June 21, 2024

Ep 452: Juliann Edwards - Chair, United States Women in Nuclear

United States Women in Nuclear
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Show notes

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.

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