Skip to main content

NRC RIC is a Must Attend Event

Steven Kraft
The following is a guest post by Steven Kraft, senior technical advisor at the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).

For 26 years, at the close of each NRC Regulatory Information Conference (RIC), I have blocked my calendar for the following year’s RIC. The RIC (click here for this week’s agenda) has proven to be the most important and most interesting U.S. nuclear conference on the annual calendar and always worth the time invested. Participants learn from all the viewpoints presented. It is refreshing to see the deep technical commitment to safety expressed by all participants regardless of where they stand on any regulatory issue.

Beginning tomorrow morning, the 27th edition of the RIC will bring to together all four NRC Commissioners and over 2,000 attendees in a professional yet convivial atmosphere to openly discuss civilian nuclear regulatory issues in both the formal sessions and informal hallway discussions.

The highlight of the conference is always the commissioners’ addresses. Each commissioner provides personal insights on a topic of current, vital interest. But, it’s not all business, as a tradition has grown that seems to require each commissioner to attempt to outdo his or her colleagues in relating humorous anecdotes. Aside from the lawyer-engineer barbs that get tossed around, Commissioner Ostendorff’s sea stories are not only terrific to hear, he always ties them back to an important learning point for the audience. Speaking at the RIC for the first time as Commissioners are the new Chairman, Steve Burns, and the new commissioner Jeff Baran. Chairman Burns brings the experience of a distinguished career as an attorney both within the NRC and internationally; including three years as the agency’s general counsel. No one knows the NRC better than Chairman Burns.

Commissioner Baran, a highly respected attorney, came to the commission following eleven years in staff positions the U.S. House of Representatives including Staff Director for Energy and Environment for the Democratic staff of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. His political insights are a key addition to the collective knowledge the commission brings to its deliberations.

The RIC chairmanship always falls to the NRC Director of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. This year, we are eager to hear from Bill Dean, newly appointed to the position from being Region 1 Administrator. Bill’s reputation is that of a strong, fair regulator and a straight shooter.

The RIC never disappoints. Don’t miss it.

Editor’s Note: The NRC will be live streaming this year’s RIC beginning tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at 8:30 a.m. The link for the stream will go live at NRC’s Video Portal. If you don’t want to watch the live stream online, you can follow events at the RIC in real time on Twitter where the NRC has created a special handle just for the conference: @NRCgov_RIC.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Knowing What You’ve Got Before It’s Gone in Nuclear Energy

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

Nuclear energy is by far the largest source of carbon prevention in the United States, but this is a rough time to be in the business of selling electricity due to cheap natural gas and a flood of subsidized renewable energy. Some nuclear plants have closed prematurely, and others likely will follow.
In recent weeks, Exelon and the Omaha Public Power District said that they might close the Clinton, Quad Cities and Fort Calhoun nuclear reactors. As Joni Mitchell’s famous song says, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
More than 100 energy and policy experts will gather in a U.S. Senate meeting room on May 19 to talk about how to improve the viability of existing nuclear plants. The event will be webcast, and a link will be available here.
Unlike other energy sources, nuclear power plants get no specia…

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…