WASHINGTON—The nuclear energy industry will preview its strategic direction for the next 20 years at its annual meeting that convenes here Monday, May 21, at the Washington Monarch Hotel (2401 M St. NW). The discussions are being convened amid renewed public and policy recognition that nuclear power is a vital electricity source for the nation.
"Nuclear Energy: Building the Future" is the theme of the Nuclear Energy Assembly 2001, and leaders of the nuclear energy industry and policymakers will meet for three days of policy talks and business sessions. The meeting comes just days after President Bush identified nuclear energy as an indispensable source of emission-free, bulk electricity in his national energy policy report recommendations.
The meeting will focus in part on the strategic direction for nuclear energy in the 21st century. Nuclear Energy Institute Chairman Christian Poindexter, the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Constellation Energy, will assess the state of the industry during the Tuesday morning session that begins at 8:30 a.m. On Wednesday morning, during the session that begins at 9 a.m., the industry will unveil its VISION 2020 goal for building new nuclear power plants over the next two decades. Industry leaders will discuss the VISION 2020 effort at a noon news conference Wednesday in the Monarch's Roosevelt Room.
U.S. Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA) and U.S. Sens. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and George Voinovich (R-OH) are among those who will address the industry. Rep. Tauzin, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, will speak Tuesday morning. Both Sen. Domenici, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, and Sen. Voinovich, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Clean Air, Wetlands, Private Property and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee, will speak during Wednesday's session, which begins at 9 am.
Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the Interior, will discuss nuclear energy from an environmental perspective during the 3 p.m. session on Tuesday, May 22. Lester Thurow, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will speak during Tuesday's 3 p.m. session as well.
There will be a panel discussion during Wednesday's 10:45 a.m. session featuring U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Richard Meserve; Doug Kimmelman, managing director and chairman, global power at Goldman Sachs; Dynegy Inc. CEO Chuck Watson; and Thomas Farrell, chief executive officer of Dominion Generation.
The nation's 103 commercial nuclear reactors last year maintained an outstanding performance record producing approximately 755 billion kilowatt-hours, meeting 20 percent of the nation's electricity needs.
The Nuclear Energy Assembly press room will open at 1 p.m. Monday in Imperial II on the Monarch's lower level. On Tuesday and Wednesday it will open at 7:30 a.m. NEI's Media Relations staff will be available to arrange interviews with conference speakers and industry officials. The telephone numbers in the press room are (202) 659-5868 and 659-5869.
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org .