Nuclear Legislative Working Group Meeting July 2018 | Aiken, S.C.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

NLWG members met from July 10-12 in Aiken, S.C., for the Spring meeting, where members had the opportunity to interact with federal officials and state legislators from across the country.

The visit incorporated tours of the Savannah River National Laboratory, the Savannah River Site and Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle nuclear reactor build project. NLWG members were able to learn about how the U.S. Department of Energy has been moving forward with its mission at Savannah River Site, along with the innovative research being conducted at the national laboratory. In addition, members received updates and engage with officials from the DOE's Office of Environmental Management.

NLWG group photo at Savannah River National Lab, SC.



  • Mike Budney, manager, Savannah River Site
  • Delegate Sally Jameson, Maryland (Co-Chair)
  • Representative John Ragan, Tennessee (Co-Chair)
  • Kristy Hartman, NCSL

Overview: Savannah River National Laboratory

An official from the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) gave an overview of the lab, its history and its work.

  • Stuart MacVean, president, and chief executive officer, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC.

Office of Environmental Management Update

This session provided an overview of project priorities for the Office of Environmental Management.

  • Betsy Connell, director, Office of Regulatory Intergovernmental and Stakeholder Engagement

Tour of Savannah River National Laboratory

SRNL is one of 17 DOE national labs. The lab is critical to DOE’s environmental management and nuclear security missions and includes work in radiation detection, nuclear chemical manufacturing, nuclear waste cleanup and defense nonproliferation.

NLWG Business Meeting

Members provided brief updates on legislative activity related to NLWG topics.

The group returned to the hotel and attended a group dinner for NLWG members.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Tour of H Canyon

H Canyon is the only hardened nuclear chemical separations plant still in operation in the U.S. The facility historically recovered uranium-235 and neptunium-237 from aluminum-clad, enriched-uranium fuel tubes from nuclear reactors and research reactors. The facility continues to remediate large boxes of transuranic (TRU) waste that will ultimately be shipped to the WIPP facility.

The primary mission of the H-Canyon Complex is to dissolve, purify and blend-down surplus highly enriched uranium (HEU) and aluminum-clad foreign and domestic research reactor fuel to produce a low enriched uranium (LEU) solution suitable for conversion to commercial reactor fuel.  A secondary mission for H-Canyon is to dissolve excess plutonium (Pu) not suitable for MOX and transfer it for vitrification in the Defense Waste Processing Facility at SRS.

S Area

This section included a walking tour of the Defense Waste Processing Facility, which is the only operating radioactive glassification plant in the nation. It converts radioactive liquid waste that is stored at the site’s tank farms into a solid glass suitable for long-term storage and disposal.

J Area 

The newly constructed Salt Waste Processing Facility processes low-level salt waste, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the waste in the site’s tank farms. 

The tour ended and members returned to the hotel.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Tour of Plant Vogtle

The Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, located near Waynesboro in eastern Georgia near the South Carolina border, is jointly owned by Georgia Power (45.7%), Oglethorpe Power Corporation (30%), Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (22.7%) and Dalton Utilities (1.6%). Plant Vogtle is one of Georgia Power's two nuclear facilities and is one of three nuclear facilities in the Southern Company system.

Welcome and Introduction to Plant Vogtle

Perimeter Tour of Vogtle 1 & 2 Operating Units

Construction of the two-unit plant started in 1974. With unit 1 starting commercial operation in 1987 and unit 2 in 1989. Each unit is capable of generating 1,215 megawatts for a total capacity of 2,430 MW. The plant is powered by pressurized water reactors manufactured by Westinghouse.

Tour Construction Site of Vogtle Units 3 & 4

Plant Vogtle is the only active new nuclear reactor project under construction in the U.S. Georgia Power is building the two AP1000s, with projected costs rising to around $25 billion.

After lunch, NLWG members returned to the hotel and the meeting adjourned.