Wednesday, January 12, 2022

NRC Announces Brooke Poole Clark as Next Commission Secretary

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 22-003 January 11, 2022
CONTACT: Office of Public Affairs, 301-415-8200

NRC Announces Brooke Poole Clark as Next Commission Secretary

The NRC today announced the selection of Brooke Poole Clark as the new Secretary to the Commission, effective Spring 2022. Clark will replace Annette Vietti-Cook, who is retiring after nearly 40 years of service at the NRC.

In her new position, Clark will provide executive management services to support the Commission and implement Commission decisions. The Office of the Secretary serves a critical role at the agency and is responsible for scheduling Commission meetings, managing the Commission's decision-making process, codifying Commission decisions in memoranda, processing and controlling Commission correspondence, and maintaining the Commission's historical records collection, among other tasks.

“Brooke is remarkably talented and highly disciplined, with impeccable organizational management, and a demonstrated skill earning the public’s trust,” said NRC Chairman Christopher T. Hanson. “She embodies a deep commitment to our institution and to the integrity of Commission governance, which will prove critical in overseeing the Office of the Secretary’s important responsibilities.”

Hanson also praised the outgoing Vietti-Cook.

“Annette has been a cornerstone of our agency, with a central role in our assurances of openness and transparency. She is vastly knowledgeable in Commission policy, processes, and procedures,” Hanson said. “Her steadfast commitment to carrying out the mission of the agency over her many years of public service is highly commendable. It has been a pleasure and an honor working with her.”

Clark joined the NRC in 1998 through the Honor Law Graduate program. She had a break in service from 2001 to 2004, when she worked as an associate attorney with the law firm of Winston & Strawn, LLC, before rejoining the NRC’s Office of General Counsel. Since then, her responsibilities included positions in the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, and the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer. She also served as legal counsel to former Chairman Nils Diaz and Chairman Dale Klein, and later served as head of the Office of Commission Appellate Adjudication. Most recently, Clark served as Deputy General Counsel for Licensing, Hearings, and Enforcement, and was a member of the agency’s COVID-19 task force, which has been guiding the agency through the pandemic.

Clark is a graduate of the NRC’s Leadership Potential and Senior Executive Service Candidate Development programs. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from the George Washington University Law School.

Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3 - Operator Licensing Retake Examination Report 05000277/2022302 and 05000278/2022302

Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3 - Operator Licensing Retake Examination Report 05000277/2022302 and 05000278/2022302

ADAMS Accession No.  ML22010A177


Monday, January 10, 2022

March 1 & 2, 2022 meeting of Nuke Waste Tech Review Board

January 10, 2022 
For Immediate Release

Bret W. Leslie
External Affairs

U.S. NWTRB to Hold Public Meeting on U.S. DOE Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition R&D Activities and Consent-Based Siting Process

The U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (Board) will hold a virtual public meeting on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, and Wednesday, March 2, 2022, to review information on the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) activities related to spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and highlevel radioactive waste (HLW). Specifically, the meeting will cover research and development (R&D) on SNF and HLW storage, transportation, non-site-specific disposal, DOE’s integrated waste management system, and its consent-based siting process to identify federal interim storage facilities. The Board is an independent federal agency established by Congress to conduct ongoing technical and scientific evaluation of activities undertaken by DOE to manage and dispose of SNF and HLW.

Details for joining and viewing the meeting will be available on the Board’s website ( approximately one week before the meeting. 

The meeting will begin on both days at 12:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST) and is scheduled to adjourn at approximately 5:00 p.m. EST. On the first day, the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) will provide an update on DOE’s dual-purpose canister (DPC) disposal R&D. Speakers representing the national laboratories conducting the DPC work for DOE will report on a repository-scale performance assessment incorporating post-closure criticality and cladding degradation modeling development. A DOE-NE representative will provide a summary and status of storage and transportation R&D and a speaker from the national laboratories will describe investigations into SNF storage canister surface environments and the potential for corrosion.

On the second day, an experiment simulating aerosol transmission through a crack in an SNF canister wall will be described by a speaker from the national laboratories. From the integrated waste management system R&D program, speakers from the national laboratories will describe the Hanford Lead Canister project and updated waste management system analysis tool requirements and enhancements. A speaker from DOE-NE will present the current PRL225vF functions and capabilities of DOE’s Stakeholder Tool for Assessing Radioactive Transportation (START). The final speaker, from DOE-NE, will provide an update on consent-based siting. A detailed meeting agenda will be available on the Board’s website at
approximately one week before the meeting.

The meeting will be open to the public and there will be opportunities for public comments. Public comments can be submitted during the meeting via the online meeting viewing platform, using the “Comment for the Record” form. Comments submitted during each day of the meeting will be read into the record by Board staff during the public comment period just prior to adjournment. A time limit on comments may be set. However, written comments of any length may be submitted to the Board staff by mail or electronic mail. All comments received in writing will be included in the meeting record, which will be posted on the Board’s website after the meeting. An archived recording of the meeting will be available on the Board’s website following the meeting, and a transcript of the meeting will be available on the website by May 3, 2022.

The Board was established in the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987 as an independent federal agency in the Executive Branch to evaluate the technical and scientific validity of DOE activities related to the management and disposal of SNF and HLW and to provide objective expert advice to Congress and the Secretary of Energy on these issues. Board members are experts in their fields and are appointed to the Board by the President from a list of candidates submitted by the National Academy of Sciences. The Board reports its findings, conclusions, and recommendations to Congress and the Secretary of Energy. All Board reports, correspondence, congressional testimony, and meeting transcripts and related materials are posted on the Board’s website.

For information on the meeting agenda, contact Bret Leslie at or by phone 703-235-9132; or Hundal Jung at or by phone 703-235-9135. For information on logistics, or to request copies of the meeting agenda or transcript, contact Davonya Barnes at or by phone 703-235-9141. All three may be reached by mail at 2300 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 1300, Arlington, VA 22201-3367; or by fax at 703-

Four former heads of nuclear agencies: "Nuclear is not a Practicable Means to Combat Climate Change
Communiqu̩ РStatement РJanuary 6, 2022
Nuclear is not a Practicable Means to Combat Climate Change.
Former Heads of Nuclear Regulation and
Governmental Radiation Protection Committees:
Dr. Greg Jaczko,
former Chairman of the
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Prof. Wolfgang Renneberg,
former Head of
Reactor Safety, Radiation Protection and Nuclear Waste,
Federal Environment Ministry, Germany.
Dr. Bernard Laponche,
former Director General,
French Agency for Energy Management,
former Advisor to French Minister of Environment, Energy and Nuclear Safety.
Dr. Paul Dorfman,
former Secretary of the UK Government
Committee Examining Radiation Risk from Internal Emitters.(CERRIE)
The climate is running hot. Evolving knowledge of climate sensitivity and polar ice melt-rate makes clear that sea-level rise is ramping, along with destructive storm, storm surge, severe precipitation and flooding, not forgetting wildfire. With mounting concern and recognition over the speed and pace of the low carbon energy transition that’s needed, nuclear has been reframed as a partial response to the threat of global heating. But at the heart of this are questions about whether nuclear could help with the climate crisis, whether nuclear is economically viable, what are the consequences of nuclear accidents, what to do with the waste, and whether there’s a place for nuclear within the swiftly expanding renewable energy evolution.

As key experts who have worked on the front-line of the nuclear issue, we’ve all involved at the highest governmental nuclear regulatory and radiation protection levels in the US, Germany, France and UK. In this context, we consider it our collective responsibility to comment on the main issue: Whether nuclear could play a significant role as a strategy against climate change.
The central message, repeated again and again, that a new generation of nuclear will be clean, safe, smart and cheap, is fiction. The reality is nuclear is neither clean, safe or smart; but a very complex technology with the potential to cause significant harm. Nuclear isn't cheap, but extremely costly. Perhaps most importantly nuclear is just not part of any feasible strategy that could counter climate change. To make a relevant contribution to global power generation, up to more than ten thousand new reactors would be required, depending on reactor design.
In short, nuclear as strategy against climate change is:
• Too costly in absolute terms to make a relevant contribution to global power production
• More expensive than renewable energy in terms of energy production and CO2 mitigation, even taking into account costs of grid management tools like energy storage associated with renewables roll-out.
• Too costly and risky for financial market investment, and therefore dependent on very large public subsidies and loan guarantees.
• Unsustainable due to the unresolved problem of very long-lived radioactive waste.
• Financially unsustainable as no economic institution is prepared to insure against the full potential cost, environmental and human impacts of accidental radiation release – with the majority of those very significant costs being borne by the public.
• Militarily hazardous since newly promoted reactor designs increase the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation.
• Inherently risky due to unavoidable cascading accidents from human error, internal faults, and external impacts; vulnerability to climate-driven sea-level rise, storm, storm surge, inundation and flooding hazard, resulting in international economic impacts.
• Subject to too many unresolved technical and safety problems associated with newer unproven concepts, including 'Advanced' and Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).
• Too unwieldy and complex to create an efficient industrial regime for reactor construction and operation processes within the intended build-time and scope needed for climate change mitigation.
• Unlikely to make a relevant contribution to necessary climate change mitigation needed by the 2030’s due to nuclear's impracticably lengthy development and construction time-lines, and the overwhelming construction costs of the very great volume of reactors that would be needed to make a difference.


Friday, January 7, 2022

NRC Denies Oklo Combined License Application for Lack of Information; Company May Reapply in the Future

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 22-002 January 6, 2022
CONTACT: Scott Burnell, 301-415-8200

NRC Denies Oklo Combined License Application for Lack of Information; Company May Reapply in the Future

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has denied, without prejudice, Oklo Power, LLC.’s application to build and operate the company’s Aurora compact fast reactor in Idaho. The denial is based on Oklo’s failure to provide information on several key topics for the Aurora design. The company is free to submit a complete application in the future.

“Since Oklo submitted its application almost 22 months ago, our engagement with the company has included multiple information requests, audits and public meetings,” said NRC Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation Andrea Veil. “We thoroughly considered Oklo’s proposals for satisfying our safety requirements.”

“Oklo’s application continues to contain significant information gaps in its description of Aurora’s potential accidents as well as its classification of safety systems and components,” Veil said. “These gaps prevent further review activities. We are prepared to re-engage with Oklo if they submit a revised application that provides the information we need for a thorough and timely review.”

Veil added that the NRC remains committed to efficiently and reliably reviewing advanced reactor designs.

Oklo submitted the application on March 11, 2020, seeking an NRC license for an advanced reactor to be built at the Idaho National Laboratory site. The proposed Aurora design would use heat pipes to transport heat from the reactor core to a power conversion system. The NRC staff accepted the application on June 5, 2020, taking a novel approach of working to align with Oklo on identified information gaps related to key design and safety aspects early in the process before developing a review schedule. Those alignment efforts included Oklo’s submission of reports on several topics in July 2021. The company supplemented those reports in October of that year, and the staff has concluded the reports fail to close the information gaps.

As the application lacks information on key topics, the NRC’s action makes no safety findings regarding the Aurora design. Following the publication of an upcoming Federal Register notice, Oklo will have 30 days to request a hearing regarding the agency’s decision. Other interested persons or entities who might be affected by the decision can also ask to participate in a hearing.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Technical Review: TMI's Request for Water to Cleanup Nuclear Plants, (TMI-Alert, 1/3/22)

Technical Review: Susquehanna River Basin Commission Docket Numbers: Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 - Well A - 2021-054; Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 - Well B - 2021-055; and, Three Mile Island Nuclear