April 25, 2023

Nuclear power highlighted during recent committee hearing

Norfolk NE Radio

LINCOLN – Nuclear power has been a popular energy commodity in Nebraska the past several years, and was one of the topics discussed at an Environment and Public Works committee hearing last week.

During the meeting, Nebraska Senator Pete Ricketts highlighted the need for improvements at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He says that Nebraska has a long, proud history of using and providing nuclear power to residents across the state.

“Nebraska is very proud of our nuclear power as it’s clean, safe, and reliable. Our Cooper Nuclear Station is an 835-megawatt facility that can generate power for about 385,000 residences, even in the hottest part of summer. We’re very proud of our nuclear power and look to continue to see how we can expand it going forward in the future.”

Ricketts also questioned the need for the commission to improve efficacy and timeliness of their licensing and regulatory reviews, as renewal initial license renewal hours have increased forty-four percent.

“As Governor of Nebraska, we were very focused on process improvement and how we could streamline our operations to be able to do a better job. We leveraged Lean Six Sigma. There’s a lot of other process improvement methodologies out there that you can implement agency-wide to be able to drive better productivity, streamline operations, reduce the number of steps it takes to do things and not sacrifice anything with regard to the quality of the output.”

NRC Chairperson Chris Hanson says the commission has recently been made aware of discrepancies and is working with the career staff on what the issues are and how to address them.

Ricketts says that as higher demand on the nation’s energy grids continues, we need to ensure that nuclear power needs to be an essential part of the nation’s portfolio and that regulators are efficiently executing their responsibilities.


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