Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major Energy and Environmental News and Commentary affecting the Nuclear Industry.

Friday, November 16, 2018

ANS Nuclear Policy Wire November 16, 2018

ANS Nuclear Policy Wire
November 16, 2018

Stand Up, Testify

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing yesterday for its newest nominees, including Dr. Rita Baranwal for the position of Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy in DOE. Chairmain Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has already announced she hopes to confirm Dr. Baranwal by the end of the year. Check out some highlights from Dr. Baranwal's testimony below: 
  • On moonshots: "A lot of the work that we have done in the nuclear industry, one might consider a moon-shot, a lofty type of goal to stride towards, and certainly the smaller reactors (also known as the microreactors) that many companies are working on to develop could be considered one of those."
  • On the importance of science: "[Science is] weighted very heavily [in my decision-making]. I'm a scientist and I look at the evidence."
  • On Yucca Mountain: "Should I be confirmed, I very much look forward to visiting Yucca Mountain."
  • On developing an advanced nuclear power plant: "I do [believe it is in the forseeable future] and I know companies are working on that...If I am confirmed, that will be one of my priorities, to support the advanced reactor community."
  • On microreactors: "I am very excited about the prospect of the application of  microreactors to support especially remote communities, both in the arctic type of area, as well as desert communities and military bases, regardless of the community."
  • On policy and perception: "I think at the moment that some of the biggest challenges are not necessarily technical; they're around perception and policy. So I think in collaboration, in working with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission around regulation and then working with all of [Congress] to work around policy will help address some of those challenges. The perception piece I think, the onus is on everybody in the nuclear industry to help alleviate some of the perception issues."

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