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1) Zach’s journey from the United States Marine Corps to becoming the CEO of Empirix Partners, a strategic sourcing and procurement advisory

2) The growing connections between the data center and nuclear industries

3) Emerging trends and developments in the energy sector that Zach has been keeping an eye on

4) A deep dive into Empirix and what listeners can look forward to in the future

This transcript is pending.

1) Shaheen’s upbringing as a fourth generation farmer, her early interest in physics, and how her career eventually ended up on a path towards nuclear

2) How Shaheen’s early work lead to her current job as an educator in Georgia

3) The ways in which Shaheen stays updated on the latest developments in her field, as well as how they become incorporated into her curriculum

4) How Shaheen promotes diversity and inclusion in nuclear engineering, being a steady resource among uncertainties, and some future-facing thoughts regarding nuclear development

This transcript is pending.


1) Reed’s career journey and his experiences within the legal and government sectors, as well as how he became interested in nuclear energy

2) A bit about the Texas Nuclear Alliance and what the organization has accomplished since its creation in late 2022

3) How efforts that organizations put forth locally or at the state level fit into the federally-driven process of project deployment

4) The current state of nuclear development in Texas and next year’s goals for the Texas Nuclear Alliance

Adam Smith [00:00:59] Welcome to the Titans of Nuclear Podcast. Today, we have a very exciting episode with Reed Clay, the President of the Texas Nuclear Alliance. Reed, welcome to the show.

Reed Clay [00:01:09] Thank you. Adam. Happy to be here.

Adam Smith [00:01:11] Now, can you start us off by telling us a little bit about yourself? Where'd you grow up? We'd love to hear a little bit about your background.

Reed Clay [00:01:20] Yeah, sure. I'm a proud born-and-raised Texan. I was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. For those not familiar with the area, it's about 30 miles west of Dallas. But please don't call it Dallas; we've got a real chip on our shoulder about that. But yeah, I spent the first 19 years there, a great place to grow up. And I went away for school, but made my way back here pretty quick.

Adam Smith [00:01:51] You missed the Fort Worth area; had to go straight back.

Reed Clay [00:01:56] Fort Worth is a great place. It's a cow town, where the west begins. It's a great combination of big city resources but that small town, easy living. If I weren't so tied to this city, I might be living there now.

Adam Smith [00:02:14] Now, guide us through your career a little bit. After college, you came back to Fort Worth. What did you start doing, and how did you get where you are today?

Reed Clay [00:02:22] So as I mentioned, I went away to school. I spent the better part of eight years in North Carolina. I did undergraduate at Wake Forest University and was a philosophy major. I didn't know what I was going to do with that in the real world, so I decided I would go to law school. I went about two-and-a-half house east to Durham. I went to law school at Duke University.

Reed Clay [00:02:46] And then actually, my first gig out of law school was in Washington, DC, working for the Department of Justice. I was there for five years and did some time as a litigator, as I like to say, and was representing federal agencies and commercial disputes there. And like I said, I did that for about five years.

Reed Clay [00:03:06] I got a great opportunity to come back to Texas, to the capital city, Austin, and work for the Attorney General of Texas, who was Greg Abbott at that time. I got an offer to work in his solicitor general's office, which is a really well-respected appellate shop, a litigation shop. And really, I was a fish out of water.

Reed Clay [00:03:32] I had incredible colleagues who had incredible pedigrees. Ted Cruz was the head of that office, and some of my colleagues have gone on to really great things. A couple of Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judges, a Supreme Court of Texas judge. A really great place for a young lawyer like me. Like I said, I really was a fish out of water.

Reed Clay [00:03:54] Because of my time at DOJ, and because the office was embroiled in a lot of litigation with the federal government at the time, fighting some EPA regulations around greenhouse gases, actually, interestingly enough, and Obamacare and some other federal-state lawsuits that were going on... They put me on a lot of those cases because of my familiarity with the other side, or DOJ.

Reed Clay [00:04:22] And when there was some turnover in the office, I kind of got my supervisor's position and became Senior Counsel to the Attorney General, which put me in sort of a C-suite level-type position, and my job from there grew more and more outside the courtroom and more kind of advisor to the attorney general.

Reed Clay [00:04:46] And then, he was elected as governor in 2014. I moved over with him and was his Senior Advisor, Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer, which are all just kind of ridiculous titles for being a jack of all trades and a master of none, as people told me at the time.

Reed Clay [00:05:07] And really what that meant for him was I was helping him implement his policies at the administrative level, helping him pass his legislative priorities, and putting out the occasional fire. The last of which was managing the response and recovery to Hurricane Harvey, which was, at that time, the largest tropical rain event that the country had ever seen. And I did that for the last year I was with him and it really took a bite out of me, so to speak.

Reed Clay [00:05:43] And in October of the following year, he was nice enough to give me my leave, and I took it after nine years with him. I struck out and started Crestline Group, which is a consulting business that we run here in Austin that's really sort of a traditional government affairs consulting business and public policy advocacy business. I've been doing that for five-and-a-half years. So, that's the career.

Adam Smith [00:06:17] Yeah, thank you for walking us through that. It seems like you have this really deep set of relationships and experiences within the legal and the government sectors. How did you become interested in nuclear?

Reed Clay [00:06:31] I think the short answer is... At some point I just realized how self-evident of a solution it was to what I like to call "the energy Rubik's Cube." It's clean, it's abundant, and it's certainly reliable. The real world answer's a little bit longer. Through my work in government, I was exposed to some of the anti-nuclear advocacy stuff here in Texas and never really quite understood it. But I viewed it mostly as sort of a practical issue I was dealing with in my professional life and didn't think a whole lot of it.

Reed Clay [00:07:11] And then, when Uri happened here, which was the winter storm, as you probably know, Adam, that caused some major blackouts here in Texas back in 2021... I had not done a whole lot in the power market space and really got interested in that. And I think when I reemerged from that rabbit hole, I think it was just very obvious to me that we had made a big mistake as a state, and I think, frankly, as a country in stopping building nuclear 20, 30 years ago. And if we had not stopped that trajectory that we were on many decades ago, some of the issues that we faced because of Winter Storm Uri may not have been quite as bad as they were, if had happened at all.

Reed Clay [00:08:06] There's a chart that was an epiphany moment for me, Adam. ERCOT, which is our grid here, publishes a generation mix, a fuel mix. And you can almost confuse this very flat black line at the bottom of the graph as the X-axis, but it's just showing the stability of nuclear. But unfortunately, it's so close to the bottom of that graph because it's just not a huge part of our generation mix here in Texas. I think that was the epiphany for me during Uri, is that that needed to change going forward. So, that's how I became interested in nuclear.

Adam Smith [00:08:49] And now you're leading the Texas Nuclear Alliance. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Reed Clay [00:08:55] Yeah, sure. So I think around that time, obviously I looked around and I remembered my exposure to the anti-nuclear crowd and had gotten a little more familiar with that in my study of nuclear power generation. And I just looked up and there was no counterpoint in the state. I mean, obviously at the national level, we've got great groups like NEA and USNIC, and ANS that are doing fantastic work at the federal level. But here at the state, no one had picked up that baton to be the counterpoint to some of the anti-nuclear crowd. That's what I guess inspired me or sparked my interest in at least starting a movement to have a counterpoint to that.

Reed Clay [00:09:48] So, we started this group about a year and a half ago. And really one primary goal, which is to make Texas the nuclear capital of the US and nuclear capital of the world. I think it's a fantastic opportunity for the state for multiple reasons. We like to think of ourselves as the energy capital of the world. Obviously, a huge oil and gas state; have been for quite some time. Leaders in wind and solar; really prolific building of both, in West Texas in particular. And in my mind, there's no reason... And every reason, that we should be the leader in nuclear energy.

Reed Clay [00:10:28] So, we deploy two main strategies to try and accomplish that. And one is a grassroots movement. The history of nuclear is, unfortunately... We've not traditionally won the grassroots movement. I think we've made a lot of headway recently. And my goal is to, at least here in Texas, to make sure that we shore that up and keep it in place as the industry starts to regrow itself.

Reed Clay [00:10:56] And then, the second, obviously, is kind of what my background is, which is public policy advocacy. It's getting with the decision makers at Public Utility Commission and ERCOT, and inside this building behind me to make sure that we're enacting policies that are going to drive the industry forward here in Texas.

Adam Smith [00:11:18] Yep, that makes complete sense. And yeah, I completely agree that if there's anywhere in the US that has the greatest potential to become the nuclear leader... Certainly in the US, if not the world, it's Texas. You have the deepest energy experience, you have some of the largest construction force within the US as it relates to energy infrastructure. I mean, you have everything going for you. Friendly business policies for energy generation projects... I mean, you have everything. The stars are aligned there, we just have to be able to build.

Reed Clay [00:11:52] Yeah, couldn't agree more.

Adam Smith [00:11:53] And can you tell the viewers a little bit about what the Texas Nuclear Alliance has accomplished so far since you've established it?

Reed Clay [00:12:01] Like, I mentioned, we're a pretty nascent organization, and a lot of our time is really focused on coalition building at this point. We're trying to bring as many people under the tent as possible. Our timing was... Like I said, we created ourselves in late 2022, heading into our legislative session. Our legislature meets every two years, which is somewhat unusual. We had a very modest legislative program because of that.

Reed Clay [00:12:35] And so, a couple of things that we did get accomplished... We were pretty instrumental in establishing the Texas House Nuclear Caucus, which is a caucus of House of Representatives members who are pro-nuclear and are interested in fighting for nuclear. That started with 9 or 10 members or so and it's doubled in size. It's bipartisan, and it represents, geographically, a wide swath of the state. So, I'm really proud of that.

Reed Clay [00:13:04] We did dabble in some legislation. We did pass a budget rider to essentially figure out what we could do as a state to assist our friends in South Texas who are mining uranium. That's a big asset that we have here. It's had its ups and downs over the years, and we wanted to figure out ways that we could support it. So, we did that.

Reed Clay [00:13:29] One of the first real applications of the House Nuclear Caucus was called The Nuclear Bill. That was sponsored by Senator Parker from North Texas here. And that bill flew out of the Senate. But really not because of the substance of the bill, but just because of the larger issues going on in the energy space. That bill kind of lost traction in the House. And we sort of turned that caucus on and were able to push that bill through at the very last minute.

Reed Clay [00:13:58] Unfortunately, for reasons really unrelated to the bill, it was vetoed. There were some...

Adam Smith [00:14:07] Politics.

Reed Clay [00:14:08] Yeah, I think this one... We could chalk it up to politics for sure. There were some issues about how some of the governor's key issues didn't get resolved towards the end of the session. And there was some, like you said, politics that kind of played out.

Reed Clay [00:14:26] The good news is one of the other bills that we really pushed was a bill that would have established a working group at the PUC. Not dissimilar from what we were trying to do on the uranium front, but trying to figure out how we can sort of catalyze more nuclear development here in the state. That bill was not focused explicitly on advanced nuclear or small modular or micro, it was really just nuclear writ large.

Reed Clay [00:14:50] That bill did not pass, but I think the governor, being pro-nuclear as he is, decided that he didn't need a bill to do that. And last August, he sent a directive to the PUC to start the Advanced Nuclear Working Group, which has been just an incredible conversation starter and piece here in the state. Well, that's obviously on the governor's initiative. And thanks to his leadership, that bill is something that we've started to sort of introduce the last legislative session.

Reed Clay [00:15:30] And then, as I said, I think lastly, we're really focused on coalition building. Getting new stakeholders inside the tent, organized with us so that when we head into the next legislative session, we're in a much better position to make headway.

Reed Clay [00:15:50] Some of that is traditional public awareness stuff. We sponsored a showing of Nuclear Now. We had a panelist panel discussion after that with a member of the House of Representatives, Commissioner Glotfelty, who is leading up that Advanced Nuclear Working Group. And then, Doug Robison, who is with Natura Resources, and doing great things at Abilene Christian University.

Reed Clay [00:16:18] And then, we did two panels at South by, which got great attendance and lots of buzz around it. So, just trying to continue that coalition building and drive an interest in nuclear ahead of next session.

Adam Smith [00:16:32] Absolutely. It really seems like there's a lot of, or, at least a growing body of interest within Texas for nuclear. And I believe you also just recently announced that you have a new member of the alliance, right?

Reed Clay [00:16:47] Yeah, we have two, and just in the last couple of weeks. And we're very, very excited about their participation because of just their stature inside the nuclear industry in the state of Texas. And one is the Texas A&M University System. They've got, and have had for decades, a research reactor and have done great work through their engineering program around nuclear there. They are in the research consortium, along with Abilene Christian and Georgia Tech and UT, that is doing some of the work with Natura Resources. And really, I think the chancellor of the system has got big plans for nuclear and big plans for his research institutions around nuclear. So, very excited to have them.

Reed Clay [00:17:37] And then, we have CPS Energy, which is the publicly-owned utility in San Antonio. And they are a 40% owner of South Texas Project, which is one of our two generating sites that do nuclear here in the state of Texas. South Texas Project has two large reactors, and I think it's about 2,500 megawatts worth of energy for us. And that represents half of the state's nuclear power generation. So, very excited to have them.

Reed Clay [00:18:13] They've been doing traditional nuclear for quite some time. I think Rudy Garza, who's CEO of CPS Energy, has got his eye on the future and advanced nuclear and what San Antonio may be able to bring to bear with respect to the development of this advanced nuclear stuff. So, it's very exciting; we're happy to have both of them. And I think, hopefully in the next couple weeks, you'll see a couple of more big announcements out of us. So, lots of momentum, and we're thrilled about it.

Adam Smith [00:18:46] Absolutely. It sounds like you really have a ton of tailwinds from different directions at this point pushing you all forward ahead on nuclear.

Reed Clay [00:18:55] I think so, yeah.

Adam Smith [00:18:58]  I'm curious because when you think about nuclear, it's typically some large, government-led, gigawatt-scale project that got to go through the NRC. These are all things that happen at the federal level. How can the efforts that you're putting forth, locally, at the state level... How do those fit into the project deployment that's typically been a federally-driven process?

Reed Clay [00:19:27] Yeah, I think a couple things. That's a great question. I mean, obviously, the work that NEI and USNIC and ANS and others are doing in DC is fundamental; it's of fundamental importance to the industry. And one of the things that we want to do our part of is supporting that. And that's where I think our grassroots strategy comes into play.

Reed Clay [00:19:50] Obviously, Texas is one of 50 states, and it is a particularly large one of the 50 states. And we want to make sure that we have our backyard shored up, so to speak. So, that grassroots effort that we're pushing... All politics are local. We want our representatives in DC, our two US senators, and our 38 congressmen and women to know that they've got the support back home to make the decisions that they need to make to push nuclear forward at the federal level to continue with the reforms that we're seeing out of the NRC. So, that's one thing.

Reed Clay [00:20:25] But I think the second is... You mentioned this at the beginning, Adam. We believe Texas is particularly well-suited to lead this resurgence in the nuclear industry and the development of nuclear in particular, because the sheer number and type of offtakers that the state of Texas has is pretty staggering. It's everything from the Permian Basin needing 16 gigawatts of electrification to Samsung's $200 billion development outside of Austin manufacturing chips. It's the AI revolution that's coming. Texas has always been a big home to data centers, and I think we'll continue to be, so long as we've got the electrons to power it. To space exploration, with SpaceX, to the large industrial manufacturing complex on the coast where Dow and X-energy have got their partnership brewing.

Reed Clay [00:21:28] One of the things that we can do here is start talking about the marketplace while the DC reforms proceed on a parallel track to make sure that we're creating as fertile a development ground as possible here for businesses to choose nuclear when they start to look for their future power needs. Because there's no shortage of options that are available here from an offtaker perspective.

Reed Clay [00:21:56] So, Adam, I guess to sum up... It's really looking at the marketplace, right? There are things that we need to be doing here in Texas. Going back to Uri for a minute... We have allowed the marketplace to favor wind and solar to our detriment. I'm not going to say too much bad about wind and solar, but the heavy federal incentives have led to a pretty over-reliance on that. And the marketplace needs to be rebalanced towards reliable energy sources like natural gas and, in our case particularly, nuclear.

Reed Clay [00:22:35] Obviously, in this state everybody's a fan of natural gas. This building behind me is very supportive of natural gas. And one of our main goals is going to be to get them to be as supportive of nuclear as they are to natural gas. The two are, frankly, very complementary. Natural gas can act as a peaker, very easily. That's the path that Texas is pursuing in the short run.

Reed Clay [00:23:01] Nuclear offers the ability to provide incredibly stable, long-term base power. And those two can also work hand in hand from a time perspective. You'll see a lot of natural gas deployed in the state over the next 10 years. And that gives us the opportunity to really pave the way for nuclear to pick up shortly thereafter.

Adam Smith [00:23:26] Yeah, I think you pretty much nailed that on the head from an ideal energy mix perspective. You have nuclear doing all of the baseload generation, and then you have just a fleet of peakers coming online as needed. So, that gets you to a pretty stable electrical grid, and clean, at that point.

Reed Clay [00:23:49] The other reason that we're so bullish on the alliance is... Some of the main things happening in nuclear are happening in this state right now. I alluded to Natura Resources. They're moving at "the speed of Texas," I like to say. I mean, they're moving very, very quickly to bring their molten salt reactor online. That's obviously one of the most promising things out there right now. We've got the partnership with Dow and X-energy.

Reed Clay [00:24:23] And lastly, Texas A&M announced recently that they've put out a request for information, soon to be followed by a request for proposals for a nuclear testbed at their RELLIS Campus in College Station. Really to sort of be, like I said, a testbed for new nuclear technology. So, really exciting stuff happening here. And that's why we're doing the things that we need to do to create the marketplace here in the state of Texas that can proceed on a parallel track with the reforms that are going on in DC. And that's why we're excited to be doing the work that we're doing.

Adam Smith [00:25:10] It's amazing. Amazing. And can you talk a little bit about the goals for this year, and maybe the next, for the Alliance?

Reed Clay [00:25:20] I think it's continued coalition building. We've got great momentum with bringing people inside the tent, organizing that group so that we can... Like anywhere, in this building across the street here, strength in numbers goes a long way. So, trying to organize the industry as the legislators start to look at other types of energy. There's interest in hydrogen, geothermal. We need to have a presence, and an organized presence, over there to make sure that they see that nuclear is a tested technology that is real ready for the taking, and they need to start enacting the policies that are going to really support its development here in the state of Texas.

Reed Clay [00:26:09] And then, I think I alluded to this... In the marketplace, we've got to do some things to rebalance the playing field, so to speak, so that nuclear is not disadvantaged by the incredible subsidies and other sorts of preferences that wind and solar have enjoyed over the years so that we're properly pricing in the value of a reliable baseload that lasts for decades. And right now, the marketplace doesn't really show that. So, certainly we want to work on that.

Reed Clay [00:26:46] And then, the state, as I mentioned, has been very supportive of natural gas peakers. The Texas Energy Fund has been a very successful thing that they've done to try to attract the development of natural gas peaker plants. And I think one of the things that we'd like to see happen is something similar for first-of-a-kind development of advanced nuclear projects here in the state of Texas.

Reed Clay [00:27:10] And frankly, I still have this fanciful... Maybe it's fanciful, I don't know... Dream that we can have Comanche Peak 3 and 4 and South Texas Project 3 and 4. So really, it's just trying to get the state engaged on catalyzing the development of nuclear.

Reed Clay [00:27:28] As you know, Adam, it is a technology that's been around a long time; it's very safe. And the best time to start building nuclear was 20 or 30 years ago; the next best time is is right now. So, that's what we're going to really be trying to impress upon the folks across the street come January of next year.

Adam Smith [00:27:51] Could not agree with you more on that one. And I believe the first ever Texas Nuclear Summit is coming up, right? When is that and where is that happening at?

Reed Clay [00:28:02] Yeah, we just announced it yesterday, formally. If you want more information, I'll do a little plug for the website, nucleartexas.com. It's got all the information about so-far confirmed panelists, which I can run down in a minute. And obviously, some additional information about tickets and sponsorship options and things of that nature.

Reed Clay [00:28:22] But yeah, so it'll be in November, the 17th through 19th, right here in Austin, Texas. We've already got a good list of participants. The goal here is to bring public policymakers and legislators into the room with industry to have that collision of ideas ahead of the next legislative session. And then, I think the other part of this is really what I call a pep rally, which is getting everybody very excited about it just as we head into the legislative session.

Reed Clay [00:28:52] It should be around the time of a couple of things that I think will make it an even more energetic atmosphere, which is the release of at least a draft report from the Advanced Nuclear Working Group that Commissioner Glotfelty is heading up. And then, the lieutenant governor has asked the Senate Committee on Business Commerce to look at advanced nuclear as a power generation source, so they should have a report to the legislature around that time. And so, we're excited about the ability to talk about the recommendations in there and how we can push those forward in the legislative session.

Reed Clay [00:29:30] So far, we've got great attendance. We have Chief Nim Kidd, who is the Chair of the Texas Energy Reliability Council. We've got Commissioner Jimmy Glotfelty, who as I said, is running the Advanced Nuclear Working Group over at the PUC. Representative Cody Harris, who's the Vice Chair of the House Nuclear Caucus. Senator Perry, who is the head of the water committee in the Senate. And several others who are going to be participating with us.

Reed Clay [00:30:01] I forgot... Brooke Paup, who chairs our Texas Water Development Board. We're excited about how nuclear can help solve another big issue that's facing the state of Texas, which is meeting the water needs. So, it's going to be a great event, and we hope everybody listening will buy a ticket and be there.

Adam Smith [00:30:21] Yeah, it sounds like you've got a real A-list team for that.

Reed Clay [00:30:25] I think so.

Adam Smith [00:30:26] And do you have any insights about the goals for the next session?

Reed Clay [00:30:35] We're watching that report very closely that's going to come out of... We're engaged with the PUC and Advanced Working Nuclear Group. We want to see what the industry comes up with out of that. I think that's the primary platform right now. What's so exciting about that is it's the first time we've really been able to get everybody in the same room. We know there are going to be some great ideas out of there.

Reed Clay [00:30:59] But going back to what I was mentioning a minute ago, Adam... I think really what we need is the state to look at catalyzing first-of-a-kind development, or new development of nuclear. Whether that be small modular nuclear or whether it be large-scale nuclear. We need some initial investment from the state, so that's certainly one of the things that we're going to be looking for.

Reed Clay [00:31:26] And I think really just creating a regulatory certainty around it. It's been a long time since we've built nuclear here in the state, and making sure that we've got the regulatory environment streamlined and ready to go for the industry is going to be an important thing. The advent of distributed small modular creates some new issues in the electric electricity market that we'll have to work through. I don't think it's anything we can't work through, but there are some reforms that probably need to take place there.

Reed Clay [00:31:58] And then, if we've learned anything from the great work that's going on in Georgia, I think it's that we've got to have a workforce that's ready to go and is skilled and understands how to execute on these projects. So, we'll be looking at ways to shore up the workforce here and ensure that we've got the best workforce possible as we start to develop these projects.

Adam Smith [00:32:24] Sounds like you've got a lot on your plate.

Reed Clay [00:32:27] It's a lot; a lot to do.

Adam Smith [00:32:30] Well, if you had ultimate authority here or you could just wave a magic wand and change anything within the nuclear industry or the energy market at large, what would that be?

Reed Clay [00:32:44] Well, I'd go back in time, I think. That's the first thing I would do. I'd go back in time and talk to the folks who decided we were going to stop building nuclear and wave my magic wand and say, "No, we're not." There were lots of lessons to be learned from Three Mile Island and Chernobyl and Fukushima, but one of them was certainly not that we should stop building nuclear.

Reed Clay [00:33:08] But failing that, if we're looking ahead, I think it's.... I think it's right-sizing and leveling the playing field here in Texas. We have the offtakers, and if we can level the playing field in a way that recognizes nuclear's reliability and longevity, I think that's going to go a long way. And then, as I mentioned, some state investment on first-of-a-kind projects, I think is going to be pretty key. So, if I was king for day, those are probably the two or three things I would be looking at to make sure that we're advancing nuclear here in Texas.

Adam Smith [00:33:56] Sounds like a pretty good set of magic wand wishes. Well, this has been great, first off. Thank you for the insights here. Thank you for coming on the show and telling us more about what the Texas Nuclear Alliance has been up to. Before we go, do you have any messages that you'd like to leave with our viewers?

Reed Clay [00:34:20] First of all, thanks, Adam, for having me. I love the podcast; I love what you guys are doing. And I'm not sure I'm a titan of nuclear, but I'm still thrilled to be here.

Reed Clay [00:34:32] I would say just pay attention to what we're doing in Texas and try to get involved. Like I said, we want as many people under this tent as possible. Strength in numbers is the way to get things done. Check out our website, texasnuclearalliance.org. Check out the Summit website, which is nucleartexas.com. And just sign up for staying abreast of what's going on here. And reach out if you have any questions or any desire to get involved in anything we're doing.

Adam Smith [00:35:09] Reed Clay, thank you for coming on the show.

Reed Clay [00:35:11] Thank you, Adam.

1) How Juliann’s energy career began shortly after graduating from the University of South Florida

2) A deep dive into Women in Nuclear and how the organization has grown since being founded in 1999

3) What Juliann finds particularly interesting about the nuclear industry right now and where she keeps an eye out for regulatory news

4) How women can get involved in Women in Nuclear and how the U.S. subsidiary of WIN interacts with WIN Global

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:00:59] Well, hello, and welcome to another episode of Titans of Nuclear. My name is Maddie Hibbs-Magruder and I'm your host today. And I have the pleasure to be joined by Juliann Edwards, who's the Chair of US Women in Nuclear. Juliann, welcome to the show; so happy to have you.

Juliann Edwards [00:01:13] Thank you for having me. Pleasure to be here.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:01:15] All right, so we're going to take it back to basics, really the building blocks of you and your background. Can you tell me a bit about yourself, and specifically, where you grew up and went to school?

Juliann Edwards [00:01:25] Sure, sure. I'm from a small town in Florida. I'm the oldest of four; I have three younger brothers, two hard-working parents. And yeah, I just went to school in Florida, started off at a community college, and then ultimately landed at University of South Florida; go Bulls! I majored in business marketing and finance because I didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up, but obviously found my pathway through waitressing.

Juliann Edwards [00:01:54] I was a waitress in Central Florida at a restaurant called Bonefish Grill. And that really started my whole journey of understanding my aptitude in networking and just people pleasing and selling. And yeah, that's where I learned about the energy market, literally at this small, little restaurant in Lakeland, Florida.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:02:14] That's fascinating. Yeah, tell me a bit more about that. How did you connect that back to energy?

Juliann Edwards [00:02:21] Yeah, there was a guy who came into our restaurant who was, honestly, looking for new talent. And I was a week away from graduating from college at USF and I didn't have my career mapped out yet. I just was very vulnerable and naive and believed everything that he said. And he's like, "We'll hire you after you graduate." And I was like, "All right, well then give me your phone number and business card."

Juliann Edwards [00:02:43] And long story short, he ran a steel distribution business. And he focused on commodities and selling to the energy market in the Southeast, which was predominantly gas plants, some coal. There were paper mills as well, manufacturing. And I picked up the phone and called him at like 6 AM the day after I graduated. I was like, "Where do I report for work?" And he's like, "Okay, I guess we're going to do this." And he hired me and I worked for him for seven years and had so much fun.

Juliann Edwards [00:03:12] I got to become a QA auditor. And he actually convinced me to move to Charlotte, North Carolina, because there was going to be this thing called the nuclear renaissance in 2008. I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, started auditing steel mills, and built our ASME Section III program from scratch with a few others. And that's where I really had an introduction into nuclear and just fell in love with the people, the security. Really, just the industry at large was just so much more unique than anything I'd ever seen, and sadly, I didn't know about it before I started my college career. But I was fortunate to meet somebody that coached me and pulled me in.

Juliann Edwards [00:03:49] So yeah, I worked with him for seven years, and then got recruited to go into small modular reactors after that time, when it was very conversational. Sadly, that company, mPower, ran out of DOE funding and it dissolved. And so, I decided to remain in energy. And since the nuclear renaissance was essentially on pause, I worked on the phase out of coal. And in the early 2000s, I started developing and executing natural gas power plants... Simple cycles, combined cycles with a company called Chicago Bridge & Iron. And, obviously, with that influx of gas buildout, there was a drive down of energy pricing. And so, sadly, the nuclear renaissance that then came was decommissioning.

Juliann Edwards [00:04:35] I was recruited and felt I didn't have the knowledge and expertise on the back end of the fuel cycle, so joined a company called Energy Solutions and learned everything about asset retirement obligations and actually had a lot of fun on a number of interesting transactions, one of which was in Wisconsin, since you mentioned you're from Wisconsin. Kewaunee Nuclear Station was an asset transfer that I led with Dominion Energy and was just so fascinating and one of the most complex deals I had ever been a part of.

Juliann Edwards [00:05:07] But then, fast forward, there were rumors coming out about the Inflation Reduction Act. And so, the nuclear decommissioning renaissance was then going to come to a halt; thank goodness. And so, I had joined a company called TransCanada that rebranded itself as TC Energy, who at the time wanted to fill one of their board seats at Bruce Power, which is the largest nuclear facility in the world in Canada, and they were wanting to grow their clean energy business.

Juliann Edwards [00:05:35] But since then, I've left and am currently advising a couple of energy companies as well as serving as a board advisor to Solstice, which is a women's-owned energy consulting business. And they have an amazing bench of women and just a culture that I've only dreamed of. So, I'm enjoying that, as well as my time as Chair for US Women in Nuclear.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:05:57] I love that. No, that's so interesting. Especially the desire to especially stay in the nuclear industry as we had that initial renaissance that didn't really come to fruition. Can you reflect a bit, at least from your perspective and the role you had at the time? What were some of the hindrances that made it so that we couldn't realize that renaissance? And timeframe-wise, was that the 2010s, like early 2010s?

Juliann Edwards [00:06:21] Yeah, exactly. It was just around that timeframe. Honestly, what I think was the final thread was Fukushima, at least from my perspective at that time. I wasn't in high ranks; I was still an individual contributor. And what I recall was just this ripcord being pulled on the perception of nuclear because of what occurred at Fukushima Daiichi and the other facilities in Japan because of that tsunami.

Juliann Edwards [00:06:51] I did see an insurgence of work related to the FLEX program that was introduced at the US plants and globally. But there was just a fear that nuclear couldn't grow because we needed to then solve for that safety concern. I did see a rallying, though, around still carbon emission reductions with the phase out of coal, like I mentioned. But nuclear sadly took another backseat.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:07:18] Yeah, yeah. It's definitely unfortunate, but I think a lot of people talk now about being in a new nuclear renaissance. Do you share that perspective and think that things will be different this time around?

Juliann Edwards [00:07:32] Yeah, I think all of us who are in this industry pray that it's different this time around. And I do feel different. I mean, obviously, I'm more mature in my career; I've gotten older. I'm probably paying attention to things at a deeper level than I did in the past. However, I do think there's a massive pivot and for a multitude of reasons. One, I think the industry has proven it can be safe and reliable. Two, you're seeing this marriage of just a need... And really, it's an arms race, globally, on data and clean energy and nuclear energy, particularly. And I think that those two challenges that we have as a country, to really hone in on artificial intelligence and data centers, as well as the need for clean energy, is a perfect time and opening for nuclear to really stretch its wings.

Juliann Edwards [00:08:22] And I obviously think we now have more diversity at the top that are thinking things differently. Different ways to advocate, different ways to just communicate the value proposition that nuclear brings to education, to communities. And I think those things combined are just giving us the perfect opportunity and stage that we need.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:08:45] Perfect. Yeah, I definitely agree and share the hopefulness. And looking back over your career, what has been the through line that you've seen, especially for women in nuclear? I can only hope and guess that you've seen it grow. Or, do you take an opposite perspective in that it was actually pretty strong even when you started, just not as recognized? What has that looked like for women in nuclear over the course of your interaction with the industry?

Juliann Edwards [00:09:14] I'd say, the organization of Women in Nuclear... Well, one, it's on its 25th anniversary. Most people don't know that; we were founded in 1999. And so, just like anything, any organization, any enterprise, any human being, 25 years... It's a long stretch to grow and evolve and change. And I would say the organization at large has just really helped shape the role women play in the industry. And I'm praying that I can leave my mark and contribute in ways that I feel like I can through my toolkit and my proficiencies over my career, and to making sure that we continue to leave our mark and a lasting impression.

Juliann Edwards [00:09:54] But we've grown tremendously. Back in 1999, we started with like 15 members, and now we're at close to 5,500 across 36 states. And we now have a seat at the table with all the executives, solving massive industry problems that they feel can't be tackled in silos within their own companies or within their own working committees. But they need to be stretched out beyond to support organizations like Women in Nuclear or American Nuclear Society, or NAYGN, which focuses on the younger generation.

Juliann Edwards [00:10:31] To me, the fact that we've been asked to take a seat at the table and we have had some success through various programs and initiatives, I think is something that we've got to hold on to, and we have to just continue to build upon so that our voices can continue to grow and be sustainable.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:10:49] No, I totally agree. Are there any pieces of advice you would have for any younger female listeners to the show? Maybe they have an interest in nuclear, whether it's on the engineering or business side, but are intimidated by it being mostly a male-dominated industry.

Juliann Edwards [00:11:08] I have three brothers, so I think male-dominated attracted me to it because I know how the male psyche works. And so, that drew me in because I had a comfort level. I would say, if you're a young female in high school or college or even middle school... We target all of that whole spectrum in terms of workforce development. I would say there are just so many amazing individuals, both men and women, in this industry who want to give back. And they want to mentor; they want to share what they've learned throughout their 10, 15, 30-year career.

Juliann Edwards [00:11:47] I think Women in Nuclear itself, the organization, its web page has so many amazing touch points and working deliverables that can be accessed for free. So, going to that site, obviously; I'm going to have to throw out an endorsement to WIN.

Juliann Edwards [00:12:01] But also, start to educate yourself and read more and listen to podcasts like this one just to develop a little bit of a comfort level. For me, I always found my confidence grew the deeper my knowledge got on any given topic. I, myself, would read a lot or listen to... Back then, it was YouTube channels and videos; now it's evolved to podcasts. And so, with each day, you're going to feel more confident to ask the right questions or to reach out to that person through a very unsolicited, raw conversation. And what do you have to lose? The worst they can do is not respond, but the best thing that can happen is you develop a network within this amazing industry.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:12:46] So true, so true. Have you had any mentors like that throughout your career who have helped you either get to the next spot you were looking for, or more clarity?

Juliann Edwards [00:12:56] Oh, yeah. I have had so many. And some have worked for me. Some have worked beneath me and beside me, and some have been former bosses. They've been men and women. I would say one of the most impactful ones was the gentleman that hired me out of the restaurant, just because he opened up my eyes to a whole new world. Otherwise, I probably would have been working at Publix, which is headquartered in my hometown.

Juliann Edwards [00:13:19] But there were old bosses who are still in the industry as well. One of the EVPs at GE, Sean Sextone, has been someone who I've tapped into on almost a weekly basis. There are women who have since retired who are serving on boards like Maria Lacal, who I talk to on, probably, a monthly basis. And I would say, without their voice in my head or access to them, I probably would have stumbled and maybe even taken a few steps back. And I really owe them a lot for letting me use them as a sounding board and letting me just vent at all hours of the night.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:13:58] That's perfect. Yeah, that is really good. But for you, what really keeps you motivated or excites you most right now?

Juliann Edwards [00:14:08] I would have to say there's a program, an initiative that was developed by Women in Nuclear called NEXT, Nuclear Executives of Tomorrow. And we're on our fifth year. I bring this up because it's continuing to evolve and grow. And we're actually seeing success where we're changing the numbers, we're changing the metrics of women at C-suite, site vice president, director level across everything from utilities to vendors to the labs. And it's just cool to see something that was an idea a couple of years ago has manifested into changing people's careers. And that investment in women has just manifested into more women reaching out to their networks and continuing to grow that space for us.

Juliann Edwards [00:14:56] And so, NEXT, Nuclear Executives of Tomorrow, is this 12-month program. We've partnered with this beautiful woman, inside and out, Carla, who owns a company called Intend to Create. We've partnered with her and allow 12 to 15 women, annually, to go through this very... It's a little bit of a hybrid mix between in-person and virtual where we focus on self-reflection, like, "What are some of your superpowers and skillsets that you need to focus in on and continue to sharpen and ways you can give back?"

Juliann Edwards [00:15:33] And through that self-confidence, obviously, you get to network with other women, you get to continue to grow in your career. And what we have found is through those programs, we've had a massive success rate. So, 60% of women that go through this program are promoted within their organizations within just 1 to 3 years. So out of the 12 women... Let's say that's the cohort for this year... 7 of them within 1 to 3 years will become officers of the company that they're in. And that's just a testament to both the investment by the company who's promoting that individual to be in that cohort, but also the support organization that's creating that safe space and opportunity to grow their network and activate parts of their brain and muscles that they haven't activated before. And that's just such a beautiful testament to collaboration.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:16:26] No, that's great. I'm always in favor, especially, of understanding your own strengths, and then, the weaknesses. And then, if you're in an organization, what are the needs of that organization and how do they really line up? Would you say that there's a certain set of characteristics or experiences that's currently missing from the nuclear industry writ large and in the workforce there?

Juliann Edwards [00:16:50] Good question. Every company is different, right? But the industry at large, I think we're continuing to get better. We're becoming more informed of, again, the value proposition of nuclear. And I think that was a gap we've had for years where nuclear just hid in the shadows and in the closet and didn't really want anybody to know about us because you didn't really have a good census. People in the communities were either 50/50, or maybe even more weighted towards a fear of nuclear versus a support of nuclear.

Juliann Edwards [00:17:23] So, I would say one thing we need to do is not take that for granted and continue to ensure that everybody who's in this industry knows the data, knows the metrics, understands the weak spots that we have, and continues to build upon our current success. Because, yes, we've got amazing legislation both in place and pending that's going to allow us to grow, but it's going to take one accident or it's going to take one incident that could perhaps curtail this success. And I think we've got to focus on safety. We have to focus on remaining operationally excellent. Continue to strive and obtain those INPO 1 ratings and WANO 1 ratings, and continue to remind ourselves of what got us here so that we don't, again, get too overly confident in our role today.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:18:16] No, that's so true. And I think one of the major advantages of SMRs does result in a higher degree of public acceptance. Because, let's say, it's smaller; less impact on the environment, visually. Maybe it's SMRs or some other technical advantage, but is there something currently in the market either being innovated on or worked on from a technical perspective that's really interesting to you right now?

Juliann Edwards [00:18:43] Oh my God, there's so much. I constantly am a nerd, and I scroll the NRC website to see what public meetings are going on. That just tells you so much about what's on our regulator's plate. And I will say, I've gotten to spend a lot of time with our regulator, both the Inspector General's office as well as the various commissioners and working staff. And I would say they're ignited, and so excited to find efficiencies and ways that they can do their part. However, there's got to be a renaissance there within that environment.

Juliann Edwards [00:19:13] So, anything that I find fascinating... Again, the marriage between AI and nuclear. There's a company called Atomic Canyon that just launched. A gentleman out of San Luis Obispo worked with the NRC to download all the NRC ADAMS documents. There are like 100,000 pages of just history and license amendment requests and RAIs going back and forth. And he's created this safe space inbox through this tool called Neutron to allow anybody, for free, to use it as a search engine to find a document that you need inside the NRC ADAMS site in light years-like speed compared to what it used to be. And so, to me, those are going to be the small efficiencies and wins that we're going to have to have just to enable us to not only build micros and small modular reactors, but to also continue to have subsequent license renewals and to continue to go from 60 to 80 years or 80 to 100 years of our existing fleet.

Juliann Edwards [00:20:18] Just that open mind that the NRC is having to the AI discussion, as well as companies like Shepherd Power, which is a spinoff of National Oilwell Varco... What they're trying to do to decarbonize the oil and gas sector and how they're working with the NRC to find a streamlined approach for microreactors, which are 1 to 5 megawatts... I mean, these are the out-of-box thinkers that we need. And we need to make sure we make them successful and don't push them away and think that they're crazy and mad scientists, because we need some mad scientists in the house.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:20:54] No, I totally agree. That's a really interesting way to look at it. And over your experience, previously, is there one project you've directly worked on that you've been most excited about or felt such a high degree of ownership over? Which are you proudest of, the different projects you've worked on in your career?

Juliann Edwards [00:21:15] I would say one of the most rewarding experiences I had was when I was at Bruce Power on their board for a very short stint and seeing, honestly, how well-oiled that machine is. They're conducting two massive projects right now. One is called an MCR, major component replacement, and another one is a life extension. They're both trying to increase the output of their of their CANDU reactors as well as prolong the operational life of those facilities. And actually, you guys had members of Bruce Power on this podcast before.

Juliann Edwards [00:21:53] And I'll say, how that team comes together in project controls and HR with recruiting, the financing mechanisms in which they've opened up this green bond market... Just being able to witness that and help with decisions on approving certain stage-gated processes, to me, was amazing. And to see that it can work. Things can occur within nuclear on time and on budget and within quality. To me, that's a testament to what we need to see and need to continue to just give a microphone to so that more investors, more communities want to have this in their backyard and to continue to finance its growth.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:22:34] Yeah, that is so interesting. And Bruce Power, they're primarily based and deploying in Canada, correct?

Juliann Edwards [00:22:41] Correct. They're up in Ontario. Eight reactors, all CANDU, with intentions and interest to maybe even grow their footprint since they have the adequate space to do so. So, it could be even larger in 5 to 10 to 15 years, depending on what technology they decide to deploy.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:22:59] That's so interesting. And was Bruce Power your first non-US, more internationally-focused project and company? And what were the differences you observed between how, let's say, the NRC does it or the Canadian regulator?

Juliann Edwards [00:23:14] Yeah, great question. And yes, it was my first venture... I'll call it international, even though it's our neighbor, right above. But vast differences, I would say. But I'm seeing them even collaborate, the NRC and the CNSC.

Juliann Edwards [00:23:27] I would say the CNSC is more outcome-based in their rulemaking, where NRC is more rule-based in their guidance. And I would say that, right now, they see a value to finding synergies together and showcase how the other side's working both sides of the border.

Juliann Edwards [00:23:46] I would say the CNSC is obviously structured much differently than the NRC is in terms of their staffing levels. They have a smaller footprint of nuclear facilities in Canada, but we hope to see that grow. But I would say both are phenomenal organizations and both are trying to pull their weight and recruit and make sure that we have enough staff members to ensure that we continue to safely monitor and build out nuclear capacity.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:24:16] Great, yeah. And in your capacity, currently, as Chair of US WIN, do you have any touch points with the other global WIN organizations?

Juliann Edwards [00:24:26] Yeah, yeah. So, the way our US chair position works is you serve as a vice chair for two years to get your feet wet, understand the board of directors, the cadence that you have with the steering committee and the leading groups, and just get to know the chapters that are, again, spread across 36 states. Then, you serve two years as chair. So, I'm in my current capacity as chair. And then, you go on to serve as two years past chair for the US chapter.

Juliann Edwards [00:24:54] And so, we're a subsidiary of WIN Global, which is 36,000 members, globally. I can't remember how many countries, but I think about 140 and growing, obviously with more and more interest in nuclear. And so, when you serve in that past chair role, you actually run two parallel paths and responsibilities, and you serve on the WIN Global board. And you get a way to have a touch point with far more chapters on a global scale and share, what is the structure here? How does our culture work? How do we engage with the industry directly? How do we build out our mentoring program like GROW, which is what we have in the US, and can that just be rinsed and repeated in a different country? And so, we do that cultural mapping together, ensuring that we're not reinventing the wheel and not plagiarizing, but close to it. Making sure that we use the success of other women, globally, and bring that home as well as share.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:25:53] No, that's perfect. And yeah, I've gotten a chance to actually attend the WIN conference a couple of years ago, and I tell everybody it was the most enjoyable, easygoing, accessible conference I've been to. The atmosphere is highly inclusive, I would say. Of course, there are more than just women there. But yeah, the events and the focuses of the different panels were incredibly enlightening.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:26:18] But beyond, I know you mentioned NEXT, and then of course, the annual conferences. How else can women get involved in WIN?

Juliann Edwards [00:26:30] There's a whole litany of projects and initiatives. We just rolled out, actually, a set of amended objectives for our organization, as well as added a new objective around workforce. Really, because we saw the challenge that's ahead of us. NEI, Nuclear Energy Institute actually put out an amazing document, a strategic workforce planning document that maps out what should we expect over the next couple of decades and lays out all of the challenges that perhaps we can raise our hands to solve for.

Juliann Edwards [00:27:00] And so, I would say we have chapters at the student level where we go into universities. And we've got, I think, roughly 10 or 12 different universities that have set up chapters and are continuing to grow their footprint. But if you don't see one at your local school, I would say just reach out to myself. My contact information is on the WIN web page.

Juliann Edwards [00:27:22] But we also have different committees that focus on various aspects of nuclear. We have one for DE&I. We've got one for professional development. We have a committee for communications. Let's say you're a communication student, or even in high school, and you're trying to get a sense of how to navigate social media and you want to just dip your toe. We have volunteer positions where you can work with a group of women in putting out that media content and helping us become more innovative in how we communicate with both current members and future members. And so, there are so many opportunities, and we have a deep bench and continue to grow and continue to welcome more members to come in.

Juliann Edwards [00:28:05] And I would say if you're in Pittsburgh in July, July 22nd to the 25th, that's where we're going to have our next annual conference. And again, it's our 25th anniversary, so we have some pretty amazing speakers lined up. We're actually going to rent out a pretty phenomenal space for our big extravaganza and highlight some good wins for the industry. So, I would encourage you all to join, if you can.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:28:29] Definitely. Yeah, I couldn't second that enough. It's an incredible conference. And outside of WIN, is there anything that you're personally working on in the nuclear industry that we should be on the lookout for?

Juliann Edwards [00:28:44] Always. Yeah, I mean, through the board advisory positions, I'm getting to see just all these different players that want to understand what nuclear is about. And I would say, I'm going to probably continue to grow my footprint in that space, nontraditional companies that want to understand nuclear, both through Solstice or through companies like Atomic Canyon or Shepherd Power. I think whatever I can do to help educate and inform so that they can be a part of this community is probably where you're going to start seeing me leave my mark.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:29:16] I love that, I love that. And are you part of any other organizations? I know Chief is one that you're also chairing. If you want to talk a bit about that as well.

Juliann Edwards [00:29:25] Yes, oh my gosh. I joined Chief in 2020. My family and I had just moved to Phoenix, Arizona, from Charlotte, North Carolina for my husband's job. And that's when Covid hit, literally the week after we touched down. And it was the first time I didn't have a revolving door of people in my office, because my office was my spare bedroom... Other than my husband asking what time dinner was. And so, I was like, "I'm going to invest in myself and do something completely outside the industry."

Juliann Edwards [00:29:53] And this LinkedIn post came up around Chief and talking about helping women get to C-suite positions and board seats. And yeah, that was always a dream of mine, and still is. I'm 39 years young, and by the age of 50, 55, I would love to be serving on a few boards of directors because I want to be able to spend more time on eradicating Rett syndrome, which is a diagnosis my daughter has.

Juliann Edwards [00:30:20] And to achieve that, I thought she could help me, one, validate do I really want to do that? And I spent the last three-and-a-half years meeting with other C-suite across various industries, health care, cosmetics, transportation and everything in between. And I have learned that it's definitely something I want to continue to grow my network in and understand, so much so that I'm starting to go through my NACD certificate. It's essentially a board certificate where you understand the financial responsibilities of a board member. And I would say, if it wasn't for the encouragement of that Chief group and that little tribe, I probably wouldn't have dabbled into as many things as I have been lately.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:31:08] That's so cool. Is there one industry that you think that the nuclear industry can really learn a lot from that you've gotten to encounter through Chief?

Juliann Edwards [00:31:17] Yes. Actually, health care, believe it or not. And maybe just because I have a bias there. I spent so much time in healthcare, just again, due to our daughter, Lilly. But I've since learned that...

Juliann Edwards [00:31:28] Health care has very similar challenges that nuclear does around security, particularly cyber security, just data breaching. And I would tell you, they just went through this process of having to infuse artificial intelligence into their networks, and they're probably a few years ahead of us. And to me, what better way to learn from their lessons, from their successes and challenges and failures than to fold them into the conversation? So, you might see some folks in the health care executive world come to the US Women in Nuclear conference to speak about that directly so that we can say, "Okay, this is how we navigate this." Or, "Here's how we can perhaps shave off a few years on implementation of 'X' product." So, I'm very excited about that.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:32:15] Yeah, that is really interesting. I've reflected a bit... Mostly not on strictly health care, but let's say, pharmaceuticals. Of course, pharmaceuticals have a high risk or hazard if they're not manufactured correctly or if they don't go through sufficient trials. And yet, we have new drugs entering the market multiple times on an annual basis. There's a high degree of assurance among the population that these are safe and that we can take them. And of course, there's a whole radiological medicine overlap there. But yeah, in terms of regulation, harmonized regulations, I think there's so much that can be learned from health care and pharmaceuticals, specifically. So, I totally agree. Definitely.

Juliann Edwards [00:32:56] Yeah. And we have a natural bridge, right? Medical isotopes. I mean, that was another thing that was so fascinating to me at Bruce Power, the percentage, globally, of cobalt-60 that comes out of that one facility... Or, out of Ontario, I should say, because OPG, Ontario Power Generation also produces medical isotopes. And how they're continuing to add more isotopes to their program. And so, we naturally have a conversation starter to leapfrog into healthcare and say, "Hey, we have a commonality here. Let's continue to grow that and educate ourselves on how we both can become better."

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:33:29] I totally agree. And then, just looking forward a bit, what do you think that the nuclear industry is going to look like 5, 10, 20 years from now?

Juliann Edwards [00:33:38] I think it's going to be women-dominated.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:33:40] Oh, you think? Oh, interesting.

Juliann Edwards [00:33:43] I think so. It's going to be vast. I really do hope that it becomes something that just continues to grow, but in a very safe and sustainable way. I don't want us to get ahead of ourselves. And you see these lofty goals out of massive companies and countries that are trying to decarbonize by 2030, which is less than six years away in 2050. And you look at the time scale it takes to site and permit and engineer and design, bid, build these facilities and commission them. And it's like, you've got to put reality with that goal.

Juliann Edwards [00:34:19] And so, as long as we're doing things in a safe and proficient manner, we're going to completely phase out even elements of combined cycle power plants if we can do so. And I'm very much excited about just more nuclear on a global scale and more women in those facilities.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:34:39] And is there any last message or thought that you want to leave our listeners with today?

Juliann Edwards [00:34:47]  I would say... A mantra I've told myself is to get on a path to success, you need a plan. And to achieve success, you have to be agile to that plan. And I have always told myself just because I have the next 5, 10 years mapped out doesn't mean it's going to be the same road or curve or trajectory I think it's going to be. So, just be flexible and realize that that's part of the fun, and actually sometimes more fun than actually getting there.

Juliann Edwards [00:35:14] I have found the people I have gotten to know over the last 15 years, I never envisioned would have the impact they have had on my life, personally and professionally. And so, just recognize that each one of those moments and engagements and individuals... Honestly, that's what it's all about. So hopefully, you pay attention to that network that you're building.

Maddie Hibbs-Magruder [00:35:36] Terrific. Well, thank you so much for joining us. This has been a really incredible conversation.

Juliann Edwards [00:35:41] Likewise. Thank you for having me, Maddie. Nice to meet you.


1) A re-introduction to Stefano Buono, the Founder and CEO of newcleo

2) Diving back into newcleo’s technology, the fuel landscape, and fast reactors

3) The intersection of being both pre-revenue and an established, growing company engaging with equipment suppliers

4) Stefano’s entrepreneurial background, the benefits of a higher temperature system using lead, and a brief look toward the future

Adam Smith [00:06:46] Welcome to Titans of Nuclear. I'm Adam Smith, and today we have a very special episode with Stefano Buono, the founder and CEO of newcleo. Stefano, welcome to the show.

Stefano Buono [00:06:57] Thank you very much. Welcome, everyone. I'm very happy to be back here.

Adam Smith [00:07:02] Yeah, as you say, I should be saying, "Welcome back." Actually, this is your second time coming onto the Titans of Nuclear podcast. For those who haven't listened to our previous episode, Stefano, could you give us a little bit of background about yourself? Where did you grow up? How did you get into the nuclear industry or just the energy industry, broadly?

Stefano Buono [00:07:22] Yes, I'm an Italian physicist. And after my thesis, I went to work at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research. And after three or four years, I started to work with Carlo Rubbia, who was a Nobel laureate and was Director General at the time, on the idea to make a nuclear reactor that was very innovative because it was supposed to be very safe. And this technology was linked to the use of lead as a coolant, so that would pass the reactor using lead. And actually, we got to know a lot of things about lead. And this has been, essentially the project that, just a couple of years ago, became a company, and now we're engaged with newcleo.

Adam Smith [00:08:16] Perfect. Wow. Just to clarify, you've gone with the lead breeder fast reactor, right?

Stefano Buono [00:08:24] Not really breeder.

Adam Smith [00:08:26] Just fast reactor.

Stefano Buono [00:08:28] Yes, in the sense that when, in the '90s, there were fast reactors, they were conceived to be breeders, actually, to produce more plutonium than what is used. After 35 years, maybe the situation in some countries, the opposite. There is a lot of nuclear waste, so there is a lot of plutonium in this nuclear waste. And maybe a lot of countries prefer to burn the plutonium. Essentially, we designed the reactor to be a small burner. So, to burn slowly, the plutonium, but to be negative with respect to the plutonium stockpile. Which is good because we need to eliminate the big stockpiles of plutonium that are on Earth, rather than putting plutonium underground, or even worse, using for military purposes. It's better to make energy; that's really what we want to do.

Adam Smith [00:09:31] Yeah, absolutely. Would you say the focus of newcleo then is being able to minimize the waste from nuclear that has traditionally accumulated?

Stefano Buono [00:09:42] Exactly. And for some countries, even to eliminate the need of a geological repository because, of course, with such a hard spectrum that we have using land, even harder than sodium, we can control the quantities not only of plutonium, but also the manner of actinides, all of them. So, we actually eliminate that part of the waste that is the long-term waste. And I believe only with the fission fragments. It's a minimal part in volume and weight.

Stefano Buono [00:10:18] I remember that one gigawatt electric of power, of any nuclear power, produces only 900 kilograms of fission fragments per year. So, that's less than a cubic meter. It's really a very good amount of waste. So, if we engage into multi-recycling, that was the dream of the engineers in the '70s, the '80s. If we engage in that, we can really get to the point where the final waste remains only fission fragments. And so not only that they are a small quantity, but the toxicity is very small. And essentially after 150 years, the toxicity can come back to the level of natural radioactivity of the material that was extracted. So, we can really close the cycle of the waste for nuclear.

Stefano Buono [00:11:20] And I think now it's time to transform this dream into reality; we can. Technically, we can do it. Of course, burning the plutonium, it's easier because for more than 60 years now, well, there has been MOX manufactured, so only a mixture of uranium and plutonium oxide. And this has been successfully used in fast reactors, but even in PWRs, especially in France. So, there is a lot of experience and it's relatively easy to manufacture this kind of fuel. But we cannot even imagine a situation in which we can also put, in different forms, the other types into the fast reactor and keep also the quantity of these elements controlled.

Adam Smith [00:12:18] Wow. This seems like a very versatile reactor in terms of fuel source. I mean, PWRs... You've can use a little bit of MOX in the system, but my understanding is you can't use a 100% MOX fuel load, at least currently. So, it seems like you can use other fuels, you can use MOX, you can use low-enriched. I'm assuming you can use high-enriched as well.

Stefano Buono [00:12:42] In the beginning, we wanted to use 20% enriched uranium as a first load because it's more difficult to produce plutonium. But in Europe, after the invasion of Russia in Ukraine, then uranium became very difficult to get. I think close to the US, it's quite difficult to get. So, we elevate the MOX program. And actually, we found huge support from France, and this helped us in accelerating this program and going directly to a more sustainable approach on the fuel, is what we consider.

Adam Smith [00:13:20] And do you receive a longer fuel cycle as well because you're using... In an ideal world, you're using some either MOX or higher plutonium content since you're trying to burn that up. Do you receive a longer fuel cycle when you use those elements?

Stefano Buono [00:13:36] We can. The more plutonium we want to burn, the shorter is the resonance of our reactor, so if you go to easier mode, I would say, the timing is slightly longer than the normal uranium fuel. So of course, if you accept a little bit of breeding, that would even produce a very, very long fuel cycle for your fuel inside the reactor. But as I mentioned, we prefer to be negative in the amount of plutonium in these quantities.

Adam Smith [00:14:19] Amazing. If there was a breeder reactor out there using lead, what kind of fuel cycle would you see? Or, how long a fuel cycle do you think something like that would last?

Stefano Buono [00:14:33] Well, I give you the example of France. The uranium extracted and recycled that is present in France can allot 2,000 years of power for all of France, 100% of their electricity needs.

Adam Smith [00:14:53] Oh, man.

Stefano Buono [00:14:55] Only if you do the multi-recycling because the past recycle has created so much depleted uranium that you can go. And having the lead reactor allows, actually, to use any kind of plutonium. So, even if you accommodate the pairs, 24, and 242, into and PWR, it's still good to be burned in our reactor, even better. We can really enable, for example, or use the MOX from the French second pass, I would say, that is resident into the French pool today and is accumulated because there is no strategy at the moment for this kind of fuel. This could go through our reactor and then used MOX in our reactor could either be used again in a PWR or to be recycled into the fast reactor.

Stefano Buono [00:16:16] And this is really the dream of the past. In the '70s, the nuclear engineers were thinking that the water reactors, the thermal reactors were only a passage, a phase of the development of nuclear. That in the future only fast reactors would have survived because of the nature of the fuel cycle, the possibility of this multi-recycling and the better use of resources. So, we are trying to make this, finally after so many years, this dream a little bit true.

Adam Smith [00:16:53] Yeah, yeah. You're building the future of it. Going straight to the fast reactors.

Stefano Buono [00:16:59] Yes, yes. Exactly.

Adam Smith [00:17:02] Wow, that's amazing.

Stefano Buono [00:17:05] To make this strategy successful, you have to solve another problem, that is the cost. We all believe in nuclear that the use of lead is key for that. Why? Because when we approach the same strategy using sodium, we have to control the chemical risk of the materials. So, the fast reactors became very cumbersome and very expensive.

Stefano Buono [00:17:35] In France, in '84, let's say, EDF was ready to order four new fast reactors of the Superphénix kind if the cost would have been capped at 20% more expensive than PWR at the same power. But the reality was that the consortium that created Superphénix was not able to go below 160% more expensive. 60% was not justifying the virtuous recycling of the fuel. 20% more would have justified, financially, the recycling; 60% was not justified. So, EDF in '84 didn't order four new reactors of the faster type and they remained with the thermal reactor because of a reasonable cost. And of course, when there was no need for decarbonization the cost was everything. So of course, fast reactors remain very non-interesting because of the higher costs.

Stefano Buono [00:18:58] But in '94 when we started to use lead, we realized that many Russian submarines were built using lead. And one characteristic of these submarines were they were very compact. So, the submarine was much more compact and powerful. The submarines did 48 knots underwater. They beat every record for these kinds of machines.

Adam Smith [00:19:33] Yeah.

Stefano Buono [00:19:38] But the compactness is also a synonym of less steel, of less material, and less cost. These show the way that there was a possibility to change the design in order to reduce the cost. And that's what we did. And I think the optimization lasted, essentially 25 years. Because more and more ideas came in order. We had to go away from the concept that was developed for sodium and make the better out of the properties of lead.

Stefano Buono [00:20:17] And I think that the process has really been optimized so far that we are at the end of the journey and we are ready to deliver reactors that, in our goals, have to cost €4 per watt installed. That's our goal, which is very competitive today with PWR. It's much less expensive. I think that is a winning move that we need to do, make these reactors not only safer but also less expensive.

Adam Smith [00:20:55] Yeah, absolutely. That's how you grow the entire industry. And it seems like you're really leading the charge there with the lead0cooled fast reactor. Do you have any milestones over the past year that you can talk to about your developments of bringing this technology to market?

Stefano Buono [00:21:16] Yes, one year ago we started the regulatory process with the French authorities, both for the reactor and the fuel factory. And the French system has decided to try to accelerate the process because everyone is trite, I think, by the fact that new nuclear projects are taking too much time. And of course, longer investment phase in a reactor is also not good for the industry because it is making bad use of capital, so we have to reduce also the time of the full process.

Stefano Buono [00:22:06] And so, the French authorities are engaged into a new process that goes through frequent meetings and also the possibility to have a pre-authorization. So we have this run into three phases. We are almost at the end of the first phase, and we have to enter the second phase that will lead to a pre-authorization. This we will be starting in September, and this could last as little as two years. So in two years, we could have the equivalent of a generic design assessment authorization UK, or I think there is a similar authorization also in the US. Not a construction permit, but a design certificate.

Stefano Buono [00:23:05] So we are, I would say, two-and-a-half years away from this goal. And of course, this process can be started only at the level of the basic design, so we are entering into the basic design for our reactors. We will be starting a process in parallel in France, UK, and Slovakia, another European country, because we have plans to deploy a reactor in these three countries. And we became almost 700. If we spoke 1 year ago, maybe we were at least 200 people less.

Adam Smith [00:23:48] That's amazing.

Stefano Buono [00:23:49] The company is really growing. As part of our strategy, we are also making use of our capital by investing in existing companies and consolidating the market. And we are investing in those companies that can become part of our supply chain. So, maybe they have an activity of sales or services in nuclear, but then work for us, of course, and become one of our suppliers or providers of a system for us.

Stefano Buono [00:24:31] And that means that in 2024 we should reach about 50 million, five zero million of turnover. We are in a strange position of being, at the same time, a company producing revenues but also innovating in the field, which is, I believe, a little bit rare. Sometimes either you are a consolidated company like EDF or Rolls-Royce, you have a new project, or you are a startup and you only have a project on paper and you are spending money. So, we are entering into this situation, where we have building and expanding a turnover in the field while we are, actually, our main focus is to develop this reactor in this industry.

Adam Smith [00:25:26] That must be an interesting story to tell investors, since you are, as you said, in that middle position where you are pre-revenue on the SMR side, but you are a well-established company. If you look at your equipment suppliers or your partners, you've vertically integrated through your company. Have you seen any specific interest out of investors because of that story? Do you see that as a positive growth story for you?

Stefano Buono [00:25:56] Well, by chance is how I grew my previous company in nuclear medicine. We wanted to develop nuclear medicine drugs, treatment. But that was longer and complicated. And after two years, we started to produce fluorodeoxyglucose. That is another drug diagnostic and was generating pre-revenues. When we finally registered the drug... So, we reached the big goal of having a nuclear medicine treatment for cancer... Very successful treatment for neuroendochrine tumors. We had 160 million of pre-revenues, so it was important very much.

Stefano Buono [00:26:50] When you make a new drug, it's a little bit like making a new company in nuclear. You have to spend maybe 10 years of development and at least 1 billion in expenses. But if you have pre-revenues, you are already building a company underneath this. So, it's the same mechanism. So, I think that investors are also looking at my previous success because the company was then sold to Novartis after being listed on the NASDAQ for $3.9 billion.

Stefano Buono [00:27:27] By looking at my background as also an entrepreneur... And at the end, the same strategy adopted in the nuclear field, which is of course different, because there's medicine and energy. But there's a very high level of complexity, of nuclear complexity as well. I think, this is encouraging investors to support us financially.

Adam Smith [00:27:57] Yeah, you can certainly tell the story well to them; you can draw those parallels. And are you out raising in the capital markets right now to raise more money for the company to build the SMRs, or are you fully funded today and you're ready to go and you've got your investors onboard?

Stefano Buono [00:28:16] We are. We are fully funded in the sense that we have a runway of a few years. But I think we will never end raising money. Yes, we are in the process of raising money. There is a nice momentum for us. We are in the middle of a raise. I think we're going to announce an important milestone by the end of the summer. That is building up, so we are actually getting subscription and so on. So, I think we're going to communicate on that by the end of the summer as a first step of, let's say, two tranches of the operation that we have in mind.

Adam Smith [00:28:59] Amazing. I was looking at your history before this interview. And one pervasive issue with the nuclear industry is raising enough capital, especially through the private capital markets. And it seems like you've been fairly successful with your previous raises. I always love to see more private capital markets investment into some of these newer Gen IV, or just broadly, SMR companies.

Stefano Buono [00:29:26] Yes. One important thing is that you don't have to deceive the investor, ever. We try not to overpromise and we of course try to deliver a little bit more, more than what we promised.

Adam Smith [00:29:42] Underpromise, overdeliver.

Stefano Buono [00:29:45] Yeah. Sometimes it's difficult because if you are fair, you have to tell them that they're not going to see a reactor being operated before '31, which is already for Europe, an aggressive schedule, especially for an advanced nuclear reactors generation. But we cannot miss these dates and we have to work on that, otherwise we will not have the support. We have to be delivering on the milestones that will lead to these results. So far, we were lucky because we managed to deliver on these milestones. And I think that our strategies of also consolidating the industry was a little bit of a surprise for our investors. A positive surprise, because if they see contribution from revenues supporting their investment, it's nicer than just having a cash burn.

Adam Smith [00:30:48] Yep, yep. It's all about the cash flow at the end of the day. And is that 2031 timeline... Is that your timeline for the first 30 megawatt system to go online?

Stefano Buono [00:31:01] Yes. The nice thing is that by the end of '26, we will be having a non-nuclear reactor operating. That is a machine that will be heated by heated rods. But it will contain all of the elements of our reactor up to the turbine. Which is important for us because the operating temperature of a lead reactor, quite peculiar. We cannot go below 350 degrees in every part of the system. Meaning that if we connect the steam generator to the reactor, it has to be fed at that temperature control.

Stefano Buono [00:31:49] So, all of the BOP is peculiar to our use. The operation, the startup of the reactor. There are other things that need to be tested and integrated in its integrity. We decided to build and operate this precursor, we call it, essentially for five years before before finally having the real reactor operating. The components will have a longer qualification, I would say. Some components will be the same scale, some others will be in a little bit smaller scale. We are not going to produce 100 megawatt thermal, of course, because it would be too costly. The power scale is one-tenth.

Stefano Buono [00:32:45] We are also building and we actually already have some equipment, lead loops, to test the components and qualifying the components separately. We have already completed two of these installations, these loops. We are going to install the first one by the end of this year, a fourth one at the beginning of next year. So, we are building a huge qualification and testing facility that is useful for the demonstration of our reactor. And it's going to be useful for the future because we would like to increase the operating temperature of lead. Lead is boiling at 1,742 degrees, so it's a very high boiling point. We could go higher in temperature if you have the right materials. So, this facility will be useful not only to qualify the full system, but also to test new materials for the future.

Adam Smith [00:33:50] What are the benefits of going with a higher temperature system using lead?

Stefano Buono [00:33:57] Of course, we plan to use the reactors not only for producing electricity, but also for producing heat to combine in industrial processes. As far as the electricity is concerned, the thermal cycle of Superphénix had a higher temperature of 520 degrees. And with this temperature, the efficiency of electricity production was 42%. So, we want to at least reach this 42% that has been demonstrated like 50 years ago. It's a minimum goal for us.

Stefano Buono [00:34:42] But then, of course, the higher we can go with higher temperature, the higher the temperature of the heat that we can provide. So, to improve the efficiency in some industrial processes. Of course, some of them, they need low-temperature heat. Our machine is already doing a good job in providing steam. At the same time, for example, for the production of sustainable fuel and so on, or even green chemistry. Just simply, chemical process to produce chemical product as well. So, for this we are already, of course, providing a solution, but the higher we go with the temperature, the wider is the solution we can provide. For example, if you want to decarbonize the steel industry, the higher you go with the temperature you provide, the better it is because you save energy in the process.

Adam Smith [00:35:42] Yep, capturing the entirety of the heavy industrial processes.

Stefano Buono [00:35:51] At the end, the small modular reactors don't have competitors in the renewables on industrial application because producing... Being on the side of an industry with windmills and solar is not possible because you have an industrial environment and already you don't have the space, or you connect with a long line. Then, to have the accommodation. In industrial processes, you have to work 24/7. So, you need accommodation; that's another cost.

Stefano Buono [00:36:29] And then at the end, you have to create the heat from the electricity, which does not make any sense. So in the field, I think that there is a unique role that we can play with the nuclear industry. While in the production of electricity, we have to be level with renewable energy to be complementary to these energies. We can help by having a little modulation of our energy output during the day. And this is also what we are integrating into our system, the possibility to provide more power or less power during the day without changing the power of the reactor itself, but having accumulation on the BOP.

Adam Smith [00:37:25] And this sounds like you've done quite a bit of work already on not only the customer side, but the construction or the partners that you might use for construction of your units. Do you have or are you able to say publicly who you're working with for delivery of your units?

Stefano Buono [00:37:43] Well, with many companies. And I don't want to forget some, so I won't...

Adam Smith [00:37:49] Fair.

Stefano Buono [00:37:51] But they are European, I would say, mostly companies. And of course, in France, the big companies like Framatome. But also smaller ones. But I really don't want to forget names.

Adam Smith [00:38:12] No worries, no worries.

Stefano Buono [00:38:14] I see that in companies that are really partners. Maybe they are less known in the US, these kinds of companies. And a few companies are also very active in fusion systems, because the technology that they produce is very high-quality technology. And some of the nuclear companies in Europe are supporting also the fusion research because of their projects in the past.

Stefano Buono [00:38:45] Now, I think that will be fully booked for many years, honestly, so we have to rebuild capacity. We have to, to start from the education. We have to, again, push the younger generation to become nuclear engineers or just simply engineers and technicians because we really need a lot of people in Europe. In France, it's estimated that 220,000 people work in the nuclear industry. We have to have 100,000 people in less than 10 years. So, it's a huge challenge, and it's also a huge opportunity for Europe.

Adam Smith [00:39:29] Yeah, absolutely. I personally believe that nuclear over the next 10 or 15 years will end up being a major component of every European country's baseload power, so you're going to need hundreds of thousands of workers across the European continent to really run these facilities, to build the facilities, to do additional research as you build out and look at other technologies. It doesn't matter where you're at... Even in the US, I don't think we have enough people on this just because the wave of new technologies and new power plants that will be built. We've got to start getting people into these nuclear engineering programs.

Stefano Buono [00:40:14] Well, it's exciting to have these problems. Let's think 10 years back with the drama.

Adam Smith [00:40:22] It's certainly a better problem to have in the reverse.

Stefano Buono [00:40:25] Yes.

Adam Smith [00:40:29] At newcleo, it sounds like you're working on demonstration project coming up. Are there other exciting announcements that you're looking at or exciting projects that you're thinking about in the next year or so?

Stefano Buono [00:40:44] Yes, we started to work with the industry. One nice aspect is a collaboration we have with the chemical industry, MAIRE Tecnimont. They're investing a lot in what they call green chemistry that is producing ammonia, sustainable fuels, through the production of hydrogen. They're also working on the reuse of CO2 after carbon capture.

Stefano Buono [00:41:20] And this is a big company, a big, public company in Europe. And they really believe that nuclear is the solution to be put close to their plants in order to be successful economically, and to be able to do this green chemistry at reasonable cost. This company is coming from the oil and gas industry. I hope more and more investment from this industry will power our own nuclear industry, because I believe the fears on nuclear are really dropping one after the other in Europe. I see the excitement.

Stefano Buono [00:42:12] We have interacted with other oil companies; we have interacted with Solvay, and of course the steelmakers. There are really a number of entrepreneurs that need a lot of energy that are getting excited about nuclear. And I think this is where we are going to play a relevant role in the next few years to build opportunities that are going beyond electricity production.

Adam Smith [00:42:46] Yeah, it's exciting right now in the industry. You can really feel the tailwinds pushing at your back with this. It's just more announcements of countries increasing their threshold for nuclear within their energy generation mix. And you have all the SMR companies or even some of the gigawatt scale manufacturers making all these announcements about where they're building these plants, how many they're going to build, all the decarbonization benefits that you receive from it. So, it's definitely a very exciting time in the industry.

Adam Smith [00:43:20] Well, we're almost out of time here. Do you have any last thoughts or messages that you'd like to leave with our listeners?

Stefano Buono [00:43:29] No, I think just another testimony from Europe. Even the European Union is changing, a little bit, their mind. We had an announcement of the European Investment Bank coming back to invest into nuclear. We have a lot of interest with the European Commission to support the development of nuclear.

Stefano Buono [00:43:51] And we have the G7 in Italy this year. Italy is a country that left nuclear in '87 after the accident of Chernobyl. It is back on track with the idea of supporting nuclear. And nuclear is on the agenda of the G7. This Sunday, we are going to have the first announcement being made. We are hosting an event for the G7, all of the nuclear industry, including of course, the American industry as present. And we are making a common declaration on Sunday that will be signed by four ministries as well. Very happy, so stay tuned for the text of this declaration.

Adam Smith [00:44:40] I look forward to that announcement. Stefano, thank you for coming on the show.

Stefano Buono [00:44:45] Thank you very much for hosting me.


1) How Bill quite literally followed his dreams and ended up in the nuclear space, as well as the impactful experiences that shaped his education

2) A deep dive into the philosophy behind regulation and how the public typically views radiation (and why)

3) The current state of the nuclear landscape in regards to new builds and current nuclear law

4) What Bill is looking forward to seeing in the nuclear industry's future and what it has to do with advanced and small reactors

This transcript is pending.

1) Ieuan’s background and interests - from music to politics and everything in between

2) The transformation of nuclear energy policy in the United Kingdom over the past five years

3) Ieuan’s campaign to become the next Member of Parliament for Ynys Môn, specifically Ieuan’s motivation to run as well as his platform

4) A take on what the future holds for Ieuan, Anglesey, and more

This transcript is pending.

1) Trey’s early career and his experiences working closely with the healthcare industry

2) The massive growth of AI and how it can affect various industries, such as healthcare and energy, for the better

3) A deep dive into Atomic Canyon, the impetus for starting the company, and what Atomic Canyon is working on right now

4) Trey’s hopes for the future, where to find Atomic Canyon’s latest work, and a message to the nuclear community

This transcript is pending.

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