Washington State SMR task force continues work into 2015

The Washington Joint Select Task Force on Nuclear Energy has voted to extend its research into small modular reactors (SMRs) into 2015, rather than rush to publish its conclusions, according to a report in the Tri-City Herald, a newspaper in Washington State.

The task force was initially supposed to conclude its work Dec. 15.

During the 2014 legislative session, the Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications committee heard a bill proposing the creation of a legislative task force to study nuclear energy in the region. While the bill did not pass, its substantive provisions were added to the supplemental operating budget.

The eight-member group was slated to hold no more than four meetings. Any findings were due Dec. 1.

Appointments to the task force were completed in May 2014, and the first meeting of the task force was on July 9, 2014, in Olympia, Washington. The second meeting of the task force was on September 25, 2014, in Pasco, Washington. The task force toured the NuScale Power facilities in Corvallis, Oregon on November 7, 2014. The final meeting of the task force will be held on December 3, 2014, in Olympia, Washington.

Among others, the task force heard testimony from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), NuScale Power, Heart of America Northwest, Oregon and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility.

The Energy Northwest Columbia Generating Station (CGS) near Richland, Washington is the Pacific Northwest’s only commercially operating nuclear power plant.

NuScale Power has received some DOE funding to help commercially develop SMR technology. NuScale COO Mike McGough is scheduled to speak at the PennWell GenForum conference on Monday, Dec. 8 in Orlando, Fla.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.