involved in shaping?  Although he intends to be involved in all of the current issues before the Commission, he is strongly interested in supporting educational programs, and hopes to be able to make an impact in this area.  His recent experience in talking with American high school students revealed a serious lack of interest in technical subjects.  He also stated some current statistics regarding high school graduation rates that were alarming when compared to the era when he graduated.

3.    What is the status of the Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) the president selected to review the high-level waste disposal issue?  Has the Commission been informed of any developments or plans?  This question comes from a highly  political realm, but the simple answer was basically no, the NRC Commissioners have not met with the BRC or been briefed on their activities, although some NRC staff have interacted with the BRC to provide information on spent fuel and high level waste.
4.    The nuclear industry is global, with a majority of the growth being overseas.  Many of the new plants in the planning stages will be built in  countries that do not currently have nuclear power, and in many cases do not
have the resources necessary to establish a highly effective regulatory program. Furthermore, an accident at an international plant would impact our industry for years to come.  What is the NRC doing to help train international regulators to ensure a high level of safety is maintained in the global industry?  There is already a significant amount of collaboration between the USNRC inspectors and personnel from regulatory bodies in other countries.  This includes staff exchanges, meetings to establish international safety standards and temporary assignments with the IAEA.  However, given the importance of maintaining the industries’ excellent nuclear safety record to the growth of the worldwide  nuclear industry, Commissioner Magwood agreed this might be an area for further exploration.  He may consider greater sharing of resources for training international regulators, such as assigning US inspectors in overseas plants and providing standardized training at the NRC for regulators from other countries.
Please note this is just a tidbit of the lively discussions at the meeting.  Be sure to attend the next meeting in person to get the “rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey would say!

              - Kevin

For information on past meetings from April 2010 and before.

Last revised 5/15/13 DC ANS Home