WM2019 Call for Abstracts Announced

Deadline Friday, August 24, 2018

Fellow WM Professionals,

I would like to invite you to submit an abstract for the WM2019 Conference to be held March 3-7, 2019 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The Call for Abstracts and the detailed Topic Listing, are now available online.
This year’s conference theme is: Encouraging Young Men & Women to Achieve Their Goals in Radwaste Management. Our conference focus is promoting the next generation of radwaste management professionals and we encourage young professionals to get involved. We plan to have several special programs to encourage and support their participation.
WM2019 marks the 45th annual Waste Management Symposium. Connect with the worldwide nuclear community in a forum for discussing and seeking safe and cost-effective solutions to managing and dispositioning radioactive waste and decommissioning nuclear facilities. WM2019 will feature more than 500 papers and over 40 panel discussions in 130+ technical sessions complemented by the industry’s largest annual exhibition of nearly 200 companies. Registration will open in late August.
WMS welcomes abstracts in nine topic areas related to nuclear waste management. Our submission site is now available. To submit an abstract, visit our website at www.wmsym.org and login using your username and password. Under the heading “Abstract & Paper Submission”, click on the button that reads “Submit/Manage Abstract for WM2019”. You will then see a button that reads “New Abstract – Click Here to Start”. Follow the instructions to submit your abstract, being sure to click on the “Submit Abstract” button at the bottom of the screen.  An instructional video will be available on our website soon, under Technical Program> Resources & Forms> Authors / Presenters>Abstract Submission Instructional Video.

The deadline for submission is Friday, August 24, 2018. PLEASE NOTE: the submission deadline is two weeks later than in previous years. Any submission received after this date will be subject to a second review prior to any acceptance. There is a limit of abstract submissions to two (2) per presenter, but no limit on the number of abstracts you may co-author.

Please call +1 480-557-0263 or email (shelley (at) wmarizona (dot) org) shelley (at) wmarizona (dot) org for any questions on your abstract submission. If I may be of assistance on any technical program questions, please contact me at +1 803-317-1116 or by email at gbenda@wmarizona.org.
If you would like copies of the WM2019 Call for Abstracts to distribute at meetings, conferences and/or around your office, please email your request to shelley@wmarizona.org with your mailing address and the number of copies needed.

We look forward to receiving your abstract and seeing you at WM2019.

Gary A. Benda
WM Symposia, Inc.
Program Advisory Committee (PAC), Chair
Deputy Managing Director

Southeast Compact Commission for Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Meeting



233 Peachtree St NE, Suite 900

Atlanta, GA 30303 

JUNE 25-26, 2018


June 25, 2018

POLICY AND PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING – The Policy and Planning Committee will meet at 1:00 p.m. EDT in the Board Room at the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority Office to consider and to review the Strategic Plan and other matters that come before the committee.

ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE MEETING – The Administrative Committee will meet at 3:30 p.m. EDT in the Board Room at the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority Office.  The committee will discuss the proposed 2018-19 budget, Commission finances, the ad hoc committee review of staff salaries and benefits, and other matters that come before the committee. 

June 26, 2018

SOUTHEAST COMPACT COMMISSION MEETING – The 110th business meeting of the Southeast Compact Commission for Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management will begin at 9:00 a.m. EDT in the Board Room at the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority Office.  The Commission will receive committee reports, adopt a 2018-19 Budget, elect a new Chairman-Elect and Secretary-Treasurer, and conduct other business as it may come before the Commission.

Accommodations – Commission members will be at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, 265 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA.  The Hyatt is located across the street from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority. There are several other nearby hotels within walking distance of the meeting location if meeting attendees need accommodations.

DirectionsWhen Traveling via MARTA from the airport:

Take the northbound train to the Peachtree Center Station stop, one stop north of the Five Points transfer station. Exit the train and take the escalator up towards Peachtree Center Mall. Once inside the mall, follow the signs to the covered walkway into the hotel.

When Traveling by automobile from Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal:
Head west on Aviation Blvd towards Maynard H. Jackson Jr. Blvd. Continue onto Charles W Grant Pkwy. Turn left onto I-75/85 N, take the right-hand exit 248-C (International Blvd.). Turn left onto International Blvd. Turn right at the third traffic light onto Peachtree Center Avenue. Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s Motor Lobby entrance is one block on the left.  Valet parking is available for overnight hotel guests for $40 with in and out privileges.

Daytime parking for meeting attendees not staying at the Hyatt is available in a parking lot near the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority. 



P.O. BOX 5427 CARY, NC 27512


(secc (at) secompact (dot) org) secc (at) secompact (dot) org


The Southeast Compact Commission for Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management is accepting nominations for the 2019 Richard S. Hodes, M.D. Honor Lecture Award—a program that recognizes an individual, company, or organization that contributed in a significant way to improving the technology, policy, or practices of low-level radioactive waste management in the United States.  The award recipient will present the innovation being recognized at a lecture during the Waste Management ’19 Symposium in Phoenix, Arizona.  The award recipient will receive a $5,000 honorarium and all travel expenses will be paid.


Nominations must be received by August 31, 2018.


Dr. Richard S. Hodes was a distinguished statesman and a lifetime scholar.  He was one of the negotiators of the Southeast Compact law, in itself an innovative approach to public policy in waste management.  He then served as the chair of the Southeast Compact Commission for Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management from its inception in 1983 until his death in 2002.

Throughout his career, Dr. Hodes developed and supported innovation in medicine, law, public policy, and technology.  The Richard S. Hodes, M.D. Honor Lecture Award was established in 2003 to honor the memory of Dr. Hodes and his achievements in the field of low-level radioactive waste management.  

Past Recipients

The following individuals and entities are past recipients of the Richard S. Hodes, M.D. Honor Lecture Award:

  • W.H. “Bud” Arrowsmith (2004);
  • Texas A & M University Student Chapter of Advocates for Responsible Disposal in Texas (2004 honorable mention);
  • William Dornsife (2005);
  • California Radioactive Materials Management Forum (2006);
  • Larry McNamara (2007);
  • Michael Ryan (2008);
  • Susan Jablonski (2009);
  • Larry Camper (2010);
  • Christine Gelles (2011);
  • Lawrence “Rick” Jacobi (2012);
  • James Kennedy (2013);
  • EnergySolutions, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD), and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Global Threat Reduction Initiative (2013 honorable mention);
  • Electric Power Research Institute (2014);
  • Division of Radiation Control of the Utah DEQ and EnergySolutions (2015);
  • Louis Centofanti (2016);
  • Scott Kirk (2017); and,
  • National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Off-Site Source Recovery Program (OSRP).

The Award

The Richard S. Hodes Honor Lecture Award—established in March, 2003—is awarded to an individual, company, or organization that contributed in a significant way to improving the technology, policy, or practices of low-level radioactive waste management in the United States.  

The award recipient will be recognized with a special plaque and an invitation to present a lecture about the innovation during the annual international Waste Management Symposium (WM ’19).  The 2019 symposium is sponsored by the University of Arizona and will be held in Phoenix, Arizona in the spring of 2019.  

A special time is reserved during the Symposium for the lecture and the award presentation. The Southeast Compact Commission will provide the award recipient a $5,000 honorarium and will pay travel expenses and per diem (in accordance with Commission Travel Policies) for an individual to present the lecture.  


The Richard S. Hodes Honor Lecture Award recognizes innovation industry-wide.  The award is not limited to any specific endeavor—contributions may be from any type of work with radioactive materials (nuclear energy, biomedical, research, etc.), or in any facet of that work, such as planning, production, maintenance, administration, or research.  The types of innovations to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • conception and development of new approaches or practices in the prevention, management, and regulation of radioactive waste;
  • new technologies or practices in the art and science of waste management; and,
  • new educational approaches in the field of waste management.

The criteria for selection include:

  1. Innovation.  Is the improvement unique? Is it a fresh approach to a standard problem? Is it a visionary approach to an anticipated problem?
  2. Safety.  Does the practice enhance radiation protection?
  3. Economics.  Does the approach produce significant cost savings to government, industry or the public?
  4. Transferability.  Is this new practice applicable in other settings and can it be replicated?  Does it increase the body of technical knowledge across the industry?


To be eligible for the award, the individual/group must consent to being nominated and must be willing to prepare and present a lecture about the innovation being recognized at the Waste Management Symposium.  Individuals or organizations can nominate themselves or another individual, company, institution, or organization. 

To nominate yourself or another individual, company, or organization for this distinguished award, please contact:

Awards Committee
c/o Ted Buckner

Executive Director
Southeast Compact Commission
Post Office Box 5427
Cary, NC 27512
(919) 380-7780

(919) 380-7710 – FAX

or visit the Southeast Compact Commission’s website at http://www.secompact.org/.

Nominations must be received by August 31, 2018.


On June 5, 2018, NRC staff met with the public in Kingston, Tennessee to discuss the agency’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the Early Site Permit (ESP) application for the nearby Clinch River site. According to the NRC’s press release, the agency is interested in the public’s views on the agency’s overall draft conclusion that environmental impacts would be small enough to allow the agency to issue the permit. The meetings were held at Noah’s Event Venue, which is located at 1200 Ladd Landing Boulevard in Kingston.


During the meetings, NRC staff described the environmental review process and the DEIS conclusions. Each meeting concluded with a formal public comment period. During NRC open houses, which preceded the meetings, NRC staff provided members of the public the opportunity to talk informally with agency staff.


The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) submitted the Clinch River application in May 2016 and provided follow-up information throughout the year. TVA is seeking resolution of safety and environmental issues related to a potential small modular reactor at the site, approximately five miles southwest of Oak Ridge.

The ESP process determines whether a site is suitable for future construction and operation of a nuclear power plant. The NRC held meetings in Oak Ridge in May 2017 to gather comments from the community regarding issues to include in the environmental review.

For additional information, please contact Scott Burnell of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.


On May 24, 2018, by a voice vote during an evening session, the U.S. Senate approved en banc the confirmations of all three outstanding nominees to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) including:

  • Annie Caputo, a nuclear policy adviser to Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY);
  • David Wright, an energy consultant and former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; and,
  • Jeff Baran, an attorney and member of the Commission since 2014 who’s current term is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2017.

Shortly before the confirmations’ vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a budget proposal that provided no money for the proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste repository in Nevada.  Caputo and Wright were sworn-in as new NRC Commissioners the following week.


Five Commissioners appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for five-year terms head the NRC.  One of them is designated by the President to be the Chair and official spokesperson of the Commission.  The Chair is the Principal Executive Officer of and the Official Spokesperson for the NRC.  As Principal Executive Officer, the Chair is responsible for conducting the administrative, organizational, long-range planning, budgetary and certain personnel functions of the agency.  The Chair has ultimate authority for all NRC functions pertaining to an emergency involving an NRC license.  The Chair’s actions are governed by the general policies of the Commission.

The Commission operates as a collegial body to formulate policies, develop regulations governing nuclear reactor and nuclear material safety, issue orders to licensees, and adjudicate legal matters.  The Commission is currently comprised of Chair Kristine Svinicki, Commissioner Jeff Baran and Commissioner Stephen Burns.

For additional information related to Commission business, please contact Annette Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission, at (301) 415-1969 or at (NRCExecSec (at) nrc (dot) gov) NRCExecSec (at) nrc (dot) gov.


On May 23, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed several legislative initiatives that are designed to advance the state’s clean energy goals, including a bill that would subsidize the continued operation of nuclear power plants.  The cost for the new law to subsidize nuclear power plants is estimated to be approximately $300 million a year.

Overview of New Jersey Legislation

The new law establishes a Zero Emissions Certificate (ZEC) program in an effort to maintain New Jersey’s nuclear energy supply, which is the state’s largest source of carbon free energy and contributes almost 40 percent of the state’s electric capacity.  Under the law’s provisions, plants seeking to participate in the program would be required, among other things, to demonstrate that they make a significant contribution to New Jersey air quality and are at risk of closure within three years. 

There are currently four reactors operating in New Jersey with generating capacity over 4,100 megawatts (MW) of electricity.  Three of the reactors are located at the Salem-Hope Creek nuclear plant and are operated by a unit of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), which is the state’s biggest power company.  The other reactor, Oyster Creek, is owned by Exelon Corporation, which also owns part of the Salem reactors.  

In addition to the nuclear subsidy law, Governor Murphy also signed legislation to require that 50 percent of the state’s power come from renewable sources by 2030, as well as to establish plans to build 3,500 MW of offshore wind by 2030; implement energy efficiency programs to reduce electric and gas usage; and, achieve 2,000 MW of energy storage by 2030.  The governor also signed an Executive Order directing state agencies to develop an Energy Master Plan by June 1, 2019 that provides a path to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. 

Potential Action by Other States and DOE

Passage of the new legislation makes New Jersey the fourth state to adopt a program that is intended to provide a new revenue stream to assist nuclear reactors that are in service in an effort to meet the states’ greenhouse gas reduction goals.  Other states that have passed such laws include New York, Illinois and Connecticut. 

States with reactors set to retire over the next few years for economic reasons (including Pennsylvania and Ohio) and officials at the U.S. Energy Department (DOE) are reportedly also looking at programs designed to keep nuclear plants operating. 


Exelon has announced plans to shut the Oyster Creek reactor in October 2018 pursuant to a long-standing agreement with the state.  In addition, PSEG has warned that it could shut its reactors if they do not receive some sort of federal or state assistance. 

By the end of 2021, twenty-four of the operating nuclear power plants in the United States are either set to close or will no longer be profitable according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) that was issued on May 15, 2018.  In addition, the report cautions that more plants are likely to close. 


On May 17, 2018, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) held a regularly scheduled meeting in Austin, Texas.  The meeting began at 9:30 a.m. CDT.  It was held in Room E1.028 at the Texas Capitol, which is located at 1100 Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas.


The following is an abbreviated overview of the agenda for the Texas Compact Commission meeting.  Persons interested in additional detail are directed to the formal agenda themselves.

  • call to order;
  • roll call and determination of quorum;
  • introduction of Commissioners, elected officials and press;
  • public comment;U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • consideration of and possible action on applications for importation of low-level radioactive waste from NextEra Point Beach, Entergy Grand Gulf, Talen Energy, Talen Energy (irradiated hardware), RAM Services and Thomas Gray;
  • consideration of and possible action on amendments to existing agreements with Exelon and EnergySolutions;
  • consideration and possible action on May 15, 2018 letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regarding the February 14, 2018 notice in the Federal Register relating to the Very Low-Level Waste (VLLW) scoping study;
  • receive reports from Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) about recent site operations;
  • receive report from Chair on Texas Compact Commission activities including an update on the to-be-formed committee as a result of recent legislation;
  • report from Leigh Ing, Executive Director of the Texas Compact Commission, on her activities relating to workshops and Texas Compact Commission operations;
  • discussion and possible changes of dates and locations of future Texas Compact Commission meetings in 2018; and,
  • adjourn.


The Texas Compact Commission may meet in closed session as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551, Texas Government Code.  Texas Compact Commission meetings are open to the public.

For additional information, please contact Texas Compact Commission Executive Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at (leigh.ing (at) tllrwdcc (dot) org) leigh.ing (at) tllrwdcc (dot) org


By the end of 2021, twenty-four of the operating nuclear power plants in the United States are either set to close or will no longer be profitable according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) that was issued on May 15, 2018.  In addition, the report cautions that more plants are likely to close.  In March 2018, a similar analysis found that half of U.S. coal-fired power plant capacity is also facing significant financial challenges.


According to Power Magazine, which reported on the BNEF study, the struggling plants have a total generating capacity of 32.5 gigawatts.  The U.S. Energy Information Administration lists the total capacity of the U.S. nuclear power fleet at slightly over 100 gigawatts.

In the BNEF report, analyst Nicholas Steckler and co-author Chris Gadomski state that it would cost approximately $1.3 billion to address the revenue gaps for all of the struggling plants across the country.  The industry has successfully convinced policy makers in states including New York, Illinois and New Jersey to take steps to assist struggling plants in recognition of their emissions-free generation and concerns about job losses. 

Despite the cautionary tone, the report finds that the average U.S. nuclear plant still is expected to make money before taxes, especially on the East Coast.


According to the BNEF study, the industry is increasingly challenged by sluggish power demand, inexpensive natural gas and the rise of renewable energy.  This is especially true in the Midwest, where the use of wind power and other renewable power options are being used increasingly.

In this regard, a February 2018 report from BNER and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy found that renewable power had reached 18 percent of the U.S. electricity generation capacity.  The expansion has been spurred, in part, by an increase in hyrdopower investments in the West.  Nuclear power recently contributed about 20 percent, but that figure is declining as operating facilities continue to shut down.

In addition, the U.S. Energy Department (DOE) is currently weighing a March 2018 request from the competitive power unit at FirstEnergy Corporation to declare that an emergency exists its PJM market. The PJM Energy Market procures electricity to meet consumer’s demands both in real time and in the near term.  It includes the sale or purchase of energy in PJM’s Real-Time Energy Market (five minutes) and Day-Ahead Market (one day forward).  If DOE Secretary Rick Perry agrees to the request, it would mean the PJM would have to compensate both nuclear and coal generators in the at-risk market in order to protect the stability of the grid.


On May 15, 2018, the Southwestern Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission hosted its 78th meeting beginning at 9:00 a.m. PDT at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, which is located at 1380 Harbor Island Drive in San Diego, California 92101.

The following topics, among others, were on the meeting agenda:

  • call to order
  • roll call
  • welcome and introductions
  • statement regarding due notice of meeting
  • reports – activity and/or status
  • Commission Chair

–     Executive Director

  • licensing agency

–     party states

  • exportation
  • ratification of approved petitions – 2017 (E-17-111 – E-17-124 & WCS-17-067 – WCS-17-084) and 2018 (E-18-001 – E-18-103 & WCS-18-001 – WCS-18-043)
  • export report – presented by Commissioner Vadnais
  • discuss, review and possible action on impacts of Very Low-Level Waste (VLLW) and by-laws recommended by legal counsel
  • discuss draft policy on “reuse” by legal counsel
  • report on necessary “reserves” and direction from Commission on compact funds
  • update on SONGS, PGE-Diablo, WCS new ownership and visit to Texas
  • executive session pursuant to California Government Code § 11126(a)(1) to report and discuss action regarding interview and contract for legal counsel

      return to open session

  • discuss and direct Executive Director pursuant to above closed session, if required
  • review and approved current budget, if necessary
  • public comment
  • future agenda items
  • next meeting – October 5, 2018
  • adjournment

Members of the public were invited to attend the meeting and comment on specific agenda items as the Commission considered them.  The total public comment time on each agenda item was limited to 15 minutes.  Written material was also accepted.  A 15-minute public comment period was provided near the end of the meeting at which time members of the public were invited to bring before the Commission issues relating to low-level radioactive waste but which were not on the agenda.

For additional information, please contact Kathy Davis, Executive Director of the Southwestern Compact Commission, at (916) 448-2390 or at (swllrwcc (at) swllrwcc (dot) org) swllrwcc (at) swllrwcc (dot) org.


On May 14, 2018, the Office of Environmental Management (EM) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced plans to move forward with a key infrastructure upgrade at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico.  According to the announcement, the upgrade will enable increased progress in DOE’s mission to address the environmental legacy of decades of nuclear weapons production and government-sponsored nuclear energy research.

Assistant Energy Secretary for Environmental Management Anne White approved the start of construction for the $288 million underground ventilation system.  The Safety Significant Confinement Ventilation System (SSCVS) will be key to DOE’s plans to increase shipments of transuranic waste to WIPP from cleanup sites across the DOE complex. 

“This will be a significant improvement for WIPP in support of its critical role in our national mission,” said White.  “I am appreciative of the unwavering support from our local, state and federal elected officials and stakeholders at WIPP who have helped to ensure we have proper funding to make infrastructure improvements, like the new ventilation system.”

According to EM, the SSCVS will significantly increase the amount of air available to the underground portion of the WIPP facility.  As a result, DOE will be able to perform transuranic waste emplacement activities simultaneously with facility mining and maintenance operations.  The new ventilation system will also allow for easier replacement and preventative maintenance activities.  EM expects construction of the new ventilation system to be completed by early 2021.

The new ventilation system is one of a number of infrastructure projects planned for WIPP in the coming years to enable the facility to continue to play an integral role in DOE’s cleanup program.  To date, more than 90,000 cubic meters of transuranic waste have been disposed of at WIPP.