Nuclear Energy 
After Fukushima

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Patrice Bubar's presentation 2014 ORAU Council Meeting

Text of Nuclear Energy 
After Fukushima

  • 1.William D. Magwood, IV Commissioner Nuclear Energy After Fukushima Oak Ridge Associated Universities Symposium Patrice M. Bubar Chief of Staff Commissioner Magwood March 5, 2014

2. !2 3. !3 Clockwise: December 1951 photo of EBR-1 team after the first production of electric power from atomic energy. Hanford PUREX Process Canyon Building, circa 1956. Shippingport Atomic Power Station outside Pittsburgh, PA, circa 1957. All photos courtesy the U.S. Department of Energy. 4. The AECs Role in Nuclear Power AEC was created in 1946 to take over Manhattan Project assets and develop civilian applications for nuclear technology. ! The AEC: Sponsored or supported early commercial plants Created and managed the uranium market Supplied essentially all uranium enrichment services to US plants and to allied countries Conducted and supported most U.S. reactor R&D Regulated nuclear power and nuclear safety ! However, by the late 1960s, AECs power, scope, and potential conflicts of interest became a matter of public debate. !4 Glenn T. Seaborg Chaired AEC from 1961 to 1971 5. The Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 divided the Atomic Energy Commission into a promotional technology development agency the Department of Energy and a regulatory agency the NRC. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Who We Are NRC is 4000 people dedicated to assuring the safe and secure use of nuclear materials in the United States in order to protect the health and safety of the American people. !5 6. Nuclear Regulatory Commission What We Regulate Nuclear Reactors - commercial power reactors, research and test reactors, new reactor designs. ! Nuclear Materials - nuclear reactor fuel, radioactive materials for medical, industrial and academic use. ! Nuclear Waste transportation, storage and disposal of nuclear material and waste, decommissioning of nuclear facilities. !6 7. The Commission is a collegial, quasi-judicial body ! Five members with staggered five-year terms: Each is nominated by the President, approved by the Senate ! President designates one commissioner to serve as Chairman ! Decisions on all regulatory issues are determined by majority voting: The Commission Independence and Transparency !7 8. Regulatory Independence in the United States Independence from economic interests regarding the use of any nuclear materials or technology. NRC does not consider financial costs to nuclear plant operators when considering matters of safety significance. ! Independence from policy interests. NRCs actions are based on scientific analysis and legal precedent not on energy policy considerations. ! Independence from political interests. NRC does not report to a Ministry or to the White House Standing committees of Congress oversee NRC operations NRC decisions are subject to review by the courts. !8 9. Why Is Nuclear Power Different? Because it is !9 Accidents are Rare, But Can be High-Consequence ! Nuclear Waste ! Plants Must Operate at a High Level of Safety for 60 years perhaps longer ! Most Difficult of all Industrial Activities to Explain to the General Public ! Among Others Globally, the U.S. Industry is Unusual The largest program 99 operating power reactors Almost entirely privately-owned, operating on a commercial basis 10. Fukushima Daiichi Leading to Changes in Regulation 10 11. Fukushima Daiichi on March 11 A Bad Day At the Plant !11 ! Magnitude 9.0 earthquake followed by 15 meter tsunami at the plant ! Extended Station Blackout ! Batteries depleted and subsequent loss of all reactor cooling ! Core damage in units 1, 2, and 3 ! Hydrogen explosions in reactor buildings housing units 1, 3, and 4 12. NRC Near-Term Task Force U.S. Plants Are Safe But More Can Be Done Continued operation and licensing of nuclear power plants do not pose an imminent risk to safety. ! Mitigation measures already in place (i.e., B.5.b) could reduce likelihood of core damage and radiological releases. ! 12 technical recommendations to further enhance nuclear safety. 12 13. After Fukushima Learn the Big Lessons Must Understand the Natural Hazard Risks Facing Each Plant ! We Cant Predict Every Event ! Recovering from Disaster is At Least as Important as Preparing for Disaster ! New, Challenging Scenarios: Multi-Unit Events Potential for Common Cause Failure of On-Site and Off- Site AC Power (SBO) 13 14. Fukushima Teaches The Public Also Learns !14 15. !15 After Fukushima Reinvigorated Anti-Nuclear Protests 16. Recent Nuclear Power Plant Closures A Trend in the Making? Plant Issue SONGS (CA) Installation of Flawed Steam Generators Crystal River (FL) Flawed Civil Work Damaged Concrete Containment Kewaunee (WI) Not Financially Competitive in Wisconsin Market Vermont Yankee (VT) Significant Local Political and Financial Challenges !16 17. ! The AEO96 reference case forecast assumes that all nuclear units will operate to the end of their current license terms, with 49 units (37 gigawatts) retiring through 2015. ! Given these assumptions, 61 nuclear units are projected to provide 10 percent of total electricity generation in 2015 ! ! U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy Outlook 1996 !17 A Look Back The Future Outlook 17 Years Ago 18. 0 500 1000 1500 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 U.S. Undergrad Nuclear Engineering Enrollment (1990-1999) ! Through the 1990s, the U.S. experienced: ! A sharp decline in number of research reactors (66-24) ! Collapse in enrollment in nuclear engineering programs ! A negative shift in public perception regarding the future of nuclear energy U.S. Nuclear Technology Education A Decade of Decline !18 19. U.S. Nuclear Technology Education Reversing the Trend !19 Federal (DOE and later NRC) Investments in: Scholarships and fellowships Research Minority Institutions Research reactors and other infrastructure Time ! Resurgence of Prospects of New Plants Onrushing Retirements High Salaries 20. !20 Nuclear Engineering Enrollment (2004-2011) 0 1500 3000 4500 6000 2004-2005 2006-2007 2008-2009 2010-2011 1620 1687 1482 1239 11531110 1092 3985 3065 23232102193318311520 Undergraduate Graduate 2941 3086 3341 3805 4752 2612 5605 Undergraduate enrollment increased 30% in one year 21. NRC Grant Program History NRC Implemented Grants to Universities Made First Grant Awards for Curriculum Development in 2007 for total of $4.7M ! NRC Implemented Scholarship (including scholarships to 2-year community college and trade schools) and Fellowship, and Faculty Development Made First Grant Awards in 2008 for total of $15M 21 22. Programs NRC Grants Today Two Nuclear Education Grant Programs Currently ! Grants to Universities Program (Up to $5M ) Curriculum Development ! Integrated University Program (Up to $15M) Faculty Development Scholarships and Fellowships Scholarships to 2-year Trade Schools and Community Colleges 22 23. Grants to Universities Curriculum Development Supports Development or Enhancement of Curricula Related to Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Security, or Nuclear Environmental Protection (or other areas) ! Funding - Up to $5M Annually ! Awards - 2-Year Grant Awards for up to $200,000 ! All Grants Fully Funded Upon Award 23 24. Integrated University Program Scholarships* For undergraduate students 2 years, up to $200,000 Maximum of $10,000 per student per year Fellowships* For graduate students 4 years, up to $400,000 Maximum of $50,000 per student per year Trade Schools/Community College Scholarships* For undergraduate students at 2-year educational institutions 2 years, up to $150,000 Maximum of $10,000 per student per year 24 25. *NOTE: Service Agreement Component to all scholarships and fellowships 6 months in nuclear-related employment for each year or partial year of academic support Faculty Development: - For probationary, tenure-track faculty during the first 6 years of their career - 3 years, up to $600.00 ($450, 000 from NRC; $150,000 institution match) Integrated University Program 25 26. Awards Overview Total Dollar Amount of Grant Awards DollarsinMillions $0.0 $4.0 $8.0 $12.0 $16.0 FY 2007 FY 2009 FY 2011 FY 2013 26 27. NRC Grant Outcomes To Date 487 Individual Grants Awarded to 141 Institutions 204 Curriculum Development Grants 87 Faculty Development Grants 67 Fellowships 69 Scholarships 4-year institutions 60 Scholarships 2-year Trades/CCs Over 1700 Students Supported by Scholarships/ Fellowships 89 Faculty Supported Over 200 Courses Developed/Modified 27 28. FY 2014 IUP Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Schedule FOAs for IUP only issued on January 29, 2014 (no new FOA for Curriculum Development) posted on www.grants.gov ! Applications due March 31, 2014 ! Review Panels to be held in April/May 2014 ! Final award notifications by August 2014 28 29. Grant Program Integration with Recruitment Nuclear Safety Professional Development Program (NSPDP) entry-level hiring program 15% of 2013 NSPDP hires were NRC Scholarship/ Fellowship recipients 29 30. Grant Program Integration with Recruitment (continued) All of these institutions have received NRC grant funding2013 NSPDP Hires by Educational Institution *MinorityServing Institution Drexel UniversityGeorgia TechNC StateOregon State UniversityPenn State UniversityPurdue UniversityRenssalaer Polytechnic InstituteSC State*The Ohio State UniversityUniversity of MDUniversity of MichiganUniversity of MOUniversity of MO S&TUniversity of New MexicoUniversity of PittsburghUniversity of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez*University of South CarolinaUniversity of Southern CaliforniaUniversity of TennesseeVirginia Commonwealth UniveVirginia Polytechnic Institute and 11 4 1111111 2 1111111111 31. 31 Whats Next? Prognostications of the End 32. Georgia Power has initiated full scale construction of Vogtle units 3 and 4 after receipt of a combined Construction and Operating License from the NRC !32 Whats Next? The Work Continues 33. SCANA w