Speakers

SPEAKERS

 

The Honorable Bud Albright

President & CEO

U.S. Nuclear Industry Council

The Honorable Clarence "Bud" Albright is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council (USNIC). Albright is also the former Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy where he provided leadership for energy and environmental programs, including: energy research and development; demonstration and deployment; environmental cleanup; and legacy management and radioactive waste management. He was appointed by President Bush and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Prior to joining the Department, Albright served as Staff Director for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. Additionally, he worked as the Deputy Associate Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice. He earned his juris doctorate from George Mason University.

 

Dr. Rita Baranwal

Chief Nuclear Officer

Electric Power Research Institute

Rita Baranwal Joined The Electric Power Research Institute in January 2020 as its Chief Nuclear Officer. Before this, Dr. Rita Baranwal served as the former Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) from July 2019 - January 2021. She was nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to perform in this role. Dr. Baranwal led the office’s efforts to promote research and development (R&D) on existing and advanced nuclear technologies that sustain the existing U.S. fleet of nuclear reactors, enable the deployment of advanced nuclear energy systems, and enhance the U.S.A.'s global commercial nuclear energy competitiveness. Prior to her role, Dr. Baranwal directed the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative at Idaho National Laboratory.  She was responsible for providing the nuclear industry and other stakeholders access to DOE's state-of-the-art R&D expertise, capabilities, and infrastructure to achieve faster and cost-effective development, demonstration, and ultimate deployment of innovative nuclear energy technologies. Under her leadership, GAIN positively impacted over 120 companies. Before joining the U.S. Department of Energy, Dr. Baranwal served as Director of Technology Development & Application at Westinghouse.  There, she led the creation and development of game-changing technologies and managed characterization and hot cell laboratories.  Her previous positions at Westinghouse included director of Core Engineering and manager of Materials and Fuel Rod Design.  Prior to joining Westinghouse, she was a manager in Materials Technology at Bechtel Bettis, Inc. where she led and conducted R&D in advanced nuclear fuel materials for US Naval Reactors. Dr. Baranwal has served on Advisory Boards for MIT’s Materials Research Laboratory and UC Berkeley’s Nuclear Engineering Department, and also was adjunct faculty at University of South Carolina's nuclear engineering graduate program.  Dr. Baranwal is a past Chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Nuclear Society's (ANS) Materials Science and Technology Division.  She has also served on the Boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters-Pittsburgh and North Hills Community Outreach. Dr. Baranwal is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society. She has a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in materials science and engineering and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in the same discipline from the University of Michigan.

 
 

Mr. Keith Cronkhite 

President & CEO

New Brunswick Power

Keith Cronkhite was appointed NB Power President and Chief Executive Officer on April 1, 2020. A lifelong New Brunswicker, Keith has more than 30 years’ industry experience. He has held positions of increasing responsibility within NB Power operations and corporate, including his most recent role of Senior Vice President, Business Development and Strategic Planning. He is well known within the energy industry, and throughout his career has established strong working relationships with industry, government and business leaders.

Keith’s vision for NB Power includes a nimble, customer-focused NB Power that is well positioned to serve New Brunswickers while responding to a rapidly changing industry. He is committed to ensuring the customer is at the centre of NB Power’s business decisions, and that the utility ensures New Brunswickers have clean, reliable energy at stable prices for generations to come.

Keith has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of New Brunswick, has completed the Reactor Technology course for Utility Executives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds an ICD.D with the Institute of Corporate Directors and is board member on the Energy Council of Canada as well as the Atlantica Centre for Energy. He is also a member of the Canadian Standards Association Technical Committee.

Mr. Paul Dickman 

Senior Policy Fellow

Argonne National Laboratory

Paul Dickman is a Senior Policy Fellow with Argonne National Laboratory focusing on nuclear energy, nonproliferation, and national security policy. For over thirty-five years Mr. Dickman has been involved in the forefront nuclear energy and national security programs in the U.S. and internationally. He has held senior managerial positions at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. He holds leadership positions in the American Nuclear Society and the World Council on Isotopes, advises organizations on risk communication, and serves as an advisor to the Japanese Government on the decommissioning of the Fukushima accident site. As a Senior Policy Fellow, Mr. Dickman has a broad portfolio for engagement on international civil nuclear energy, waste management, nonproliferation, and national security policy. He writes and frequently speaks on nuclear waste and fuel cycle issues, the promotion of U.S. civil nuclear technology and safety, and international nonproliferation goals and regimes. He served as the Study Director for American Nuclear Society’s (ANS) special report on the nuclear accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor complex and currently advises the Japanese government on the decommissioning of the Fukushima site.  He is a member of the National Academy of Science’s study committee on Science and Technology for the Department of Energy’s Defense Environmental Cleanup Program. Prior to joining Argonne, Mr. Dickman served as Chief of Staff to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Dale E. Klein, managing the Chairman’s staff, including day-to-day operations of the Chairman’s office and coordinated policy among Commissioner offices, the White House, and the interagency. During this dynamic period of positive management, the NRC achieved unprecedented acclaim from industry and Congress for modernizing the agency and from the international safety community for their leadership in advancing global nuclear safety. Prior to joining the NRC, Mr. Dickman served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Policy for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). As a member of the Undersecretary’s staff, he had responsibility for nuclear energy and nonproliferation policy, international cooperation initiatives, and for development of the Congressional budget and hearing testimony. In addition, he served as the NNSA representative to various stakeholder and NGO working groups on nuclear materials recycle and disposition policy. During his 40-year career, Mr. Dickman has focused on the nuclear fuel cycle and radioactive waste management. Early in his career he managed environmental research projects in remediation of nuclear weapons testing areas, and disposal of highly radioactive materials and components using remote controlled systems. He also managed the nuclear waste characterization and transportation programs for the Waste Isolation Pilot Project and served as principal technical advisor to the Director for the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste. Mr. Dickman received his M.S. in Natural Sciences in Nuclear Chemistry and Physics from the University of Wyoming and his B.A. in History (of Science) from the University of Denver.

 

Mr. David Durham 

President – Energy Systems

Westinghouse Corporation

David Durham was named president, Plant Solutions in January 2019. He is responsible for the development of key growth areas for Westinghouse related to the specific stages of plant lifecycle solutions, including new plant delivery; plant deconstruction; decommissioning and remediation services; and government services. Mr. Durham joined Westinghouse in 2015. Mr. Durham had most recently served as senior vice president, New Projects Business, with responsibility for AP1000® plant projects and business development, as well as president, WECTEC LLC, a wholly owned Westinghouse subsidiary that includes government services, project support services and contingency staffing services. Before coming to Westinghouse, Mr. Durham was senior vice president and chief commercial officer at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy. Previously, he was vice president of Fluor Corporation, leading commercial activities for the company’s global nuclear power and government businesses. Earlier in his career, Mr. Durham served in the administration of U.S. President George H.W. Bush, overseeing the creation and operations of the defense nuclear facilities cleanup program for Energy Secretary James Watkins, as well as federal facilities enforcement for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Bill Reilly. Mr. Durham holds a juris doctor degree from the George Washington University National Law Center and bachelor’s degrees in foreign affairs and history from Assumption College.

 

Dr. Ron S. Faibish

Sr. Director of Strategic Development

Nuclear Technologies and Materials

General Atomics

Electromagnetic Systems Group (GA-EMS)

Dr. Ron S. Faibish has nearly 20 years of combined experience in the governemmt and industry energy sectors, including extensive work with and within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory complex and other government functions.

Dr. Faibish leads strategic development for General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group (GA-EMS) in the area of nuclear technologies and materials, leading strategic planning and programmtic growth for fission-related technology development and products, such as high temperature gas-cooled fast reactor technologies, space nuclear thermal propulsion and power systems, advanced nuclear fuels, and various applications of advanced ceramic composite materials, such as GA-EMS’ SiGA®-silicon carbibe  technologies-related applications.

Prior to joining General Atomics, Dr. Faibish worked at Argonne National Laboratory for nearly 14 years, most recently leading Argonne’s Energy Systems initiatives and associated program development. He managed several DOE international engagements on nuclear safety and technology. Dr. Faibish also spent time in Washington as an Argonne detailee, serving as the Senior Advisor to the Director of the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy. In this role, he advised the Director on policy, technology and strategic planning.

Dr. Faibish also served as the Science Fellow with the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where he worked on major legislation, led the authorship of one of five whitepapers for Senator Lisa Murkowski on the energy-water nexus, worked closely with numerous external stakeholders, and negotiated complex issues related to bilateral international energy legislation, among other accomplishments.

Prior to joining Argonne, Dr. Faibish worked as a Research Development Manager at the International Atomic Energy Agency, managing multinational scientific research proposals and projects related to peaceful, non-electrical applications of nuclear energy.

Dr. Faibish received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. He also completed a certificate program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

 

Dr. Ashley Finan

Director, National Reactor Innovation Center

Idaho National Laboratory

Ashley Finan most recently served as Executive Director for the Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA) where she was responsible for managing the organization’s strategy, operations, policy and technical development, stakeholder outreach, and fundraising.  She provided expert guidance to policymakers, academic teams, industry stakeholders, and NGOs.  Dr. Finan previously served as a Director of Nuclear Innovation at Clean Air Task Force.

Dr. Finan earned her Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her doctoral work focused on energy innovation investment and policy optimization, both in nuclear and renewable energy technologies. She has played a key role in studies of the use of advanced nuclear energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in several applications, including hydrogen production, coal to liquids processes, and oil production methods.

Dr. Finan has worked as a strategy and engineering consultant, primarily on nuclear energy applications. She also contributed to an analysis of the techno-economic potential of energy efficiency improvements in the residential and commercial sectors and several related topics. Dr. Finan holds an SB degree in Physics as well as SB and SM degrees in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT.

 

The Honorable Chris Hanson

Chairman

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Honorable Christopher T. Hanson was designated Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by President Joe Biden, effective Jan. 20, 2021. He was sworn in as a Commissioner on June 8, 2020, and is filling the remainder of a five-year term ending on June 30, 2024.

Hanson has more than two decades of government and private-sector experience in the fields of nuclear energy. Prior to joining the NRC, he served as a Staff Member on the Senate Appropriations Committee, where he oversaw civilian and national security nuclear programs.

Before working in the Senate, Hanson served as a Senior Advisor in the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy. He also served in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, where he oversaw nuclear and environmental cleanup programs, and managed the department's relationship with Congressional Appropriations Committees.

Prior to joining the department, he served as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he led multiple engagements for government and industry in the energy sector.

Hanson earned master's degrees from Yale Divinity School and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where he focused on ethics and natural resource economics. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.

 

Mr. Ken Hartwick 

Chief Executive Officer

Ontario Power Generation

Ken Hartwick is Ontario Power Generation’s President and CEO. Ken joined OPG in March 2016 as OPG’s Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President - Finance, where he led all operations under Finance, Business Development, Strategy, and Risk. As CFO and SVP - Finance, Ken also led the launch of Canada’s first utility green bond as well as OPG’s expansion to the U.S. through the acquisition of Eagle Creek Renewable Energy LLC.

Ken joined OPG from Wellspring Financial Corporation, where he was CFO and Treasurer. He was also interim President and CEO at Atlantic Power Corporation, a generating company that does business in Canada and the U.S. For ten years prior, Ken was the President and CEO of Just Energy Corporation, a Canadian-based energy retailer. In addition, he held the position of CFO at Hydro One between 2001 and 2004. He also held senior positions at Cap Gemini and was a partner at the accounting firm Ernst & Young.

Ken is a Chartered Professional Accountant with an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration. He serves on a number of boards.

Originally from Norwood, Ontario (near Peterborough), Ken now lives in Milton with his wife. He has three grown children.

 

Dr. David Hill

Board of Directors

Terrestrial Energy USA

Dr. David Hill is a physicist and M.B.A. with 30 years of career experience in nuclear research and in managing large nuclear laboratories in the U.S. Dr. Hill has held senior executive management positions in the foremost national nuclear laboratories in the U.S. from 1984 to 2012, specifically Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL). From 2005 to 2012, Dr. Hill was Deputy Laboratory Director for Science and Technology at Idaho National Laboratory. Most recently, Dr. Hill has been an independent contractor and provided consulting services to companies in the nuclear industry, including Babcock & Wilcox, the world’s largest provider of nuclear engineering, procurement and construction services. Throughout his career, Dr. Hill has gained experience in all aspects of nuclear energy, domestically and internationally. He has managed major projects, including at the experimental fast reactor at INL, and led the restructuring of INL. He has been responsible for hundreds of staff, and hundreds of millions of dollars in annual budgetary research and development expenditures. Dr. Hill received his BSc (first class) and his PhD in mathematical physics from the Imperial College, London University. He further received his Honors Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society and Member of the International Nuclear Academy.

 

Dr. Paul K. Kearns

Director

Argonne National Laboratory

Paul K. Kearns has served as Director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory since 2017. Argonne is a growing multidisciplinary science and engineering research center with a $1.2 billion diversified research portfolio and more than 3,300 employees, 8,000 facility users, and 800 visiting researchers. Kearns has set the laboratory’s strategic vision to deliver pivotal discoveries, pioneering leadership, and powerful scientific tools and facilities. He has strengthened sponsor relationships and fostered a welcoming and inclusive culture valuing diversity, innovation and collaboration, and laboratory impact.

A biologist and accomplished steward of diverse scientific resources, Kearns has managed complex research and development enterprises for over 30 years, enabling them to achieve ambitious goals in energy, environment, and national security. As Argonne laboratory director, Kearns oversees multiple projects critical to Argonne’s mission of accelerating science and technology to drive U.S. prosperity and security. Upgrading the Advanced Photon Source and launching the first exascale computer in the U.S. at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility are critical to maintain U.S. leadership in science and technology. Argonne’s leadership of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research reflects the laboratory’s long history of battery science expertise and collaboration.

As Argonne chief operations officer from 2010 to 2017, Kearns directed over 900 staff providing mission support services in financial management, human resources, safety performance, business systems, technology commercialization, and facilities management. Kearns also guided the establishment of an independent energy storage start-up and directed construction of cutting-edge research laboratories.

Kearns was an executive with Battelle Global Laboratory Operations for five years prior to joining Argonne. Kearns helped establish a groundbreaking program to deploy micro-grids and support cyber security technologies for the U.S. military. He worked with the University of Manchester, the United Kingdom’s National Nuclear Laboratory, and the United Kingdom Technical Strategy Board to define a research and development investment strategy in nuclear energy. As President and Managing Director of Battelle-Italia, Kearns implemented an integrated business plan for Battelle Memorial Institute subsidiary working with the government of Italy and industry to address energy, security and environmental challenges.

Kearns’ stewardship of DOE resources includes accomplished tenures with the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) between 1995 and 2005. He helped develop technical and contracting strategies for high-level radioactive waste processing by the Hanford Tank Waste Remediation System and managed an award-winning PNNL staff conducting R&D activities for public and private sector clients in chemical, thermal, electrochemical, and radiochemical processing. At INEEL, Kearns oversaw the laboratory’s program in energy, environment, and national security, including the Advanced Test Reactor and Specific Manufacturing Capability Tank Armor Production Facility.

Kearns is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He serves on the Executive Committee of the DOE National Laboratory Directors’ Council and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness’ National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers. He was also recently named Director of the Year by the Federal Laboratory Consortium and was appointed chair of the National Lab Directors’ Council.  

Kearns has a doctorate and a master’s degree in bionucleonics and bachelor’s degree in natural resources and environmental sciences, all from Purdue University. He and his wife, Lynn Kearns, have three children and four grandchildren.

 

Dr. Hussein Khalil 

Director Nuclear Energy and Security Program

Argonne National Laboratory

Hussein S. Khalil is the director of Argonne’s Nuclear Engineering research program. He provides technical leadership for the development and execution of the Lab’s research in nuclear energy development and application.

Dr. Khalil joined Argonne in 1983 and has carried out research to optimize fast-reactor core design and improve computational methods for reactor physics, dynamics and fuel cycle analysis. He fulfilled key technical and leadership roles in Argonne and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) programs, including the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (2016 – present), Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (2010 – 2015), and Generation IV Reactor Systems (2000 – 2010).

Dr. Khalil is an Argonne Distinguished Fellow and a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society. He served as Director of Argonne’s Nuclear Engineering Division from 2003 to 2014.

 

Ms. Christine King

Director

Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN)

Christine King currently serves at the Idaho National Laboratory as the director for the Gateway to Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN), after being named to the post on February 17th, 2020.  As director, King leads efforts on behalf of the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy to provide the nuclear community with access to the technical, regulatory and financial support necessary to move innovative nuclear energy technologies toward commercialization.

 

King joined INL with 26 years of experience in the nuclear energy industry, including a history of leading strategic initiatives with multimillion-dollar budgets, fostering relationships and expanding programs. She most recently served as the operations director for Nucleation Capital, an emerging venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley focused on bringing private capital into the developing advanced nuclear sector to help speed these disruptive technologies to market. There, she began to build relationships with advanced nuclear entrepreneurs and members of the investment community and developed an appreciation of the challenges facing emerging nuclear technologies in being able to compete within the broader energy and capital markets for funding. She has also held several senior leadership positions in consulting firms and nonprofit organizations within the energy industry, including the Electric Power Research Institute. She is well known for her ability to lead teams and execute innovative programs, developing and streamlining processes to eliminate obstacles and achieve organizational success. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Lynchburg College.

 

Ms. Marilyn Kray 

Vice President – Nuclear Strategy

Exelon Corporation

Marilyn Kray is responsible for leading major initiatives related to current and advanced reactor designs to create growth opportunities that leverage Exelon’s nuclear operations competency. These initiatives include potential acquisition of existing plants, pursuing operational service agreements both domestically and internationally as well as engaging with advanced reactor developers in order to evaluate potential business opportunities and future deployment of the technology.

Marilyn served as President of NuStart Energy Development, LLC an industry consortium formed to develop the process for preparing the Combined Construction and Operating License applications for the first wave of new nuclear plants to be constructed in the US in over 30 years.

Marilyn has an in-depth knowledge of the global nuclear industry. She was Vice President of Exelon Nuclear Partners, responsible for international business development and she led Exelon’s Nuclear Acquisition Support and Integration team pioneering the internal processes for due diligence and plant transitions which resulted in the successful completion of the purchases of Three Mile Island, Clinton, and Oyster Creek. More recently, she led the acquisition of the FitzPatrick plant.

She began her career with Exelon in the licensing organization for Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station. Prior to joining Exelon, Marilyn was a Reactor Engineer and Project Manager for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Marilyn has testified in front of Congress on multiple occasions on the subject of nuclear development in the U.S.

Throughout her career, Marilyn has served in leadership roles as Exelon’s representative to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). She was the 2019-2020 President of the American Nuclear Society. Marilyn is the 2005 recipient of the World Nuclear Association (WNA) award for Distinguished Contribution to the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Technology. In 2007 she received the American Nuclear Society’s Utility Leadership Award. Under Kray’s leadership, the NuStart organization was one of four finalists for the 2012 Edison Award.

Kray is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering.

 

Mr. Chris Levesque 

Chief Executive Officer

TerraPower

Chris Levesque is president and chief executive officer of TerraPower, and also serves as a member of the TerraPower Board. He was appointed to that position in November 2018 after having served as president of TerraPower since 2015. Levesque leads this nuclear innovation company in the pursuit of next-generation nuclear energy solutions and also oversees TerraPower’s new venture into therapeutic medical isotopes. His proven track record in scoping, planning and implementing complex projects began with his service in the U.S. Nuclear Navy and features more than 30 years of experience in the nuclear field.

Prior to joining TerraPower, Levesque led major new reactor build efforts at both Westinghouse and AREVA, overseeing projects in both the U.S. and Finland. Before his assignment in Finland, he led the formation of AREVA’s joint venture with Newport News Shipbuilding, AREVA Newport News, for which he served as chairman of the Board and president.

Levesque has extensive experience with the nuclear industrial base and nuclear component manufacturing. Earlier in his career, Levesque served as the manager of engineering and manufacturing at Westinghouse’s Newington, New Hampshire, component manufacturing facility, and he has served in multiple management positions at two nuclear-capable shipyards. Levesque began his career as a nuclear submarine officer and served on both the USS Boise (SSN 764) and the USS Will Rogers (SSBN 659). On Boise, he supervised initial criticality and reactor startup testing, and qualified as chief engineer.

Levesque holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Master of Science in mechanical engineering and a Naval Engineer degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also serves on the Board of the Nuclear Energy Institute.

 

Mr. Jeff Lyash 

Chief Executive Officer

Tennessee Valley Authority

Jeff Lyash is as comfortable talking with a crew in a plant as he is in the boardroom. His exceptional people skills and technical experience make him one of the top leaders in the energy industry. Appointed president and chief executive officer of the Tennessee Valley Authority by the Board of Directors in February 2019, Lyash leads the nation’s largest public utility and one of the top producers of electricity in its mission of serving the people of the Tennessee Valley.

Under his vision and leadership, TVA has significantly lowered operating and maintenance costs, improving both productivity and efficiency. These savings are passed on to customers in terms of lower energy costs – 70 percent of the nation pays more for energy than those served by TVA. In 2019, he announced a 10-year financial plan proposing a decade of stable rates – making TVA and the Valley even more competitive.

He introduced a long-term partnership proposal with our Local Power Companies that allows us to fully leverage the capability of the Tennessee Valley Public Power model. In less than a year, more than 90 percent of the 153 local power companies that TVA serves have signed onto the partnership. The partnership allows for better long-range planning and closely aligns the interests and objectives of TVA and our customers.

With significant public and stakeholder input, a new Integrated Resource Plan was approved that serves as a guide as TVA provides clean, reliable and low-cost energy for the next 20 years.

Lyash has shown tremendous leadership in providing support and assistance to the customers and communities impacted during the pandemic. This includes providing $1 billion of credit support to Local Power Companies; a $4 million Community Care Fund; and Back-to-Business incentives for local businesses. In addition, in August 2020 the TVA Board approved a $200 million Pandemic Relief Credit — a 2.5 percent reduction — for customers during Fiscal Year 2021. 

Before coming to TVA, Lyash served as president and CEO of Ontario Power Generation Inc., one of the largest electric generating companies in Canada with a diverse fleet of nuclear, hydroelectric, gas, biomass and renewable generating stations.

Lyash was formerly the president of CB&I Power where he was responsible for a full range of engineering, procurement and construction of multi-billion-dollar electric generation projects in both domestic and international markets. He also provided operating plant services for nuclear, coal, gas, oil and renewable generation.

Prior to joining CB&I, Lyash served as executive vice president of Energy Supply for Duke Energy where he led engineering, maintenance and operations of the company's 42,000-megawatt generation fleet, fuel procurement, power trading, major projects and construction, environmental programs, and health and safety programs.

Before the merger of Progress Energy and Duke Energy, Lyash was executive vice president of Energy Supply for Progress Energy. In this role, he oversaw Progress Energy's diverse 22,000-megawatt fleet of generating resources including nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas and hydroelectric stations. In addition, Lyash was responsible for generating fleet fuel procurement and power trading operations.

Lyash joined Progress Energy in 1993. Before leading the Energy Supply division at Progress, he served as executive vice president of corporate development, president and chief executive officer of Progress Energy Florida, senior vice president of Energy Delivery Florida, and vice president of Transmission.

Lyash also held a wide range of management and executive roles in Progress Energy's nuclear program, including operations manager, engineering manager, plant manager, and director of site operations.

Lyash began his career in the utility industry in 1981 and worked for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in senior technical and management positions throughout the Northeast and in Washington, D.C.  He received the NRC Meritorious Service Award in 1987.

Lyash earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University, and was honored with the Drexel University Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2009. He has held a senior reactor operator license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and is a graduate of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Executive Training Program and the Duke Fuqua School of Business Advanced Management Program.

Lyash is an avid golfer and fly fisher. He and his wife, Tracy, enjoy cooking, skiing, reading and charitable work – and spending time with their two married children and nine grandchildren. The Lyashes live in Knoxville, Tennessee.

 

Dr. Kathryn A. McCarthy

Associate Lab Director

Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Kathy McCarthy, Associate Laboratory Director for the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate, joined ORNL after three years as vice president for science and technology and laboratory director for the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, where she oversaw a staff of 650 and grew the labs’ commercial work. She previously held a variety of engineering and leadership roles at Idaho National Laboratory, including director of domestic programs in INL’s Nuclear Science and Technology Directorate, director of the Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program Technical Integration Office, and national technical director for the Systems Analysis Campaign for DOE Nuclear Energy’s Fuel Cycle R&D Program.

McCarthy began her career in fusion technology with a focus on liquid metal blanket designs. She was a participant in the US DOE US USSR Young Scientist program, which included experience at the Efremov Institute in Leningrad, Russia, the Latvian Academy of Sciences in Riga, Latvia, and the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow, Russia, and was also a Guest Scientist at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany. 

McCarthy earned her Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a major field of fusion engineering and minor fields of nuclear science and engineering and physics. She was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering this year and has received two American Nuclear Society presidential citations. McCarthy served on the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee from 1999 to 2013 and on the US ITER technical advisory committee from 2010 to 2013.

 

Dr. Corey McDaniel

Chief Commercial Officer

Idaho National Laboratory

Corey McDaniel is the Chief Commercial Officer for the Idaho National Laboratory. Prior to this, he served as the VP for Business Development at the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories. Before this, he managed international and commercial cooperation for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Nuclear Science and Technology Directorate. Corey also served as the lead laboratory coordinator for India to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the lead lab advisor to the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy International Cooperation.

 

Prior to INL, he served as VP for Asia in Hong Kong, China for a nuclear electrical supplier and in Mumbai, India as the international director of NuScale Power, a small modular reactor (SMR) company. Corey secured and managed the delivery of replacement safety class (1E) cables to KHNP’s Shin Kori 3 & 4. He also facilitated 1E cable deliveries to China and the UAE and opened the Japanese market to U.S.-supplied cables for the first time. Corey facilitated MOUs with China’s largest nuclear utility and India’s largest nuclear EPC during visits to more than a dozen Asian and European countries.

 

Dr. McDaniel spent 5 years in the U.S. Senate as a legislative director and energy policy advisor to three Senators from Idaho and Arizona. Corey began his career as a nuclear safety analyst performing PRA and thermal-hydraulic research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

 

He received his doctorate in environmental science and public policy from George Mason University and his bachelors and master’s degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of New Mexico and Purdue University respectively.

 

Hon. Jeffrey Merrifield
Former Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission;

Chairman, USNIC Advanced Nuclear Working Group;
Partner - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Jeffrey Merrifield is a partner in the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s energy practice.  Mr. Merrifield was appointed by President Clinton and reappointed by President Bush to serve on the five-member, Senate-confirmed, independent United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. During his tenure, which was from October 1998 to June 2002 and from August 2002 to June 2007, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission had a staff of 3,250 employees with a budget of $900 million and set all policies and rules that govern the safe and secure use of nuclear materials at the 104 U.S. nuclear power plants operating at that time.

 

Prior to joining Pillsbury, Mr. Merrifield served as President of The Merrifield Group, LLC where he provided energy and environmental consulting, advocacy and strategic advice for companies, organizations and individuals. Specific areas of focus included management, energy market analysis, nuclear, fossil and alternative energy policy and deployment, radioactive and hazardous waste disposal strategies, safety and regulatory assessment and analysis, as well as public and government engagement.

 

Before working with the Merrifield Group, Mr. Merrifield was the Senior Vice President of Global Business Development with CB&I’s Power Business Unit. While there, he led a team of twenty-five sales and proposal staff to develop and win over $1.5 billion in annual sales, including the first competitive, EPC combined cycle gas unit in over six years.

 

Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President for The Shaw Group, Inc.’s Power Group. As a member of the Power Group's executive team, he was responsible for overseeing the group's external relationships including nuclear business development, customer relations, strategic planning, marketing and communications, as well as government and regulatory affairs.

 

Mr. Merrifield also served on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Ecology Corporation, which is one of the largest U.S. operators of both hazardous and low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities. He served as the Lead Director and Chairman of the Governance Committee and was a member of the Compensation and Audit Committees.

 

Currently, Mr. Merrifield serves on the Board of the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council and is also the Chairman of its Advanced Nuclear Working Group.  Composed of more than 70 companies, the Council is the leading business consortium advocate for new nuclear energy and the promotion of the American supply chain globally.

 

Mr. Joseph Miller

President

BWX Advanced Technologies

Joseph K. Miller is the president of BWXT Advanced Technologies, LLC, a subsidiary of BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT). Prior to his current position, he served as general manager. He also held the role of program manager for BWXT’s Nuclear Energy Advanced Reactors and Engineering group.

Mr. Miller previously served as the Company’s system design manager of various nuclear engineering projects as well as test engineering manager, validating the design of the mPower™ small modular reactor nuclear steam supply system.

During his 19-year career, Mr. Miller served in the U.S. Navy onboard the USS Norfolk (SSN 714) and was a mechanical test engineer for new construction of Virginia-class submarines. He also worked as a semiconductor equipment engineer.

Mr. Miller holds a master’s degree in radiation health physics from Oregon State University. He is a member of the Virginia American Nuclear Society Executive Committee and a board member for the International Critical Infrastructure Security Institute. 

Mr. Miller also works with Virginia universities, the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research and the Commonwealth of Virginia to establish an open research facility in Central Virginia. The facility consists of platforms representing unique assets for nuclear and non-nuclear research, coupling technology and hardware for pilot-scale investigation into existing and emerging technologies.

 

Mr. Chris Mowry
Chief Executive Officer
General Fusion

Chris Mowry currently serves as the CEO of General Fusion. Through his leadership, Mr. Mowry has revitalized businesses within GE Energy and The Babcock & Wilcox Company.  He was the founder and CEO of Generation mPower, a company formed in 2011 to design, license, and deliver Small Modular Reactors (SMR), the next generation of nuclear fission power technology.  Mr. Mowry previously served as President of WSI, a private equity-backed specialty robotic repair and mechanical integrity solutions company serving the global power and oil & gas sectors.  Earlier in his career, he also served in several construction management and operational leadership roles within the commercial nuclear power industry.  Mr. Mowry holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in Astronomy from Swarthmore College, and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University.

 

Ms. Tara Neider 

Senior Vice President – Fuels and Project Development

TerraPower

Tara Neider is senior vice president of fuels and project development at TerraPower. She partners closely with the senior vice president of engineering to coordinate resources and priorities to advance the traveling wave reactor program. Areas of responsibility include fuel design and development, licensing, project management, engineering processes and the TerraPower Laboratory.

Neider comes to TerraPower with more than 30 years of experience in nuclear engineering, project management and licensing. Previously, she worked as senior vice president of Back End Business Development and Sales at AREVA, Inc. Neider had responsibility for directing back end customer relations for AREVA in North America, developing an overall fuel and decommissioning strategy for the company, and pushing sales revenues for AREVA and AREVA subsidiary Transnuclear, Inc. to double their sales targets.

For four years prior, Neider served as president and CEO of AREVA Federal Services. She established the overall strategy for AREVA Federal Services. In this role, she held board positions on major Department of Energy project teams, including the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility, Hanford Tank Operations, Yucca Mountain, Savannah River Remediation and Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Neider’s many accomplishments include developing a new product line in support of AREVA’s Reactors, Services and Fuels group, and expanding the company’s mission to include sales to Canada and Saudi Arabia.

Neider spent much of her early career with Transnuclear, Inc. She began as a project manager and design engineer, and rose to serve as president and CEO of the company. Over the years, she worked on dry transfer systems, dry fuel storage, transportation cask design, licensing, fabrication and installation projects, on both engineering and management levels. As president and CEO, she was responsible for leading the company’s overall strategy and investments, as well as day-to-day operations.

Neider holds a Bachelor of Science and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also earned an MBA in finance and international business from New York University.

 

Dr. Per Peterson

Chief Nuclear Officer

Kairos Power

Per F. Peterson is the chief nuclear officer for Kairos Power, an advanced nuclear startup company headquartered in Alameda, California. He also holds the William and Jean McCallum Floyd Chair in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. His work has focused on high-temperature fission energy systems, as well as topics related to the safety and security of nuclear materials and waste management. He was appointed in February 2010 as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future and co-chaired its Reactor and Fuel Cycle Technology Subcommittee with Senator Pete Domenici. He has served as a member or chair of numerous advisory committees for the national laboratories and National Research Council. He participated in the development of the Generation IV Roadmap in 2002 as a member of the Evaluation Methodology Group, and co-chaired its Proliferation Resistance and Physical Protection Working Group. His research in the 1990s contributed to the passive safety systems in the GE ESBWR and Westinghouse AP-1000 reactor designs. He currently focuses on heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and regulation and licensing for advanced reactors.

 

Dr. Mark Peters 

Executive Vice President

Battelle Energy Alliance

Mark Peters has served as the executive Vice President of Laboratory Operations for Battelle since January 2020, a scientific research foundation which manages or co-manages many of the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories. Previously he served for 5 years as the director of Idaho National Laboratory, one of the laboratories which works with Battelle. Peters brings to the organization his extensive relationships across the DOE community and is known for advocating national lab missions. Peters spent more than 11 years at the Illinois-based Argonne National Laboratory in various roles such as associate director for the energy and global security directorate. He also worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico for six years and chaired the National Laboratory Directors Council for two terms. Peters is an active member of professional organizations, including the Geological Society of America, where he served as a member of the Committee on Geology and Public Policy. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the Geochemical Society, the Mineralogical Society of America, and the American Nuclear Society. He serves on the ANS Public Policy Committee, and the Executive Committee of the ANS Fuel Cycle and Waste Management Division. His professional achievements have resulted in his election to Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, as well as Sigma Gamma Epsilon, the Earth Sciences Honorary Society. Peters earned his doctorate in geophysical sciences from the University of Chicago and his bachelor’s in geology from Auburn University. He has undertaken extensive management and leadership education and training, including completion of the Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

 

Dr. José Reyes

Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder

NuScale Power

Dr. Reyes is the co-founder of NuScale Power and co-designer of the NuScale passively-cooled small nuclear reactor. He is an internationally recognized expert on passive safety system design, testing and operations for nuclear power plants. He has served as a United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) technical expert on passive safety systems. He is a co-inventor on over 110 patents granted or pending in 20 countries. He has received several national awards including the 2013 Nuclear Energy Advocate Award, the 2014 American Nuclear Society Thermal Hydraulic Division Technical Achievement Award and the 2017 Nuclear Infrastructure Council Trailblazer Award. He is a fellow of the American Nuclear Society and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

At Oregon State University, Dr. Reyes served as head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics. He directed the Advanced Thermal Hydraulic Research Laboratory (ATHRL) and was the co-director of the Battelle Energy Alliance Academic Center of Excellence (ACE) for Thermal Fluids and Reactor Safety in support of the Idaho National Laboratory mission. Additionally, Dr. Reyes was the OSU principal investigator for the AP600 and AP1000 design certification test programs sponsored by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the U.S. Department of Energy and Westinghouse. He currently serves as a Professor Emeritus in the School of Nuclear Science and Engineering.

Prior to joining the faculty at OSU in 1987, Dr. Reyes worked nearly 10 years as a thermal hydraulics research engineer in the Reactor Safety Division of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He holds Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Florida. He is the author of numerous journal articles and technical reports, including a book chapter on SMRs for an ASME B&PV Codes and Standards handbook. He has given lectures and keynote addresses to professional nuclear organizations in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

 

Mr. Brad Sawatzke

Chief Executive Officer

Energy Northwest

Brad Sawatzke was appointed CEO of Energy Northwest in April 2018. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nuclear Officer, beginning in December 2014, with responsibility for all Energy Northwest generating units. He joined EN as vice president of Nuclear Generation/Chief Nuclear Officer in December 2010.

Prior to joining Energy Northwest, he served as Director of Site Operations at the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant with Xcel Energy.  Brad worked for NSP/NMC/Xcel Energy for nearly 29 years. The majority of that time was spent at the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant where he held positions in Operations and Training prior to holding the Performance Assessment Manager, Maintenance Manager and Plant Manager positions.

Brad holds a Bachelor of Science and Applied Physics from Winona State University and is a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program. He has also held a reactor operator and senior reactor operator license at the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant, a boiling water reactor. 

Brad also serves on the INPO board of directors and accrediting board, Association of Washington Business executive committee, Nuclear Energy Institute board of directors and the TRIDEC executive committee. 

Energy Northwest is a joint operating agency serving the needs of public power by providing reliable, low-cost electricity while promoting public power activities in the region.  It has received numerous awards and recognition for its hiring of veterans, employee philanthropy and community service.  Energy Northwest was also recognized by the Association of Washington Business as the “2016 Employer of the Year” for its innovative job retention, creation and compensation plans that foster a thriving work environment.

 

Mr. James Schaeffer

Senior Managing Director

Guggenheim Partners

James Schaefer is a Senior Managing Director within Guggenheim’s Power, Energy and Renewables team and covers a number of electric and gas utility and renewable energy accounts for Guggenheim Securities. Mr. Schaefer brings to Guggenheim extensive expertise in energy‐related mergers, acquisitions and financing, developed over his more than 20 years in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Guggenheim, Mr. Schaefer lead the Global Energy, Power and Renewables Practice at Blackstone. Prior to Blackstone, Mr. Schaefer was a Managing Director, Global Head of Power & Renewable Energy at UBS Investment Bank. Prior to UBS, Mr. Schaefer worked in the power groups at Lehman Brothers, Salomon Brothers and Chase. Mr. Schaefer has completed approximately $60 billion of strategic advisory assignments and over $30 billion of lead managed financings. Mr. Schaefer graduated with honors in Finance and Accounting from the University of Michigan's MBA program and cum laude in Finance from the University of Vermont.

 

Mr. Clay Sell

Chief Executive Officer

X-Energy

Clay Sell serves as CEO of X-energy. Clay has deep professional expertise across many sectors of the international and U.S. energy industry developed through his service in senior level positions in the private sector and government.

From 2008-2018, Clay was the president of Hunt Energy Horizons, LLC, the renewable energy subsidiary of Hunt Consolidated, Inc., a multinational energy, real estate, and investment corporation controlled by the Ray L. Hunt family of Dallas. 

Previously, Clay held positions for 14 years in the U.S. government, most recently as Deputy Secretary of Energy in the George W. Bush Administration from 2005-2008 — and the youngest person to hold that position. In that role, Clay served as Chief Operating Officer of the Department and emerged as one of the leading advocates for the Administration’s nuclear energy policies. From 2003-2005, Clay served in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and a Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. From 1999-2003, he served as the Clerk for the Senate Energy & Water Subcommittee of Appropriations under the legendary Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico. Clay began his career in Washington on the staff of future House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry of Texas from 1995-1999.   

Clay holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law and a BBA in Accounting from Texas Tech University.

 

Ms. Wendy Simon-Pearson

General Counsel

Ultra-Safe Nuclear Corporation

Wendy Simon-Pearson is General Counsel for Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, an advanced nuclear startup company based in Seattle, Washington. She is a specialist in International Energy Law and arbitration and received her law degree from The George Washington University Law School. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the United States Nuclear Industry Council, she recently led the negotiations to form USNC’s Joint Venture with Ontario Power Generation to build USNC’s first demonstration reactor at the Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario, Canada. She attended UMass Amherst for her Bachelor’s degree, and graduated from GW Law School with her JD.

 

Mr. Dan Stout 

Director of Nuclear Technology

Tennessee Valley Authority

Dan Stout works as the Director of Nuclear Technology at the Tennessee Valley Authority. Before this, he worked as the Senior Manager, Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Technology for the TVA. He is responsible for nuclear project development including managing the scope, schedule, budget and business planning associated with licensing and potential deploying up to four SMRs at TVA’s Clinch River Site in Oak Ridge, TN. Mr. Stout has over 28 years of experience in the nuclear energy sector. He joined the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in April 2009 and assumed responsibility for TVA’s SMR program in 2012. Prior to TVA, Mr. Stout served as Director, Nuclear Fuel Recycling at the Department of Energy where he was responsible for planning and policy development regarding nuclear fuel recycling. Prior to that, from 1991 to 2006, Mr. Stout worked in the uranium enrichment industry, predominantly at USEC Inc., with responsibility for R&D, engineering, and licensing of advanced uranium enrichment technologies and facilities. From 1985-1991 Mr. Stout served in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear submarine officer. He also served in the Naval Reserves in the Naval Special Warfare community from 1991-2007, retiring as a Commander. Mr. Stout graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985. He received his Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from the National Technological University in 1997.

 

The Advanced Reactors Summit VIII

& Technology Trailblazers Showcase

 

March 23-25, 2021 | Virtual Summit

 
 

Technology and Innovation in Advanced Nuclear

Under the auspices of

 
New USNIC_Logo_New 2018 v2.png

Venkat Venkataraman

CTO & EVP of Engineering

Bloom Energy

Venkat Venkataraman is the CTO and EVP of Engineering at Bloom Energy. He
leads the development of clean, highly efficient and low cost Bloom Energy Servers
to generate clean power onsite using natural gas, biogas and hydrogen as
feedstock. During his 17 years tenure at Bloom, he led the company through many
technological breakthroughs bringing Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) technology from
early stages of development to a matured state enabling deployment of highly
efficient commercial systems deployed across the world reducing greenhouse gas
emissions signficantly. Over the years, Venkat has assembled, led and mentored a
very strong team of engineers and innovators around the world in the areas of fuel
cell stack technology, system integration and power electronics, who have made
tremendous strides in that time, solving the key technical challenges that had
previously prevented the commercialization of SOFC technologies. Venkat’s recent
focus has been on the use of Solid Oxide Electrolyzer Cell (SOEC) technology for
hydrogen production and use hydrogen SOFC for power generation in an effort to
accelerate hydrogen economy and decarbonization across the world.

Prior to joining Bloom Energy, Venkat was a Principal Technologist at Aspen
Technology, Inc. where he led the commercial development of high end design,
simulation and optimization software for the chemical and petrochemical industries.

Venkat is a winner of AIChE award in the area of chemical process optimization.
He has authored/co-authored several patents in the areas of SOFC technology, fuel
processing, heat integration and control systems.

MS & PhD in Chemical Engineering – Clarkson University (1987)
BTech Chemical Engineering – National Institute of Technology, Trichy, India (1982)

The Advanced Reactors Summit VIII & 

Technology Trailblazers Showcase

March 23-25, 2021 | Virtual Summit

About USNIC

The U.S. Nuclear Industry Council (USNIC) is the leading U.S. business advocate for the advancement of applications for nuclear energy technology, and promotion of the U.S. supply-chain worldwide.  USNIC represents approximately eighty entities engaged in all aspects of the future of nuclear technology.  These include: key utility movers, technology developers, construction engineers, manufactures, front- and back-end service providers, scientists, academia, national laboratories, fuel innovators, as well as those involved in medical and aerospace advancements. USNIC encompasses five working groups including an Advanced Nuclear Working Group. For more information visit www.usnic.org.