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When Nuclear Plants Close

October 15, 2015 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Challenges for U.S. Reactor Decommissioning

In the next decades most of the currently-operating U.S. nuclear power reactors are anticipated to close for aging, safety and economic reasons. This trend has already begun with SONGS in Southern California, Kewaunee in Wisconsin, Vermont Yankee in Vermont, and Crystal River in Florida. Decommissioning more than one hundred nuclear reactors will bring serious challenges for state governments and impacted communities.

Among those challenges: limited experience with reactor decommissioning in the United States; lack of consensus between the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), reactor operators, states and the public on adequate protection from residual radiation; absence of a geologic repositories to receive the most radioactive reactor components and spent nuclear fuel; and insufficient funds set aside for decommissioning.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Hudson Clearwater, and the New York Society for Ethical Culture seek to raise awareness of the significant public health, environmental, societal and financial challenge of decommissioning, now and in the coming decades, and identify sound and just paths forward.


Welcome and Introductions 10 am – 10:30 am

• Katherine Kennedy – Director, NRDC Energy & Transportation Program

Panel I: National Perspectives on Decommissioning 10:30 am -12 pm

• Mycle Schneider – Independent Consultant, Paris. Presentation:
The Likely Trajectory of U.S. Nuclear Retirements and its International Context
• Gregory Jaczko – Former Chairman, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission:
Challenges Inherent in Sustainable, Durable Progress on Reactor Decommissioning
• David Lochbaum – Union of Concerned Scientists:
Technical and Regulatory Concerns for Decommissioning
• Geoffrey Fettus, NRDC Senior Attorney: Panel Moderator

Catered Lunch Break 12 pm – 1 pm

Panel II: State and Local Decommissioning Issues: A focus on New York 1 pm -2:30 pm

• Peter Bradford – Former NRC Commissioner, and Former Maine & New York Public Utility Commissioner:
Inherent Challenges State Governmental Actors Face in Working with Federal Regulators
• John Sipos – Assistant Attorney General, New York Attorney General’s Office:
Challenges for New York from the Indian Point and Other Reactors
• Deborah Katz – Executive Director, Citizen’s Awareness Network:
Nuclear Decommissioning Issues for New England
• Tim Judson – Director, Nuclear Information & Research Service: How Decommissioning Disputes at Yankee Rowe and Rancho Seco Were Resolved (Or Not)
• Manna Jo Greene – Environmental Director, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater:
Panel Moderator

Open Discussion 2:30 pm – 3 pm

• Geoff Fettus and Manna Jo Greene: Discussion Moderators

Conference Close

• Matthew McKinzie – Director, NRDC Nuclear Program: Concluding Remarks

This conference was made possible by the generous support of
The Jack and Belle Alpern Foundation

Entry to our 100-year-old building and meeting rooms is available for most wheelchair users with prior arrangements. Please call ahead (212-874-5210 x 107) for setup of our portable system and plan to arrive one hour before start time.


October 15, 2015
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
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