Author Archives: lscheele

Yes Vermont Yankee passes 200K pageview milestone

On Friday, August 31, Yes Vermont Yankee passed a milestone of 200,000 page views. Yes Vermont Yankee covers Vermont energy issues and favors the relicensing of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.

Congratulations to Meredith Angwin, the person at the helm of Yes Vermont Yankee, and to all the Yes Vermont Yankee contributors!

TVA’s Tom Kilgore keynote speaker at ANS Utility Working Conference

The American Nuclear Society’s Utility Working Conference and Vendor Technology Expo wrapped up yesterday in Hollywood, Fla. The annual executive conference is attended by hundreds of professional nuclear operators, vendors, and regulators in a format that promotes the open sharing of ideas.

Tom D. Kilgore, president and chief executive officer of the Tennesee Valley Authority, was one of two keynote speakers at the opening plenary of the conference. The other speaker was Marine Corporal Josh Bleill, a double-amputee Purple Heart veteran and a spokesperson for the Indianapolis Colts NFL football team.

Mr. Kilgore emphasized the value of consistent performance.  “As nuclear operators expand their capabilities, we must all be committed to safety, reliability, quality, and people to drive consistent performance.  When it comes to nuclear operations at TVA, we are listening, we are learning, and we are improving,” Kilgore said.

Mr. Kilgore stressed the importance of collaborative effort across the nuclear industry.  “Regulatory decisions and the public’s perception of nuclear energy have less to do with how we operate individually than with how our industry performs as a whole.  That’s why the future success of nuclear requires a collaborative effort by the nuclear energy industry, researchers and educators to build state-of-the-art equipment, push the envelope on new technologies and develop the next generation of safety.”

Kilgore shared ways that TVA is being more transparent and encouraging more dialog with stakeholders, pointing out the need for clear communication.  “We need to help people see that nuclear energy isn’t just a logical choice for meeting our future energy needs,” Kilgore said. “It’s also a logical choice for economic investment and quality jobs for communities that host nuclear facilities.”

Among the comments in Kilgore’s keynote address, tweeted at the TVA twitter feed, were examples regarding economic benefits in the Tennessee Valley region:

  • One nuclear facility can generate more 700 permanent jobs.
  • One nuclear facility can drive $470 million in goods and services every year.
  • One nuclear facility can yield $83 million in federal, state, and local taxes every year.

In sum, Kilgore said, “Nuclear is the right way forward for our nation.”

TVA’s Integrated Resource Plan includes a balanced and diverse portfolio of energy sources for the region, with a goal of 30 percent contribution each from nuclear, coal, and gas, with hydro providing the remaining 10 percent.

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ANS adopts position statement on U.S. global nuclear leadership through export-driven engagement

On Thursday, June 28, the American Nuclear Society’s Board of Directors formally adopted a position statement entitled U.S. Global Nuclear Leadership through Export-Driven Engagement. ANS position statements reflect the Society’s perspectives on issues of public interest that involve various aspects of nuclear science and technology. The text of the June 2012 position statement is below, and the full list of ANS positions statements can be accessed via the ANS website by clicking HERE.

U.S. Global Nuclear Leadership Through
Export-Driven Engagement

June 2012

ANS believes the U.S. should remain committed to facilitating an expansion of the peaceful use of nuclear energy through the export of U.S. nuclear goods and services.  Exports of nuclear technology provide the U.S. with important nonproliferation advantages, including consent rights on U.S. manufactured nuclear fuel, the ability to control the transfer of nuclear technology, and greater influence in the nuclear policies of U.S. partner nations. The U.S. possesses a strong nuclear technology portfolio and supply chain. The federal government should be an active partner in helping U.S. industry maintain and increase its market share of nuclear goods and services, as U.S. nuclear exports have the attendant benefits of improving global standards of nuclear safety and security and minimizing the risk of proliferation.

ANS believes that the U.S. should work with organizations such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group to limit the spread of enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technology and that a competitive global market for fuel cycle services strongly discourages the spread of ENR technology.  Reasonable assurance of access to fuel and other services needed to operate their nuclear plants can dissuade nations from domestic development and deployment of ENR technology.

The U.S. is one of several nations that are capable of supporting the development of nuclear technology in emerging markets.  Those nations are aggressively promoting their nuclear technology with bilateral nuclear trade agreements that generally do not contain ENR prohibitions.  Many U.S. partner nations are unlikely to forswear their right to pursue ENR technologies, even if they have no intention to develop them.  Any U.S. insistence that its bilateral nuclear trade agreements ban development of indigenous ENR technologies would be counterproductive to its nonproliferation goals and put U.S. technologies at a competitive disadvantage.

In short, a U.S. nuclear export regime that restricts rather than promotes U.S. nuclear trade will ultimately reduce U.S. influence in shaping the safety and security norms of the global nuclear landscape.

In order to enhance U.S. nonproliferation goals through its export policies, ANS recommends that the U.S. government should:

  1. maintain a flexible approach for negotiating bilateral nuclear trade agreements (also known as 123 Agreements);
  2. continue developing a coordinated approach to promoting U.S. technology to other nations; and
  3. ensure U.S. nuclear export policies and procedures are transparent and responsive to the needs of  the U.S. nuclear industry.

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Meredith Angwin and Howard Shaffer Receive American Nuclear Society Presidential Citations

American Nuclear Society (ANS) President Eric Loewen, PhD, presented ANS members Meredith J. Angwin and Howard C. Shaffer, III with Presidential Citations in recognition of their successful public information efforts in Vermont and elsewhere. Angwin and Shaffer received their award during the ANS President’s Special Session at the ANS Annual Conference: “Nuclear Science and Technology: Managing the Global Impact of Economic and Natural Events,” being held June 24-28 in Chicago, Illinois.

“Meredith Angwin and Howard Shaffer have inspired nuclear proponents across the country by shaping the public debate over nuclear energy using facts and technical credibility,” said Loewen.  “Their success in making sure that accurate information is shared in public venues will continue to benefit the nation moving forward.”

The Presidential Citations recognize the following achievements:

Angwin

Meredith Angwin—For providing rational, reliable, and unbiased information about nuclear energy to the citizens of Vermont during the contentious re-licensing period for Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.  By establishing the Energy Education Project, Meredith nourished a grassroots organization that changed the public debate about nuclear energy, lending a credible voice and a helping hand to ANS members and other nuclear advocates well beyond the borders of Vermont.

Shaffer

Howard Shaffer—For tireless efforts to provide accurate and credible nuclear energy information to the citizens of Vermont during the contentious re-licensing period for Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. Howard’s dedication to furthering public understanding and dispelling fear and uncertainty with facts, through a variety of forums, correctly focused the public debate about nuclear energy. He has inspired ANS members and other nuclear advocates across the country.

Angwin is founder of the Energy Education Project of the Ethan Allen Institute. The Energy Education Project is a non-profit with the mission of helping people in Vermont understand their energy options in terms of cost, reliability, environmental impact and government support. She was a Project Manager at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) with a yearly budget of a million to a million and a half dollars to fund research in geothermal and nuclear power generation. Angwin holds a BS in chemistry, with special honors in chemistry, from University of Chicago and an MS in physical chemistry from University of Chicago.  She founded Fourth Floor Databases in Palo Alto CA to continue making progress on issues in electricity generation, and she owns Carnot Communications, which specializes in effectively communicating technical issues.  She blogs at Yes Vermont Yankee and is a regular contributor to the ANS Nuclear Cafe.

Shaffer has been an ANS member for 35 years. He has contributed to the American Society for Mechanical Engineers and ANS Standards committees, ANS committees, national meeting staffs, and his local section and served as the 2001 ANS Congressional Fellow. He is a current member of the ANS Public Information Committee and consults in nuclear public outreach.  He is coordinator for the ANS Vermont Public Information Pilot Project.  Shaffer holds a BSEE from Duke University and an MSNE from MIT. He is a regular contributor to the ANS Nuclear Cafe.

For more information about the conference, visit www.ans.org.  For information about ANS Honors and Awards, visit http://www.new.ans.org/honors/.

ANS Names Three New Fellows

Three members of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) have been named ANS Fellows, ANS President Eric Loewen, PhD, announced today.  The status of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed by the Society.  Dr. Loewen will present the awards to the new ANS Fellows today, during the opening session of the ANS Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, in recognition of their significant achievements and contributions to nuclear science and technology.

In making the announcement, Loewen said, “As scientific society members, we are proud to be associated with these individuals who have done so much to advance nuclear science and technology by sharing their contributions so enthusiastically with their colleagues.”

The prestigious designation of ANS Fellow was awarded to:

Hassanein

Ahmad Hassanein, Head of Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University—For his significant development of comprehensive models and computer simulation packages for plasma material interactions for fusion energy applications in both magnetic and inertial confinement as well as other plasma science applications.

 

Saha

Pradip Saha, Principal Engineer, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy—For his outstanding original research and publications in the fields of two-phase flow in thermal non-equilibrium, density wave flow instability in subcritical and supercritical pressures, core power-feedwater temperature operating domain for natural circulation BWR, scaling methodology for BWRs, mixed convection heat transfer in gas-cooled reactors, and reactor safety code assessment and improvement.

Williams

Mark L. Williams, Distinguished Research Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory—For his significant contributions to nuclear engineering modeling and simulation through unique breakthrough developments in sensitivity/uncertainty (S/U) methods.

 

 

Loewen concluded, “Nuclear science and technology continues to expand and provide benefits to humanity as our knowledge grows within this new field of study. These three ANS Fellows are at the boundary of this knowledge expansion and are thought leaders who have significantly helped to advance nuclear science.”

UC-Berkeley NE department receives ANS Presidential Citation

The University of California–Berkeley Nuclear Engineering Department has been awarded an American Nuclear Society Presidential Citation, ANS President Eric Loewen announced today. Loewen will present the award to UC–Berkeley nuclear engineering department representatives during the President’s Session of the ANS Annual ConferenceNuclear Science and Technology: Managing the Global Impact of Economic and Natural Events, being held June 24–28 in Chicago, Ill.

“The efforts by UC-Berkeley nuclear engineering faculty and students to provide accurate and authoritative information to the public following Fukushima were outstanding and serve as a model to emulate,” said Loewen.

The Presidential Citation recognizes the following achievements:

Nuclear Engineering Department, UC–Berkeley: For serving at the leading edge of communication to educate California and the nation about radiological impact to the United States from the Fukushima incident. By collecting atmospheric-transported radiation samples from Japan, explaining the significance to the public via public forums and the UC–Berkeley Nuclear Engineering Air Monitoring Station website, the UC–Berkeley nuclear engineering department gained national recognition as a trusted source for rational, accurate and authoritative information about radioactivity and its potential impacts on the U.S. population.

UC–Berkeley nuclear engineering department

ANS Young Members Group has active schedule at ANS Annual Meeting

Attention ANS Young Members:
If you are attending the ANS Annual meeting, June 24–June 28, 2012 , at the Hyatt Regency Chicago,  consider attending the following ANS Young Members Group (YMG) events:

YMG Executive Committee Meeting
Monday, June 25
11:30 am-1:00 pm
Comiskey Room, Chicago Hyatt Regency
Meet the Leadership of YMG. Interact. Get Involved.

ANS Fun Run
Tuesday, June 26
6 am at front entrance, Chicago Hyatt Regency
2-4-6 mile options
Click HERE for information or contact Ken Schultz for more information.

YMG Working Dinner
Thursday, June 28
5:30 pm at the Girl & The Goat – 809 West Randolph Street Chicago, IL 60607
YMG has a reservation at Girl & The Goat, one of the most popular restaurants in the Chicago area. This is a great occasion to discuss YMG business in an informal setting. You are responsible to pay for your own food and drinks. Availability is on a first come – first served basis. Contact Elia Merzari for more information.

This schedule is provided courtesy of the Young Member Group Newsletter.

ANS Honors NRC Commissioner Kristine Svinicki with Presidential Citation

NRC Commissioner Kristine L. Svinicki (Photo: NRC)

American Nuclear Society (ANS) President Eric Loewen today announced that Ms. Kristine Svinicki of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will receive a 2012 ANS Presidential Citation. Commissioner Svinicki will receive her award during the ANS President’s Special Session at the ANS Annual Conference: “Nuclear Science and Technology: Managing the Global Impact of Economic and Natural Events,” being held June 24-28 in Chicago, Illinois.

“Commissioner Svinicki has demonstrated leadership and adherence to the highest standards of professional conduct while serving on the Commission,” said Loewen. “She combines an unshakeable demeanor with proven technical and professional qualifications, and we support her nomination to a second term as NRC Commissioner.”

The Presidential Citation recognizes the following achievements:

Commissioner Kristine L. Svinicki—For courageous leadership, dedication to public service, and unwavering commitment to a regulatory framework that enables and facilitates safe and secure use of nuclear technology.

Commissioner Svinicki is a nuclear engineer and policy advisor and has extensive nuclear technology experience. She is a longstanding ANS member, where she served two terms on the ANS Special Committee on Nuclear Non-Proliferation. In 2006—before she was nominated to be NRC Commissioner—the Society honored her with a Presidential Citation in recognition of her contributions to the nuclear energy, science, and technology policies of the United States.

Commissioner Svinicki’s current term is set to expire on June 30, 2012. President Obama has nominated her for a second five-year term. A U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing on the re-nomination of Commissioner Svinicki and the nomination of Dr. Allison Macfarlane—who would serve the rest of current NRC Chair Gregory Jaczko’s term, which expires at the end of June 2013—is scheduled for Wednesday, June 13, 2012.

For more information about the conference, visit www.ans.org.  For information about ANS Honors and Awards, visit http://www.new.ans.org/honors/.

ANS to host ICAPP 2012 at annual conference

The American Nuclear Society’s Annual Conference, to be held June 24–28 in Chicago, Ill., will feature an embedded International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP 2012), ANS President Eric Loewen announced. “This international conference brings together nuclear leaders from around the world to share best practices and advance international understanding of the latest advances in nuclear power plants,” said Loewen.

ICAPP 2012′s opening plenary will have the top leaders of nuclear utilities and companies discussing the current economic realities that make nuclear practical in some places around the world—and not so practical in other areas. These nuclear experts will share perspectives on the impact of changes in electricity demand, the comparative costs of power generation, disposal solutions for used nuclear fuel, and how the Fukushima-Daiichi accident affects views of new nuclear plants in the United States and around the world.

Speakers at the ICAPP 2012 opening plenary on Monday, June 25, include:

  • Susan Landahl, chief operating officer and senior vice president, Exelon Nuclear
  • Takuyo Hattori, president, Japan Atomic Industrial Forum
  • Stephen Kuczynski, president and chief executive officer, Southern Nuclear Operating Company
  • Rick Gabbianelli, senior vice president, Westinghouse

In addition, ICAPP 2012 will feature technical sessions on coping with extended station blackout, advanced fuel cycle options and technologies, hybrid energy systems—coupling nuclear, renewable, and fossil energy systems—and advanced reactor concepts. Participants will also learn about potential outage impacts and improvements and the materials and issues related to current and future reactor designs.

Loewen concluded, “ICAPP 2012 features international nuclear experts coming together to share the vision of a bright future made possible by clean, safe, and reliable electricity provided by the inner binding energy of the atom. As ANS president, I thank them for their technical leadership.”

For more information on ICAPP 2012 and the ANS 2012 Annual Conference, please click HERE.

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President Obama names Allison Macfarlane as NRC Commissioner to replace Jaczko

President Barack Obama today announced his intent to nominate Allison Macfarlane to be U.S. Nuclear Regulatory (NRC) commissioner and to designate her as NRC chair upon her appointment. Macfarlane is an associate professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University (GMU), a position she has held since 2006. Macfarlane served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future from March 2010 to January 2012.

Macfarlane received a B.Sc. from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in Geology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She co-authored an article titled “Nuclear proliferation: Time to bury plutonium,” which appears in the May 9, 2012, edition of Nature.

Macfarlane would serve the remainder of current NRC Chair Gregory Jaczko’s term, which is set to expire at the end of June 2013. This past Monday, May 21, Jaczko announced that he would resign his position as soon as his successor is confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

This nomination will join President Obama’s nomination of NRC Commissioner Kristine Svinicki for a second five-year term in awaiting action by the U.S. Senate. Svinicki’s current term is set to expire at the end of June 2012. On May 14, the American Nuclear Society issued a statement urging the U.S. Senate to act promptly on Ms. Svinicki’s nomination so that there is no interruption in her service.

Immediate reactions to the Macfarlane nomination

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) issued the following statement:

I am confident that like her predecessor, Dr. Allison Macfarlane will make preserving the safety and security of American citizens her top priority as chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Dr. Macfarlane’s education and experience, in particular her service on the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, make her eminently qualified to lead the NRC for the foreseeable future. The nuclear industry has a perfect opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to safety by supporting Dr. Macfarlane’s nomination.

I continue to have grave concerns about Kristine Svinicki’s record on the commission. But I believe the best interests of the public would be served by moving the nominations of Dr. Macfarlane and Ms. Svinicki together before Ms. Svinicki’s term expires at the end of June, to ensure that we have a fully functioning NRC. Republicans claim to share that goal, and I hope they will work with us to make it a reality.

Marv Fertel, president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute, issued the following statement:

The nuclear energy industry congratulates Professor Macfarlane on her selection by the president. She has been an active contributor to policy debates in the nuclear energy field for many years.

Given the importance of having a fully functioning, five-member commission to carry out the NRC’s safety mission, the nuclear energy industry urges the administration to submit her confirmation paperwork as expeditiously as possible. It would not serve the public interest to have her nomination linger with the term of Commissioner Kristine Svinicki set to expire at the end of June. We urge the Senate to confirm both Commissioner Svinicki and Professor Macfarlane expeditiously.

The NRC must continue to be an effective, credible regulator if the nation is to maximize nuclear energy’s role in achieving America’s economic growth and energy security.

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NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko announces resignation

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Chairman Gregory Jaczko announced today that he would resign his position as soon as a successor is confirmed. Jaczko has served on the 5-member commission since January 2005 and was named chairman in May 2009. His current term as commissioner was set to expire in June 2013.

In reporting the resignation, the New York Times noted:

The practical impact of the announcement is not clear. Dr. Jaczko’s term as a member of the commission ends in 13 months, but the commissioner who serves as chairman does so at the pleasure of the president, meaning that he would be replaced in January if Mr. Obama does not win a second term. Given the slow pace of Senate confirmations, especially in an election year in which control of the White House and the Senate could change, it is not clear that the Senate will approve a replacement before the election in November, and it is more unlikely to do so if Mr. Obama loses and becomes a lame duck.

Below is Jaczko’s official statement.

STATEMENT OF NRC CHAIRMAN GREGORY B. JACKZO

After nearly eight years on the Commission, I am announcing my resignation as Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, effective upon the confirmation of my successor. My responsibility and commitment to safety will continue to be my paramount priority after I leave the Commission and until my successor is confirmed.

After an incredibly productive three years as Chairman, I have decided this is the appropriate time to continue my efforts to ensure public safety in a different forum. This is the right time to pass along the public safety torch to a new chairman who will keep a strong focus on carrying out the vital mission of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

During this last year alone, the agency has responded with an impressive focus on safety under my leadership to a number of diverse challenges including the accident at the Fukushima Da-ichi reactors in Japan, and a number of severe incidents at reactors in the United States ranging from flooding, an earthquake and tornados to damaged plant structures and steam generator problems. In addition to this vigilant oversight, together we identified and began to implement lessons learned from Fukushima and completed our rigorous safety reviews for the first new reactor licenses in 30 years.

Throughout my time on the Commission as both Chairman and Commissioner, the agency finalized regulations to ensure new reactors are designed to withstand an aircraft impact, completed the development and implementation of a safety culture policy statement, enhanced our focus on openness and transparency, and enhanced awareness of and worked to resolve some of the most long-standing generic issues facing the nuclear industry, including sump strainer issues and fire protection. Beyond the power reactor work, substantial progress was made in establishing a more transparent and effective oversight program for fuel cycle facilities. In addition, radioactive sources of concern are now fully protected with our new security regulations and source tracking system. We stand as a stronger and more decisive regulator now because of these years of efforts. I am truly humbled by the agency’s success.

Serving the American people as the Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been an honor and privilege. The mission of this agency—protecting people and the environment, and providing for the common defense and security—could not be more clear, or more critical. Our collective focus on that mission was, I believe, one of the primary reasons the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was one of the best places to work in the federal government throughout my tenure. The highly talented and dedicated professional staff, including dozens who have served on my personal staff over the years, have been instrumental in fulfilling the agency’s mission.

I will always be grateful for the opportunity of having served alongside the staff for all of these years, and for all that we accomplished together. I am looking forward to bringing all I have learned from my work and focus on safety at this agency with me as I move forward.

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ANS commends President Obama for Svinicki nomination

The American Nuclear Society today issued the following statement:

The American Nuclear Society (ANS) commends President Obama for nominating Kristine Svinicki to a second term on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Ms. Svinicki is a nuclear engineer and policy advisor and is well qualified to continue service as an NRC Commissioner. She has extensive nuclear technology experience. She is a longstanding ANS member, where she served two terms on the ANS Special Committee on Nuclear Non-Proliferation. In 2006, the Society honored her with a Presidential Citation in recognition of her contributions to the nuclear energy, science, and technology policies of the United States.

The ANS believes that U.S. nuclear safety and security interests are best served by having a full roster of NRC commissioners with proven technical and professional qualifications. As such, we urge the U.S. Senate to act promptly on Ms. Svinicki’s nomination so that there is no interruption in her service.

For more information about the American Nuclear Society, please visit www.ans.org.

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ANS participates in the USA Science & Engineering Festival

American Nuclear Society exhibit

Visitors learn about nuclear science & technology at the ANS display during the USA Science & Engineering Festival going on this weekend in Washington, DC.

ANS Vice President Corradini discusses ANS Fukushima report

American Nuclear Society Vice President/President Elect Michael Corradini—co-chair of the ANS Special Committee on Fukushima—discusses the findings of the ANS Special Committee report and other Fukushima-related matters in this news clip, filmed in conjunction with a March speaking engagement at an Oak Ridge/Knoxville ANS Local Section dinner meeting.

ANS President Eric Loewen submits testimony on FY 2013 energy appropriations

On Friday, March 30, American Nuclear Society President Eric Loewen submitted outside written testimony on behalf of the American Nuclear Society to the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. The testimony addresses on Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 appropriations for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other relevant agencies under the Subcommittee’s jurisdiction—in particular, funding for nuclear programs under DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy.

The testimony is below and can be downloaded in .pdf format by clicking HERE.

Testimony by Eric P. Loewen Ph.D.
President, American Nuclear Society
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
On the FY 2013 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill
March 30, 2012

Chairman Frelinghuysen, Ranking Member Visclosky, members of the Subcommittee, on behalf of the 12,000 members of the American Nuclear Society, I am pleased to provide testimony on FY 2013 appropriations for the U.S. Department of Energy and other relevant agencies under the Subcommittee’s jurisdiction.

As you know, ANS represents a diverse cadre of nuclear professionals. As such, our members’ opinions on nuclear issues are often wide-ranging, and perhaps sometimes different from the Subcommittee. The ANS, however, truly appreciates the thoughtful and deliberate manner in which the Subcommittee approaches issues related to nuclear energy, science, and technology.

ANS believes the United States must maintain its nuclear energy technology capabilities, both from an energy and national security perspective. While we recognize that US demand for new nuclear reactors has cooled recently because of our economic downturn and historically low natural gas prices, the ANS knows nuclear energy is still an indispensable part of our long-term energy policy in the US.

The administration has set forth a plan to address the current set of nuclear challenges: a targeted research and development program to promote sustainability of our current light water reactor fleet; a program to accelerate development and licensing of light water Small Modular Reactors (SMRs); research programs focused on the nuclear fuel cycle, advanced reactors, and developing simulation and modeling tools that have broad application across the nuclear sector.

We are puzzled however by the President’s FY 2013 budget request for the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE NE), which is clearly insufficient to maintain progress on the administration’s own announced priorities.

Administration’s budget documents show a net increase of 0.7% over FY 2012, which on the surface would seem to be a reasonable request given the current fiscal pressures. Upon closer inspection, however, the administration proposes moving $95 million in funding for “Idaho Sitewide Safeguards and Security” into the main DOE NE budget from Other Defense Activities account. Without this clever piece of accounting, the actual FY 13 DOE NE budget would be cut by 11.7%, while the overall funding level for DOE would increase by 3.2%.

It is apparent that the president’s budget request for DOE NE is more a product of internal budgetary “goal posting” than a deliberate attempt to reduce the scope of the administration’s initiatives in nuclear energy science and technology.

The ANS believes it is extremely important to maintain funding for the DOE NE at consistent levels, and urges the subcommittee to base its FY 2013 recommendations on FY 2012 enacted levels. As such, our specific program recommendations for DOE NE assume “flat funding” in FY 2013.

We urge the Subcommittee to support the continuation of the Integrated University Program. Specifically, we request that the Subcommittee to restore the full $15 million in funding for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s portion of the IUP program and the $5 million FY12 appropriated level for DOE-NE. While we are pleased that the current leadership of the DOE NE has reestablished its commitment as the primary steward of university-based nuclear education programs, we believe it is critically important for NRC to continue its activities in this area. As you may recall, it was the House Energy and Water Subcommittee that originally precipitated the transfer in funding for universities from DOE to NRC several budget cycles ago. If these activities are not funded, several very important activities will be terminated, including support for younger faculty awards, and collaboration on curriculum between two-year and four-year institutions of higher learning.

ANS recommends funding the SMR licensing technical program at $95 million, which represents an increase of $30 million over the President’s FY 2013 budget request level. Our recommended funding level would put the DOE SMR program on a sustainable trajectory to meet its budgetary milestones of $452 million over a 5 year period. The subcommittee should recognize that the US is in a full scale race with other nations, such as Russia, China, Korea and India, to develop and deploy SMR technology. SMRs offer an opportunity for improving the attractiveness of the US nuclear export portfolio and create manufacturing jobs in the US. The president’s budget request level is
simply insufficient to meet the program’s objectives.

The Advanced Reactor Concepts program should be funded at the FY 2012 enacted levels. ANS recognizes that the administration has de-prioritized the development of socalled Generation IV reactor designs. However, its proposed 43% cut in funding for the Advanced Reactor Concepts program will essentially relinquish US global leadership in an American technology and throw away previous US investments. Forgoing this leadership directly impacts our ability to promote US safety and nonproliferation standards around the world for these technologies.

The Next Generation Nuclear Plant project should be funded at its authorized amount in EPAC of 2005 in FY 2013. ANS believes that DOE should fund the NGNP project for success and near-term results rather than settle for a slower pace of licensing “framework” activities. Developing a licensing “framework” does not establish technology leadership, rather it concrete foundations of this first-of-kind project that will establish the US as technology leaders.

Sadly however, the 47% percent cut proposed by the administration would not allow DOE to even pursue its stated “framework” course, and would also continue to cause irreversible losses to a program established in EPAC 2005. For instance, several samples of advanced fuels currently being tested in the INL Advanced Test Reactor would have to be prematurely removed, thereby destroying valuable scientific data (that took years to create), and not keeping with Congresses vision of the project established by law in 2005.

Finally, we urge the Subcommittee to provide such sums as may be necessary for the preservation of all scientific and technical documents and predictive modeling licensing codes related to the Yucca Mountain license application. The ANS membership has been deeply disappointed that the administration has essentially chosen to value politics over sound science in withdrawing the license application. We recognize that the Administration efforts with the Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC), and their recommendations to Congress. ANS provided input to the BRC. Prudence dictates that the technical fruits of nearly $10 billion worth of utility rate payer investments should be preserved for future repository efforts regardless of the location in the US.

In closing, our goals is to provide the Subcommittee with the views of our society as it assembles the FY 2013 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, and we stand ready and willing to provide additional technical assistance based on this information. At this moment in the life of our industry, I call for more attention to the need for our nation to have the courage of commitment to live up to our historical leadership role in nuclear technology. Unless we step up, we will be left behind.

Thank you.