The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the National Association of State Energy Officials announced Monday the launch of a collaborative program to support the deployment of new nuclear generation in the U.S.
The Advanced Nuclear State Collaborative, or ANSC, is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and will gather state utility regulators and state energy officials to “enhance collective understanding” of regulatory and policy questions surrounding reviews and deployment of nuclear generation, NARUC and NASEO said.
The two organizations said they invited states that are considering or actively working toward deploying advanced reactors to join ANSC because membership offers an opportunity for direct support from nuclear experts while participating in “real-time peer learning.”
More than 30 utility commissions and state energy offices representing 23 states have signed on to join the ANSC.
Regulators and state energy officials are acting as the industry strikes deals to build out advanced nuclear reactors, including small modular reactors, or SMRs, to reach clean energy goals set by government at the state and federal levels. In addition, Georia Power’s Vogtle power plant began generating electricity this month for the first time, NuScale Power has won the first U.S. approval for an SMR design and the NRC is drafting regulations to update licensing regulations in line with the new technology.
“As state energy offices explore different avenues for incorporating advanced nuclear into their programming, policy and planning efforts, the Advanced Nuclear State Collaborative offers a valuable platform for peer-learning and information exchange on opportunities and barriers to deployment,” said Richard Stover, administrator for the Idaho governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources.
Greg White, NARUC’s executive director, said the ANSC initiative will help states understand how nuclear technologies “fit into their communities.”
“This additional level of knowledge is important, as many states are working on energy transitions to meet new clean energy requirements,” he said.
Commissioner Jimmy Glotfelty, of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, said his state has extensive nuclear engineering research, experience and programs and state officials are looking forward to “collaborating and learning from other states and national labs about using advanced nuclear technologies.”
ANSC activities began in March with introductory calls from NARUC and NASEO to members, NARUC said. A site visit to Richland, Washington, is scheduled for late April for an ANSC launch workshop.
Other events and resources such as webinars, peer-sharing calls and tool kits prepared by NARUC and NASEO, will be offered this year to state members.
The ANSC is an initiative of the Nuclear Energy Partnership, a cooperative agreement established in January 2021 between DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy and NARUC.