Nuclear Legislative Working Group (NLWG) Meeting Nov. 2018 | New Orleans, La.

11/19/2018

NLWG Meeting in Conjunction with Intergovernmental Meeting

New Orleans building.NLWG held its Fall meeting on Nov. 14, 2018, at the Intercontinental Hotel in New Orleans, La. The meeting was held in conjunction with the larger Intergovernmental Meeting with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Nov. 15-16. Participating Intergovernmental Groups included:

  • Nuclear Legislative Working Group
  • Energy Communities Alliance (ECA)
  • Environmental Council of the States (ECOS)
  • National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG)
  • National Governors Association (NGA)
  • State and Tribal Government Working Group (STGWG)

The meeting brought together U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officials, state legislators, tribal leaders and other associations. The purpose of the Intergovernmental Meeting was to provide opportunities for increased communications and coordination with the DOE and among states, tribes and local communities affected by the ongoing cleanup of the nuclear weapons complex. 

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

Welcome/Introductions

  • Delegate Sally Jameson, Maryland (Co-Chair)
  • Representative John Ragan, Tennessee (Co-Chair)
  • Brandt Petrasek, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Kristy Hartman, NCSL

Update on Plant Vogtle

Southern Co.’s Plant Vogtle represents the only new build reactor project that’s still active in the U.S. In July, NLWG members had the opportunity to tour the Vogtle project and learn about the challenges in bringing such a large-scale facility online. The company’s subsidiary, Georgia Power, has entered into a new agreement to see the project through to completion, but questions and concerns over cost increases remain. This session provided the latest on the project’s status and explored some of the lessons learned from a company official.

  • Ronny Just, governmental relations manager, Georgia Power | No Presentation

EM Project Priorities and Budget

NLWG members will have the opportunity to speak with DOE senior officials regarding the office’s cleanup priorities and how EM plans to accomplish priority goals with current funding and resources. It will also provide an opportunity for EM officials to highlight the scope of work and accomplishments from the past year.

  • Mark Gilbertson, acting principal deputy assistant secretary and associate principal deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Regulatory and Policy Affairs | No Presentation
  • Betsy Connell, director, Office of Regulatory Intergovernmental and Stakeholder Engagement | No Presentation

Discussion with DOE’s Office of Environmental Management

This session provided NLWG members an opportunity to interact with DOE’s Assistant Secretary for the Office of Environmental Management Anne White. The session provided an opportunity to discuss EM’s priorities, changes to the office under White’s leadership and how the cleanup mission is progressing. It was also an opportunity to discuss ways in which NLWG can support EM’s efforts with the assistant secretary.

  • Anne White, assistant secretary, DOE-EM | No Presentation

Micro-Reactors

This session explored the emerging technology of micro-reactors, potential uses and opportunities for deployment and current activities.

  • Marcus Nichol, director, New Reactor Deployment, Nuclear Energy Institute | Presentation
  • Zabrina Johal, director, Business Development, General Atomics | Presentation

Emerging Disposal Solutions

This session explored other technologies and possible solutions for the storage of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

  • Betsy Madru, vice president of government and regulatory affairs, Deep Isolation | Presentation

DOE’s Priorities for Stakeholder Engagement

This session offered an opportunity to discuss DOE’s stakeholder engagement and how the department solicits and considers input from the many parties who are interested in and affected by DOE’s work, including state, local and tribal governments, as well as special interest advocacy and industry groups.

  • Doug Little, DOE’s deputy assistant secretary for Intergovernmental and External Affairs | No Presentation

NNSA Mission Priorities

This session explored the priorities, challenges and accomplishments that the National Nuclear Security Administration faces. NLWG members had the opportunity to discuss the work taking place in NNSA and the role state legislators may play to support the NNSA mission.

  • Nora Khalil, NNSA’s associate administrator for External Affairs | Presentation
  • Harris Walker, NNSA’s director of Intergovernmental Affairs | No Presentation

State Elections Roundup

While much of the public discourse surrounding this year’s elections has centered around Congressional races, NCSL has kept its focus on the implications for states.  This session highlighted election results from governors’ races, changes in state legislative chambers and a number of ballot initiatives.

NLWG Business Meeting

Members provided brief updates from their states on recent legislative activity and other state updates related to NLWG topics.