State Officials Explore Advanced Nuclear Research and Deployment in Tennessee

Source: NASEO

NASEO, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and the National Governors Association (NGA) hosted a joint site visit and workshop in Knoxville, Tennessee, from April 24 to 26, 2024. Approximately 50 members of all three organizations, representing 28 states, convened to tour nuclear research facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and participate in advanced nuclear discussions with subject-matter experts and local leaders. The event was made possible by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy.

Convening State Energy Offices, Public Utility Commissions, and Governor’s Offices allowed for peer sharing and dialogue around the policy, programmatic, and regulatory opportunities and barriers to deploying advanced nuclear; the potential of advanced nuclear as a pathway to economic development and jobs; the development of a state nuclear framework guidance document to facilitate advanced nuclear deployment; the role of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy and ORNL in supporting the growth of the advanced nuclear industry; and the range of public and private investments in advanced nuclear with specific case studies from Tennessee serving as an example.

In conjunction with the educational workshop, attendees toured the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, High Flux Isotope Reactor, Nuclear Fuel Development Section, Spent Nuclear Fuel Characterization, and Liquid Salt Test Loop at ORNL. These facilities support the advanced nuclear supply chain by developing and testing cutting-edge fuels for existing and advanced reactors. These tours enhanced state members’ understanding of advanced nuclear research, development, demonstration, and deployment challenges and breakthroughs, as well as the importance of DOE funding and partnerships between industry and the National Laboratories.

For more information on the NASEO-NARUC Advanced Nuclear State Collaborative (ANSC) and NASEO’s nuclear energy resources click here.