Nuclear Legislative Working Group Meeting June 2017 | Richland, Wash.


NLWG Spring Meeting

NCSL NLWG members at Sping meetingThe Nuclear Legislative Working Group’s spring meeting took place June 27-29 in Richland, Wash.

This meeting offered legislators from across the country an opportunity to connect, discuss federal and state nuclear energy and waste management policy, and meet with federal officials from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The meeting included presentations from DOE officials which touched on the new administration’s priorities and budget requests, along with presentations from industry representatives on the prospects for advanced reactor technologies. NLWG members also participated in tours of the B Reactor, the Hanford site and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Arrive at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory


  • Delegate Sally Jameson, Maryland (Co-Chair)
  • Representative John Ragan, Tennessee (Co-Chair)
  • Kristy Hartman, NCSL

EM Priorities & Budget Update

This session provided an overview of project priorities for the Office of Environmental Management as well as an update on the recent Hanford incident and response.

  • Brandt Petrasek, director of Tribal Affairs & DOE lead for NCSL/NLWG, Office of Environmental Management, U.S. Department of Energy | No Presentation
  • Roger Jarrell, senior advisor to the Secretary, Office of Environmental Management, U.S. Department of Energy | No Presentation
  • Doug Shoop, manager, Richland Operations Office, U.S. Department of Energy | Presentation

WIPP Update

This session provided an update on the re-opening of the WIPP facility, its operations, waste emplacement and transportation.

  • Jeff Carswell, deputy manager, Carlsbad Field Office, U.S. Department of Energy | Presentation

NE Priorities & Budget Update (call-in)

This session provided the project priorities for the Office of Nuclear Energy as well as a discussion of the FY 18 budget proposal.

  • Ray Furstenau, associate principal deputy assistant secretary, Office of Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy | Presentation

Nuclear News: Heard from the Hill and Federal Information (call-in)

This session provided an update on the recent discussions surrounding nuclear power in Congress and by several federal agencies.

  • Baker Elmore, director of federal programs, Nuclear Energy Institute | Presentation

PNNL Introduction & Overview

  • Malin Young, deputy director for sience & technology, PNNL | Presentation

PNSO Overview

PNNL Support of EM Mission Overview

  • Dawn Wellman, Manager, Energy and Environment Sector, PNNL | Presentation

Site Visit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The Pacific Northwest National Lab has been in operation for more than 50 years. Its energy mission focuses on scientific research into cyber security, nuclear nonproliferation, reduced dependence on foreign oil and nuclear power. Researchers are also developing methods to assist in the cleanup of radiological and hazardous wastes and the processing and disposal of spent nuclear fuels.

  • The tour included visits to the following sites:
  • APEL Nuclear Waste Vitrification Lab 
  • PSF 3420
  • *NLWG will be split into smaller groups for the tours.

Wednewsday, June 28, 2017

Site Visit: B Reactor

The B Reactor was the world’s first full-scale plutonium production reactor and formed part of the Manhattan Project during World War II. The B Reactor produced the plutonium used in the Trinity Test and the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. The reactor was shut down in 1968, after which cleanup work began. In 1976, the B Reactor was named a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark and became a National Historic Landmark in 2008, at which point DOE began to make improvement to support public access.

Travel from B Reactor to the Hanford Site | Badging and Lunch

Site Visit: The Hanford Site

The Hanford Site is a DOE nuclear cleanup effort which seeks to manage the results of nuclear weapons production. The site is one of the most challenging cleanup sites, as it produced more than 20 million pieces of uranium metal fuel for nine nuclear reactors along the Columbia River. Five plants in the center of the site processed 110,000 tons of fuel from the reactors, creating an estimated 450 billion gallons of liquids to soil disposal sites and 53 million gallons of radioactive waste to 177 large underground tanks. The Hanford cleanup began in 1989.

The tour was conducted by Rich Buel, with the DOE’s Richland Operations Office, and included visits to the following sites:

  • 324 Building
  • Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility
  • Plutonium Finishing Plant   
  • 200 West Groundwater Treatment Facility
  • Waste Treatment Plant

Thursday, June 29, 2017

State Action Update

NCSL will provided an overview of recent state legislative activity and policy trends.

NLWG Business Meeting

Members provided brief updates on legislative activity related to NLWG topics and Overview of Fall Meeting in New Orleans

Advanced Reactor Developments

This session offerd an update on technology, permits, plans and regulatory concerns related to advanced nuclear technologies.

  • Everett Redmond II, senior technical advisor, Nuclear Energy Institute | Presentation
  • Charles Marcinkiewicz, director of marketing, NuScale Power | Presentation
  • William Stokes, president, Columbia Basin Consulting Group | Presentation

NLWG Final Wrap Up - Adjourn