November 2015 Nuclear legislative Working Group Meeting in New Orleans


The Nuclear Legislative Working group (NLWG) met Nov. 18-20 in New Orleans in conjunction with the Intergovernmental Groups Conference. This meeting brought together U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officials, state legislators, tribal leaders and other associations.

The purpose of the Intergovernmental Groups Conference was to provide opportunities for increased communication and coordination with the DOE and among states, tribes and local communities affected by the ongoing cleanup of the nuclear weapons complex. Meeting attendees had the opportunity to have discussions with officials from DOE's Office of Environmental Management (EM) and other senior officials within the DOE and other relevant federal agencies.

Nuclear storage containers

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015

Welcome & Introductions

  • Delegate Sally Jameson, Maryland  (co-chair)
  • Representative John Ragan, Tennessee (co-chair)
  • Brandt Petrasek, DOE Office of Environmental Management
  • Kristy Hartman, NCSL

Update on DOE’s Office of Environmental Management

  • Mark Whitney, principal deputy assistant secretary, DOE Office of Environmental Management | No Presentation

The Nuclear Waste Storage Dilemma

After decades of contentious debate, the president and members of the 114th Congress have released proposals on how best to dispose of nuclear waste. This session examined these recent federal proposals, how industry is answering the call for solutions, and what this means for the future of U.S. nuclear waste storage and disposal.

  • Sam Brinton, senior policy analyst, Bipartisan Policy Center (by phone) | No Presentation
  • Mary Pietryzk, senior manager of policy development, Nuclear Energy Institute | Presentation

Business Meeting

  • Member updates
  • Discussion for next meeting
  • Introduction to Intergovernmental Groups Conference

Addressing challenges in the EM Complex

In recent years, DOE has prioritized efforts to improve the contract management of EM sites, including the implementation of new contract vehicles that better align with the cost and schedule of a project. Additionally, EM is targeting technological developments as one strategy to reduce cleanup costs, improve efficiency and promote new technological improvements. This session examined the actions across the EM complex to address contracting concerns and highlight the recent efforts to develop new technology strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the EM cleanup processes.

  • Jack Surash, deputy assistant secretary, Acquisition and Project Management, DOE Office of Environmental Management | No Presentation
  • Mark Gilbertson, deputy assistant secretary, Site Restoration, DOE Office of Environmental Management | No Presentation

Update on DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy

  • Andy Griffith, associate deputy assistant secretary, Fuel Cycle Technologies, DOE Office of Nuclear Energy | No Presentation

Overview of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

  • Harris Walker, Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, National Nuclear Security Administration | Presentation

Overview of  NNSA’s Radiological Assistance Program

  • Steve Johnson, regional response coordinator, Radiological Assistance Program, National Nuclear Security Administration  | No Presentation