Speakers

Ms. Jane Accomando
Partner 
Morgan Lewis

Jane Accomando represents nuclear electric utilities in civil litigation matters, and government and internal investigations. She has both a B.S. and M.S. in nuclear engineering and brings her in-depth technical knowledge to bear in representing nuclear industry clients.

Jane has acted as lead investigator in several confidential internal investigations into allegations of wrongdoing related to nuclear safety, including investigations into allegations referred to licensees by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She has also acted as lead counsel in representing nuclear industry clients in investigations conducted by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Office of Investigations. Jane has defended clients in connection with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigations into alleged employee retaliation, and has represented clients before the US Department of Labor in whistleblower proceedings.

Much of Jane’s practice relates to multimillion dollar claims against the federal government regarding the government’s obligation to accept and dispose of spent nuclear fuel. She has represented clients in both litigation and settlement, and has advised clients in connection with the preparation of more than 40 spent fuel claims. Jane has deposed government spent fuel damages expert witnesses, and has defended company witnesses during depositions taken by attorneys from the US Department of Justice.

 

Mr. Jay Brister

Vice President, Business Development 

AECOM

&

Vice-Chair USNIC D&D Task Force

Mr. Brister is Vice President Business Development, Nuclear & Environment and is responsible for applying his understanding of the nuclear market, client needs and competitive position to build partnerships, and pursue and capture new work to align with AECOM’s goal to grow the development of the commercial nuclear D&D market. Previously he was VP, International Business Development with AECOM Construction Services. With over 35 years of power experience, he was responsible for developing power-related business opportunities around the globe for AECOM.

Previously he was Chief Business Development Officer with Generation mPower. Prior to mPower he was Vice President for CH2M’s nuclear power organization. He was responsible for developing nuclear power-related business opportunities for CH2M around the world. With CH2M Mr. Brister delivered a Pre-feasibility Study for Nuclear Power for the Energy Market Authority in Singapore. Prior CH2M HILL project experience was in Abu Dhabi working on the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation’s nuclear new build program and support for the nuclear new build program in Poland.

Prior to CH2M he developed new nuclear program contracts, acquisition, leasing and management services opportunities for additional nuclear generating assets and supporting businesses for Entergy’s nuclear fleet. He has been involved in more than twenty nuclear power plant and corporate acquisition opportunities, multiple nuclear new build programs and has successfully concluded $22.5 B in transactions. Previous activities in the commercial nuclear utility industry included various management roles at multiple nuclear power plants in the US and consulting roles in the UK, Canada, Poland, and Korea. He also managed and conducted training programs for numerous nuclear power plants in the U.S and is a former licensed operator.

He has a B.S. degree from Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, N.J. with a major in Nuclear Engineering Technology. 

 

Mr. David Blee

President & CEO 

U.S. Nuclear Industry Council (USNIC)

David Blee serves as President & CEO of the U.S. Nuclear Industry Council – the leading business consortium advocate for nuclear energy and the promotion of the U.S. supply chain globally. The Council represents more than 80 companies comprising the “Who’s Who” of nuclear energy across a broad mix of the American supply chain, including key mover utilities, M&Os, manufacturers, suppliers and services companies.

 

Mr. Blee’s public service experience includes his current appointment on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee and past appointments as a Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy and Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Energy – and as Chief of Staff to former U.S. Senator Connie Mack, during his service in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

Prior to his current assignments, Mr. Blee was an Executive Vice President for NAC International, a U.S.-based energy services and technology company, where he directed the company’s Worldwide Consulting Group and Marketing & Business Development portfolios. Mr. Blee was previously a Senior Vice President for the Wall Street-Washington DC-based Robinson, Lake, Lerer and Montgomery, a strategic communications firm.

 

Dr. James Conca

Chief Technical Officer

UFA Ventures, Inc.

James Conca has been a scientist in the field of the earth and environmental sciences for 31 years, specializing in geologic disposal of nuclear waste, energy-related research, subsurface transport and environmental clean-up of heavy metals. Dr. Conca has found that important societal issues involving science and technology are rarely made on the basis of science, but on people's perception of science. However, he also believes that while science is necessary, it is insufficient and that in order to solve issues like sustainable energy development, it is important to take into account both scientific and human factors. Prior to his present position, Dr. Conca was Director of the New Mexico State University Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center, the independent and academic monitoring facility for the Department of Energy's WIPP site, a little-known deep geologic nuclear repository for bomb waste. He came to NMSU from Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was Project Leader for Radionuclide Geochemistry and its input into the Yucca Mountain Project. Before that, Dr. Conca was on the faculty at Washington State University Tri-Cities. Dr. Conca obtained a Ph.D. in Geochemistry from the California Institute of Technology, a Masters in Planetary Science, and a Bachelor's in Science in Geology/Biology from Brown University. 

 
 

Dr. John Jackson

Acting Director, Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN)

GAIN Technical Interface/NSUF Industry Program Lead

Idaho National Laboratory

Dr. John H. Jackson is a Distinguished Staff Scientist/Engineer at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He currently has dual responsibility as the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) Technical Interface and as the Industry Program Lead for the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF). In these capacities, John works closely with the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy and the nuclear industry to ensure that DOE facilities are used effectively to maintain the current reactor fleet and to enable innovation. John has nearly twenty years of experience in the areas of mechanical testing and fracture mechanics. He also has over three years of experience in extreme environment materials characterization and drilling mechanics at the ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company in Houston, Texas. John holds Ph.D. (2001) and MS (1998) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology (1995) from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA.

 

Ms. Amy Lientz

Director of Partnerships, Engagement and Technology Deployment

Idaho National Laboratory

Amy Lientz is an executive with Idaho National Laboratory responsible for university, workforce and economic development, regional affairs, communications, governmental affairs and policy. She leads teams in Idaho Falls, Washington, D.C., and Boise. Lientz has helped lead INL’s transformation to a multipurpose laboratory fostering growth in energy research and national security interests by providing leadership in public policy; promoting and building upon INL STEM interests; leading public affairs and emergency communications; assisting in lab strategy; hosting visitors from around the globe; standing up a new events center; growing partnerships with industrial clients; and securing and nurturing relations with elected officials.

 

Prior to INL, she served as senior vice president of government, outreach and project management for CH2M Hill, where she successfully led high-profile projects in business development, energy siting, municipality projects, sustainability and waste management, and natural resource and restoration initiatives. She also held senior project management and research positions with Northrop Grumman and EG&G.

 

Her successful track record of managing difficult and “never-beendone-before projects” and attracting new multimillion-dollar business interests have led to long-term, trusted relationships statewide, nationally, locally, and with partners in education, community and industry.

 

When her busy schedule allows, she enjoys guest lecturing on energy policy at universities and has developed and delivered curriculum for courses in industrial engineering and sustainability. When not working, you can find her fly-fishing, skiing, rafting, hiking and golfing.

 

She is currently on the board for Idaho Public Television, McClure Policy Center, Idaho Technology Council, Idaho Falls City Club, Elks, The Nature Conservancy in Idaho and Idaho Business for Education.

 

B.S. Boise State University, environmental science M.S. University of Idaho College of Engineering, industrial technology

 

Dr. Eric Loewen

Chief Consulting Engineer

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

Dr. Eric Loewen is the chief consulting engineer for GEH who supports the Advanced Reactor and Advanced Recycling Center, which couples electro-metallurgical processing and the PRISM sodium cooled reactor. His current work involves leading efforts to deploy the PRISM integral fast reactor.

Eric served 10 years in the U.S. Navy as an instructor at the Nuclear Power School. Additionally, he was deployed with the nuclear powered cruiser USS Long Beach (CGN-9), and served as commanding officer of two Naval Reserve material support units for combatant units.

He joined the Idaho National Laboratory in 1999 to work on development of a lead-bismuth cooled reactor. While there, he also supported the President's Climate Change Technology Program. In 2005, Eric was selected as the American Nuclear Society’s Congressional Fellow and served as ANS President in 2011-12.

 

Dr. Mark Nutt

Manager, Nuclear Market Sector

PNNL

Dr. Mark Nutt is a Manager of the Nuclear Markets Sector at Pacific Northwest national Laboratory (PNNL). Dr. Nutt has over 25 years of experience in the nuclear industry with 20 years primarily in the area of spent nuclear fuel management including serving as the National Technical Director in the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy’s (DOE-NE) Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition Program.  

 

Prior to joining PNNL, Dr. Mark Nutt was a Principal Nuclear Engineer in the Nuclear Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) where he was responsible for planning, coordinating, integrating, and managing a team comprised of national laboratories and contractors to support the DOE’s efforts to implement and integrated waste management system for spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste. 

 

Previously, Dr. Nutt served as the Deputy National Technical Director of the DOE-NE Used Fuel Disposition Research and Development campaign.  He was responsible for the management of that program, establishing research and development priorities related to the geologic disposal of nuclear waste, and performing technical work evaluating the performance of geologic disposal systems.  He has also performed research on the waste management performance attributes of advanced nuclear fuel cycles and investigated alternative disposition pathways.  He is currently serving as the chairman of the IAEA’s Technical Working Group on Nuclear Fuel Cycle Options and Spent Fuel Management and previously served as the Co-Chairman of the Waste Management Working Group under the U.S. – Japan Joint Nuclear Energy Action Plan.

 

Prior to joining Argonne National Laboratory in 2006, Dr. Nutt spent over nine years working on the DOE Yucca Mountain Project performing a variety of activities in support of DOE’s efforts to develop a license application for submittal to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for authorization to construct a geologic repository.  He also has assessed the performance of facility designs for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste and spent four years as a reactor support engineer at a nuclear utility.

 

Dr. Nutt received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Iowa State University.  He has also received management and leadership education and training, including completion of the Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

 

Mr. Alex Polonsky
Partner 
Morgan Lewis

Alex Polonsky is a partner in the energy practice and leads the firm’s classified information services group. In his 20 years practicing law at Morgan Lewis, Alex has handled energy and environmental matters ranging from nuclear industry licensing, administrative litigation, and investigations, to federal court radiation toxic tort and Superfund litigation. He is a nationally-known resource and frequent speaker at conferences on nuclear export–related matters, including 10 CFR Part 810. He also is the co-author of Fundamentals of Nuclear Regulation in the United States. As the firm’s facility security officer with a top-secret security clearance, Alex also supports matters involving classified information.

Alex’s prior career as an environmental consultant allows him to advocate effectively in technically-complex proceedings, to provide due diligence support for energy and environmental transactions, and to work seamlessly with experts.

As part of his energy practice, Alex counsels clients on NRC licensing issues, including cases related to license renewal and transfers, radioactive materials handling, nuclear waste disposal, nuclear exports, and litigation before the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Boards. He has a robust practice with nuclear startup companies, advising on all aspects of licensing, investment, and commercialization. He is an instructor for Nuclear Regulation 101, a training program sponsored by Electric Utility Consultants Inc. (EUCI).

As part of his environmental practice, Alex counsels clients on a range of matters involving the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementation. He also provides environmental due diligence support on energy transactions, and in-depth technical reviews of soil and groundwater data for clients involved in environmental litigation.

Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Alex clerked for the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLBP). He also worked for ICF Kaiser Engineers, supporting Phase I Environmental Assessments and Phase II Remedial Investigations and Feasibility Studies for government, industrial, and commercial properties.

 

Dr. Cynthia Powell
Director, Energy Processes & Materials Division
PNNL

Dr. Cynthia (Cindy) Powell joined PNNL in June 2017 as Director of the Energy Processes and Materials Division. She stewards capabilities in key research areas including energy storage, biomass conversion, lightweight materials, carbon capture, catalysis, and hydrogen storage.

Previously, Dr. Powell worked for DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) as researcher, line manager, Chief Research Officer, and as the Executive Director for Research & Innovation. These R&D activities included leading 400 multidisciplinary staff at research locations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Oregon. In 2016, Dr. Powell received the DOE Secretary's Achievement Award for her efforts in leading the research effort at NETL. In addition, she is the recipient of an R&D 100 Award for BlackGold®, an erosion-resistant coating for turbine compressor air foils, in partnership with MDS Coating Technologies and Delta Airlines; and a Carnegie Science Award for Corporate Innovation for the creation and implementation of the NETL-Regional University Alliance with five universities.

As a materials research engineer, she is an accomplished author with multiple publications, patents, and presentations. Dr. Powell earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Ceramic Engineering at Clemson University and her Ph.D. in Materials Science at Case Western Reserve University.

 

Mr. David Reeploeg

Vice President, Federal Programs

TRIDEC

David Reeploeg assumed the duties as Vice President for Federal Programs of the Tri-City Development Council (TRIDEC) on March 27, 2017. 

David comes to TRIDEC from the office of U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, where he served as Central Washington Director from 2008-2017. 

Prior to accepting the position with Senator Cantwell, David served as the State Administrative Director/Scheduler for U.S. Senator Patty Murray from 2005-2008. 

David is a native of the Tri-Cities and is a graduate of Hanford High School. His educational background includes a double bachelor of arts in political science and history from the University of Washington. During his time at the University, David was appointed by Governor Gary Locke and confirmed by the Washington State Senate to serve as the student member of the University of Washington Board of Regents from 2002-2003. 

 

Ms. Katie Strangis

Senior Policy Advisor, Nonproliferation & International Security

NNSA

Ms. Katie Strangis is a Senior Policy Advisor for Nuclear Fuel-Cycle and Nuclear Regulatory Issues at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Nonproliferation and Arms Control (NA-24).  She is responsible for providing policy and technical guidance to the USG on nuclear export controls (specifically 10 CFR Part 810), bilateral civil nuclear cooperation (“123” agreements), and international law and policy with regard to nuclear nonproliferation matters. She frequently serves as a negotiator for U.S. agreements for nuclear cooperation.

Ms. Strangis transferred to NA-24 from the NNSA Office of the General Counsel, where she was been an attorney working on the same subject matter areas as she currently advises since 2008.  Prior to moving to NNSA, she provided legal advice in the General Counsel’s Office of the main Department of Energy.

 

Dr. Francesco Venneri

Chief Executive Officer

Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation

With over 30 years of experience as a Nuclear Engineering and Plasma Physics specialist, Dr. Venneri has worked for the Ultra-Safe Nuclear Corporation for seven years as the Director, and then CEO of the corporation. Previously, he held the position of Chief Scientist and Project Leader of the transmutation of nuclear waste (ATW) project at Los Alamos National Laboratories. His research achievements include advancements in the concept of Deep Burn for nuclear waste in HTGR units. Dr. Venneri is also a co-inventor of FCM nuclear fuel and holds degrees in physics, mechanical engineering, and nuclear engineering. 

 

Ready4Nuclear

Deployment - Pacific Northwest

August 27-28, 2019

PNNL - Richland, WA