May 24, 2019 | By Ellen O’Shea
NAC International participated as a platinum sponsor of this year’s NEI Used Fuel Management Conference in beautiful West Palm Beach, Florida, May 7 through 9, 2019.

Many thanks to Rod McCullum, Ken Morton, Denise Bell and Caitlin Armsworthy of NEI on the organization of the event, its professional atmosphere, and the attentive hospitality shown throughout the three days of the conference.

This annual conference focuses on issues associated with used nuclear fuel storage and disposition today and plans for the future. As such, the agenda was filled with timely and relevant topics, ranging from current best practices in testing and inspection to options on the horizon for consolidated used fuel storage far away from generating sites.

The special plenary panel on the first day summed up the focus of the conference best – “Solving Used Fuel, Sustaining Nuclear Energy.”

The initial breakout sessions offered excellent opportunities to learn about the experience of industry peers with policy, design, and operational challenges.

Track 1, “From Science to Implementation,” highlighted the importance and effectiveness of collaboration by researchers, utilities, industry experts, technology developers and contractors in complying with and improving upon NRC regulatory guidance.

The presentations of Track 2, “Removing Fuel from Reactor Sites,” walked the audience through technical and policy considerations from federal and commercial professionals, as well as transportation requirements.

Experts from NAC delivered a total of six presentations in Tracks 1 and 2.

Other breakout sessions addressed considerations vital to the ongoing viability of nuclear power, including public outreach, closing technical issue with the NRC, licensing, and spent fuel pool topics.

Several conference participants discussed the need for detailed planning, reviews, and communications to facilitate safe, on-time decommissioning. NAC’s experience with spent fuel storage at U.S. shutdown plants demonstrates the complexities faced during decommissioning projects.

Following adjournment of the conference, NAC hosted its NUTUG user group meeting, giving each of its users the opportunity to share best practices and operating experience, and to hear about NAC’s recent products and services developments.

Manatee LagoonManatee Lagoon celebrates the threatened Florida manatees that gather in the warm-water outflows of the FPL Riviera Beach energy center.

The West Palm Beach area also offered fun options for meeting up with old and new industry friends during the conference. On May 8, NAC hosted a group for dinner at Manatee Lagoon, a unique educational eco-discovery center owned by Florida Power & Light / NextEra.

Ellen O’Shea is manager of marketing of NAC International.