Skip to main content

Pistols at Dawn – Ostendorff - 7 Ways

ostendorff Rosatom has a beef with a Norwegian newspaper that said its nuclear facilities do not meet international safety standards. Its response, in part:

The company said it has told the newspaper it reserves the right to “defend its honor and integrity in accordance with international standards.”

Which we hope doesn’t include pistols and seconds. From Nucleonics Week. No link to the story, unfortunately.


William Ostendorff won his first full term as an NRC commissioner last night, allowing the NRC to move forward with a full five-member roster of commissioners. Ostendorff had stepped in for the departing Dale Klein last year, but this vote ensures him a full five year term. This is important, as the NRC needs a majority to ensure there are no tied votes. Here’s a bit from Ostendorff’s bio at the NRC site:

Before joining the NRC, Mr. Ostendorff served as the Director of the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy and as Director of the Board on Global Science and Technology at the National Academies.

Mr. Ostendorff came to the National Academies after serving as Principal Deputy Administrator at the National Nuclear Security Administration from April 2007 until April 2009. From 2003 to 2007, he was a member of the staff of the House Armed Services Committee. There, he served as counsel and staff director for the Strategic Forces Subcommittee with oversight responsibilities for the Department of Energy's Atomic Energy Defense Activities as well as the Department of Defense's space, missile defense and intelligence programs.

Mr. Ostendorff was an officer in the United States Navy from 1976 until he retired in 2002 in the grade of captain. During his naval career, he commanded an attack submarine, an attack submarine squadron and served as Director of the Division of Mathematics and Science at the United States Naval Academy.

Very impressive. The Hill has a story with the basic details and here’s Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) offering congratulations:

"The public is best served by a full commission and Ostendorff's extensive knowledge, both of nuclear reactor operations and the national security issues surrounding it, is vital now as the NRC unravels the lessons-learned from the Fukushima accident and works to issue the first reactor licenses in thirty years.

Inhofe is ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, one of the committees which oversees nuclear energy issues in the Senate. He posted this there rather than at his own web site. I looked around for a press release from committee Chairman Barbara boxer (D-Calif.), but no luck. It’s Friday.

NEI also has a press release, which echoes Inhofe’s comments to an extent.


Tom Fanning is chairman, president, and CEO of Southern Company. He offers an article in U.S. News and World Report called 7 Ways the Nuclear Industry is Responding to Fukushima. We do have a link to this one.

Our industry will continue to respond to the events in Japan with the level of commitment and urgency that has been the hallmark of our actions. Within days of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, U.S. nuclear energy facilities launched an effort to re-examine and verify their preparedness to safely manage severe plant-related or natural events. Every plant re-examined safety plans and its ability to implement those plans with well-trained personnel and backup equipment on site.

Fanning is writing about about the industry initiative to – well, let’s let him describe it:

[O]ur industry has established a committee of chief nuclear officers from a dozen companies, as well as representatives from the Electric Power Research Institute, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, and the Nuclear Energy Institute. The industry is ensuring that events in Japan are thoroughly researched for lessons learned and that every component of the U.S. nuclear industry understands and applies those lessons at facilities across the country.

And then come the 7 ways of the title. You can see what they are at the USNAWR site. Getting the word out on the nuclear industry’s plans for the future is extremely important and Fanning is a terrific messenger – good for him for doing this.

NRC Commissioner William Ostendorff


turnages said…
Regarding the Rosatom story, the newspaper article in question was in "Aftenposten" on 19th June: on which Google Translate does a so-so job at .

The Voice of Russia has its reaction (in Norwegian) at .

Popular posts from this blog

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.


The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.

What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…