June 2015 Nuclear Legislative Working Group Meeting in Oak Ridge, Tenn.


NLWG Group Meeting pictureThe Nuclear Legislative Workgroup (NLWG) met June 9-10, 2015 in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The meeting included tours of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's nuclear science-related applications, the cleanup sites at the lab and the Y-12 National Security Complex, as well as one of TVA's nuclear plants. The workgroup also participated in several discussions on the future of nuclear energy in the U.S. as well as the latest developments regarding potential nuclear waste storage.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Welcome and Introductions

  • Delegate Sally Jameson (D), Maryland (chair)
  • Representative John Ragan (R), Tennessee (vice-chair)
  • Kristy Hartman, NCSL
Overview with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Office of Environmental Management

This session highlighted the mission and activities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and provided a program and budget update for the Office of Environmental Management.

  • Thom Mason, director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | No Presentation
  • Sue Cange, manager, Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management | No Presentation
Dialogue with Mark Whitney, Acting Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management (dial-in)
  • Site Visit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Consortium for the Advanced Study of Light Water Reactors (CASL)
  • Historic Graphite Reactor
  • Overview of ORNL Advanced Reactor Research 
  •  High Flux Isotope Reactor

Site Visit: Oak Ridge Cleanup Sites

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Y-12 National Security Complex and the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF)
  • East Tennessee Technology Park

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Nuclear Energy in the U.S..

Approximately 20 percent of the nation’s electricity comes from 100 large nuclear reactors operating in 31 states. However, dramatic changes in energy technology, fuel prices and government regulations are affecting energy planning and investments in baseload generation. This session examined some of these changes—including the potential impacts of EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan regulations—and highlighted state efforts to respond to these challenges.

  • Joe Watson, director, Public Advocacy, Exelon Corporation | Presentation
  • Senator Sharon Brown, Washington | No Presentation

Interim Storage Options

In April, Holtec International announced a consent-based approach with two New Mexico counties to establish a consolidated interim storage facility. This announcement follows a similar proposal by Texas-based Waste Control Specialists (WCS) to design and license an interim consolidated storage facility for commercial used nuclear fuel in west Texas. These proposals also follow a recent DOE announcement to adopt consent-based siting approaches for waste management, including the development of interim storage facilities that accept spent fuel from shutdown commercial reactors. This session examined these proposals, discussed where they are in the licensing process and explored how they supported DOE’s path forward.

  • Betsy Madru, vice president, Government Affairs, Waste Control Specialists | Presentation
  • Joy Russell, vice president, Corporate Business Development, Holtec International | Presentation

NLWG Business Meeting

Travel to TVA’s Sequoyah Nuclear Plant

Welcome and Introductions

Site Visit: TVA Sequoyah Nuclear Plant

Sequoyah is the Tennessee Valley Authority’s second nuclear power plant. Unit 1 began full commercial operation in 1981 and Unit 2 began operation in 1982.