NRC FY2016 budget hearing – Sen Alexander and Sen Feinstein

On March 4, 2015, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development held a hearing about the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s FY2016 budget. The video archive is available for review. The only senators from the subcommittee who took part in the hearing were Sen Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) with an invited […]

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Agencies should not allow creation of a hostile environment at public meetings

On February 19, 2015, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) transported a substantial contingent of regulators to Brattleboro, VT to hold a public meeting about Entergy’s Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report (PSDAR) for the permanently shutdown Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Brattleboro Community TV produced a video record of the event. Watching that video is […]

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Atomic Show #235 – Energy and Empire by George Gonzales

Energy and Empire cover

Dr. George Gonzales is an associate professor of political science at the University of Miami. In 2012, he published a book titled Energy and Empire: The Politics of Nuclear and Solar Power in the United States. In his book, Professor Gonzales recognizes that the development of nuclear energy poses an obvious threat to the continued […]

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Proving a Negative – Why Modern Used Nuclear Fuel Cannot Be Used to Make a Weapon

Editor’s note: This post was first published on Jul 24, 2010. While working on a new post involving the use of fast spectrum reactors to address many important society challenges, I thought it would be worthwhile to share this important background piece to let you start thinking about some of the misinformation you might have […]

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Should NRC spend time and money simplifying transition to decommissioning?

In the past three years, five nuclear reactors in the United States have permanently ceased operations and are in the process of transitioning to a decommissioning status. There is not a well defined process for making that transition and for applying appropriate, risk-informed regulations. As a consequence of that situation, the owner of each plant […]

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Building a powerful pro-nuclear coalition

The nuclear energy enterprise is not healthy in North America and Europe, the places that discovered the science and invented the technologies. That situation needs to change with due haste into sustainable progress that is not artificially restricted by annoying, delaying, costly opposition from people who either do not understand or do not value the […]

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Shaping public perceptions of radiation risk

Note: The below is part of a longer work in progress. Comments and corrections are greatly appreciated. On Monday, November 17, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 5544, the Low Dose Radiation Research Act, which called for the National Academies to “conduct a study assessing the current status and development of a long-term strategy […]

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FOE’s manipulative legal strategy for closing nuclear reactors

During a recent discussion on James Conca’s article titled Are California’s Carbon Goals Kaput?, Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear accused Conca of trying to revise history. Gunter’s comment includes a lengthy interpretation of the events surrounding the closure of San Onofre from the point of view of a man who has been a professional antinuclear […]

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Is it really necessary to have a deep geologic repository for used nuclear fuel?

Though I have often received quizzical, almost uncomprehending looks from my type ‘A’ colleagues on submarines and in my other jobs, I’ve often been guided by a simple principal of decision-making – “If it’s too hard, quit.” Please don’t think that means I’m the type of person who can never get anything done or who […]

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NRC Commissioner Candidates Stephen Burns and Jeffery Baran

The Obama Administration, under the direction of influential Senators, has provided the names of two people to fill vacancies on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. One of the vacancies exists already; Commissioner Apostolakis, a renowned expert in the field of nuclear reactor safety and probabilistic risk assessment was not offered a second term when his first […]

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Markey’s Misinterpretation of NRC Non-Concurrence Process Targeted Survey

BACKGROUND The Nuclear Regulatory Commission values discussion among staff members who suggest alternative approaches or hold differing professional views. Since 1976 it has offered alternative methods of raising concerns including a documented Open Door Policy and a formal Differing Professional Opinions (DPO) Program. In 2006 the Executive Director for Operations issued a draft directive establishing […]

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Uranium supply concerns associated with EEU

Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed an agreement to form a Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) on May 29. Uranium market watchers should pay close attention and understand the potential implications of the alliance on the stability of the world’s uranium supply, even though the alliance has been dismissed as unimportant by some media pundits. For example, […]

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