Let’s Chat – What Are Your Thoughts?

Holly Harrington
Senior Advisor
Office of Public Affairs

The NRC launched a pilot of a new social media platform – Let’s Chat – in April. It’s somewhat similar to this blog, but it Picture1features a real-time discussion on a specific issue with an NRC expert responding to the questions.

So far, we’ve held three Chats – on the history of nuclear power in the U.S., on the Japan Lessons Learned Directorate and its activities, and on the role of the resident inspector. We appreciate everyone who has stopped by and sent us a question. (By the way, they are archived on the site.)

Our next session is today from 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern with Len Wert, from our Region II office in Atlanta. He will speak about his experiences during the many hurricanes he’s dealt with, as well as how nuclear power plants are built to withstand a whole host of severe weather events.

Now we’d like some feedback from you. Have you been to a Chat? What did you think? Are the times and days of the week convenient?

We also like to hear your topic suggestions. We do have some limitations on topics for the Chat. It’s not the place for regulatory issues currently before the Commission or likely to come to the Commission, for example, or actively being adjudicated. But if you suggest a topic and we can make it work, we’ll put it on the schedule.

Thanks for your input!

Author: Moderator

Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

36 thoughts on “Let’s Chat – What Are Your Thoughts?”

  1. I haven`t been to a chat yet but mostly because lack of time. I think the days chosen are OK.

  2. John and Brandon, apparently China seems to think it is “worth it”. China is currently relying heavily on coal which contributes to global warming…is that more or less “worth it”? The effluents from burning coal are already having an effect on China’s citizens with regards to inhalation of these particles and calculated reduced lifespans. By the way, since most products you purchase here in the USA are manufactured in China and, since the Chinese government controls and takes their share of business profit and uses it to build the projected 240 new nuclear power stations, YOU are subsidizing China’s nuclear power plant construction efforts. China’s government thanks you and considers your contributions “worth it”.

  3. This particular post is soliciting topics for future Chats. If you have general comments or questions, please post them on the Open Forum section of the blog. We’ll look at your comments here, however, and see if we can address some of the concerns in future Chats, including how, when and why public meetings are held.

    Holly Harrington

  4. Iv’e wasted my time asking you these questions for which I fear I already know the answers, please do respond accurately to each question.
    #1: Why would you build nuclear power generation facilities so big, containing so much highly radioactive material, that they could potentially wipe out entire states, if not this entire country.
    #2: Why would you build nuclear power generation facilities to run on the most dangerous man-made substances know to man when Thorium power generation has been around just as long and poses almost no threat to every living species on earth like uranium/plutonium.
    #3: Why would you perpetuate and defend something that generally kills and maims women and children first? Why would you perpetuate and defend something that mutates the DNA of nearly all species?
    #4: Why would you have claimed to learn lesson’s from Fukushima Daichi’s accident when 3 Mile Islands core was never recovered either and both incidents are ongoing disasters spewing cancer causing particles into the environment just like Chernobyl?
    #5: Why have you failed to stop renewing operating licenses to our oldest most dangerous plants, many of which have already contaminated much of their surrounding environment including installations on and around the great lakes, our greatest source of fresh water?

  5. Why aren’t you all in prison? #youcoveredforsoutherncaliforniaelectricwhentheyliedunderoathandyouhadthelettertoproveit

  6. Why doesn’t the NRC hold public hearings locally where people living near these plants are affected? Also, why doesn’t the NRC invite other agencies such as FEMA, DHS, and the EPA to these same meetings instead of bypassing pertinent questions from the public by saying “that’s not in our jurisdiction?”

  7. Hi Bill, best of luck in the future! From time to time the notion of the NRC regulating DOE radiological or nuclear facilities (including accelerators) comes up, any thoughts on this subject from the EDO?

  8. Whitley, it is difficult to answer your question without further clarity regarding the topic. By ‘funding for nuclear energy’ are you referring to Research and Development (R&D), fuel cycle, training, interim high level waste storage, …? ‘Government’ is also a fairly broad-based subject that needs to be narrowed down. ‘Good or bad’ cannot be argued with any clarity due to the ambiguity of the previous 2 elements noted.

  9. If you know what manufacturer (brand)/grade of zircon sand is projected for use, look up the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for this data (Th and U) under the manufacturer’s/distributer’s website url.

  10. i have a question, would it be a good or bad thing if the government quit funding for nuclear energy??? why? I have to write an essay on government funding nuclear energy.

  11. Hi
    I would like to know the T and UH levels of Zircon Sand if I import the Zircon Sand into USA.

  12. It is very unlikely that SMR companies will actually move to construction by reason of the lengthly and extremely expensive licensing process required by the US NRC. Even if funding was present for construction, the financial licensing burden would wipe this out in a heartbeat for any financial advantage the SMR would have obtained otherwise. Look at Galena, AK as an example.

  13. As the economics of SMRs is very shaky at best and given that funding for construction of SMRs does not appear to exist, why should the NRC place serious resources into reviewing reactor design and licensing when it is very likely that no SMR will actually move to construction? The NRC should be very cautious in getting caught up in the continuous and exaggerated hype by the SMR companies about the viability of their imaginary products.

  14. 1. What are the advantages of SMRs as compared to large one – (technically and cost wise)?
    2. If we need say, 1000 MWe power, why we should select 5 SMRs of 200 MWe each compared to one 1000 MWe nuclear plant,
    3. Are SMRs of pressurized type or boiling water type or something else?

  15. I would like to offer the following suggestions for potential future NRC Chat topics –
    1) How will future fusion reactors be regulated?
    Is it clear that NRC will have regulatory jurisdiction and responsibility for fusion reactors?

    2) Does the growth of US nuclear regulation historically correlate to the increase in cost of nuclear power plants? What benefit/cost evaluations are performed by NRC before producing new regulation? Can the US public review NRC’s benefit/cost analysis of new and existing regulation?
    Dr. Bernard Cohen, “Cost of Nuclear Power Plants – What went wrong?” –

    3) Many currently fear that there will be a mid-century phase-out of commercial nuclear power plants as old legacy plants built under AEC regulatory supervision are retired at end of life and fewer and fewer new nuclear plants receive licenses from NRC to be built. NRC is currently expected to fund its operations from license fees and yearly operating fees derived from operation of legacy nuclear plants. As legacy nuclear plants reach end of life and are not replaced with new nuclear plants because it is not possible to get COL licenses from NRC in a timely manner, how will NRC make up the shortfall in revenue and cover its $1 billion dollar agency cost? Will MRC have to shrink as the number of commercial nuclear power plants in operation decline?

    4) What genuinely promotes public safety?
    If the very high levels of NRC regulation obstruct the building of safe nuclear power plants and price up the technology to the point it is no longer built, does NRCs elevated standards of safety really end up making the public safer? If the result of excessive levels of nuclear regulation result in intrinsically less safe fossil fuel and renewable energy power plants getting built in the place of safer nuclear plants, how do NRC’s high standards of safety actually end up producing greater safety in power generation for American Communities?

  16. Topics that are scheduled in the next months:

    July 23 — Waste Confidence
    August 6 — Seismic studies and nuclear power plants
    Sept. 3 — Security and nuclear power plants (tentative)
    Sept. 17 — Decommissioning (tentative)

    Holly Harrington

  17. All Chats are archived on the site, so anyone can revisit them at any time. All the NRC social media platforms are managed by the NRC, not by contractors.

    Holly Harrington

  18. It’s only a matter of time, then, until they have their Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, or Fukushima, destroy a huge area, and decide it’s not worth it.

  19. I suggest that you start a “wish list” so that the topics most requested get moved to the top of the list!

    Also this would be a great project foe someone that is not a NRC professional since that would save money and create a job for someone rather than having a highly paid NRC employee do it!

    Post chats so that others can read what was discussed and then we could have followup chats if the topic is well received.

  20. Yes, as a matter of fact. China has implemented a plan for a dramatic shift in electric power generation from fossil fuels to nuclear power, selecting the AP1000 reactor design as their primary design (with modifications). Currently, there are 17 power reactors operational there with 28 under construction, more about to begin construction, and even more planned or proposed. At last count, planned or proposed units is around 240 (~161,000+ MWe). A chat with regard to this shift and how it affects the U.S. and the U.S. nuclear power industry including fuel cycle (demand for uranium fuel) would be interesting.

  21. Holly, I very recently joined the NRC Chat platform and have yet to participate in one of the live chats so the only feedback I can provide to your questions is that the date and time for the chats work quite well for me on the West Coast.

  22. Thanks. We usually do, but apparently not every time! The Small Modular Reactor Chat is scheduled for June 18th at 2 p.m. Eastern. Thanks for your interest.

    Holly Harrington

  23. when you send out an email describing the moderator for an upcoming chat (e.g., [New post] Small Modular Reactors) provide the date and time for when the chat will be held.

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