UNITED STATES AND CANADA

On 8 July 2015, the Royal Commission continued its series of overseas visits when they departed for a number of site visits in the United States and Canada and meetings with experts, members from regulatory agencies and private sector organisations to hear their experiences in the nuclear fuel cycle.

 

  • WASHINGTON D.C. - THURSDAY 9 JULY

    Electric Power Research Institute

    • Discussions on the smart grid, future energy mix, grid reliability and carbon cost and sequestration.

    General Electric

    • Presentation of GE current and future reactor technologies, and the uranium enrichment process.

    Australian Ambassador to the United States

    • General update and discussion of US energy policy development.

    Nuclear Energy Institute

    • Discussions on topical issues of the US nuclear industry, spent fuel storage and the challenge of funding nuclear reactor design and installation.

    Union Concerned Scientists

    • A general discussion of the issues of concern to the organisation on nuclear safety. The union represents the views of its 80,000 members on a variety of scientific and environmental matters.
  • WASHINGTON D.C. - FRIDAY 10 JULY

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    • Presentation of Safety Regulations in relation to the licensing, construction and operation of the current and future reactors, intermediate waste storage and disposal, and mix and expertise of staff needed within the Commission.

    Department of Energy

    • Discussions centred upon national energy policy development and implementation with emphasis on energy mix, new generation reactor research studies, reactor license extension and financial incentives to support new investment.

    National Security Council

    • Discussions on US policy on nuclear proliferation, particularly in relation to enrichment and reprocessing capability, and the worldwide need for safe storage or disposal options.

    Public Citizen

    • Discussions with this consumer advocacy group which is focused on public health and safety concerns centred upon climate change policy, new generation reactors, storage and alternative energy sources.

    Bechtel

    • Broad ranging discussion on nuclear cycle infrastructure construction challenges.
  • WASHINGTON D.C. - SATURDAY 11 JULY

    Professor Frank Von Hippel, Senior Research Physicist at Princeton University

    • Wide ranging discussion on concerns with: reprocessing and enrichment of nuclear fuels, siting of spent fuel ponds within reactor buildings, waste management and disposal of used fuels.
    • Overview of modern reactor technology and their prospects for commercialisation.
  • PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - MONDAY 13 JULY

    Holtec

    • Tour of the nuclear fuel dry cask storage production facility and discussions with management concerning local and overseas programs plus supply chain requirements for cask components.

    Westinghouse Headquarters, Cranberry

    • Discussions with management concerning: nuclear build market and current construction programs, outlook for small modular reactors and a description of major fuel cycle capabilities and programs.
  • TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA - TUESDAY 14 JULY

    Nuclear Waste Management Organisation

    • Discussions on: the formation of NWMO, its role and progress in planning for deep geological storage infrastructure, approach in engaging with the community including the Independent Advisory Council, but particularly programs that establish a partnership with aboriginal Canadians such as the Council of Elders and Youth Forums to discuss options for the safe storage of spent fuel.

     Ontario Power Generation

    • Visit the Darlington OPG power generation facility followed by discussions on the CANDU reactor design and technology including changes following the Fukushima accident plus the approach taken to power fuelling.
  • PORT HOPE, ONTARIO, CANADA - WEDNESDAY 15 JULY

    Port Hope

    • Tour of the CAMECO Fuel Fabrication and Conversion facilities followed by a discussions on the various manufacturing processes, customer base, regulatory oversight of activities, community engagement programs and use of the local manufacturing capability.
    • CAMECO also provided a briefing of their international and national mining operations with an overview of Aboriginal employment programs in Saskatchewan. 
  • OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA - THURSDAY 16 JULY

    Ministry of Natural Resources

    • Presentations and discussions on policy development for national energy requirements, the nuclear industry’s contribution to the economy and to employment, nuclear “spin off” industry achievements and future opportunities, uranium mining industry characteristics, radioactive waste management and aboriginal engagement policies and processes.

    Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility

    • Discussions with regard to concerns about current and future reactor technology and safety, limitations of the nuclear industry to contribute to the future energy mix, global nuclear enrichment and reprocessing issues and proliferation challenges.

    Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

    • Presentation and discussions on the Canadian regulatory approach and licensing processes, overview of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act of 2012, CANDU design and future development, industrial and medical isotope production and novel nuclear reactors for power generation.
  • CHALK RIVER, ONTARIO, CANADA - FRIDAY 17 JULY

    Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk River

    • Tour of the laboratory site including the research reactor, followed by discussions concerning the restructure and contracting out of the management and operations of Chalk River activities.
    • Discussions detailing the production of medical and industrial isotopes, research activities into management of waste, and a briefing on the scope of commercial research activities in support of CANDO technology and other business imperatives.