The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners named on Monday Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols as chair of the Nuclear Waste Subcommittee.
A press release from the PSC said Echols has served as Vice-Chair of the Committee and is viewed as an expert in the field of nuclear energy and reprocessing.
“SMRs hold great promise for the US and our climate goals,” Echols said. “It’s my hope that the federal government can reapportion part of the Inflation Reduction Act money to be used as a federal backstop against cost overruns that are likely to result in building new nuclear.”
Echols will represent the United States at the World Nuclear Exhibition held in France from Nov. 28 to 30 as he has done since 2014.
“For the first time in decades, the United States can stand shoulder to shoulder with French officials and be proud of the completion of the Westinghouse AP1000 built at Plant Vogtle in Georgia,” Echols said. “It is my hope that our success here in Georgia will lead other states in America to begin their own nuclear projects.”
In 2017 Echols led the effort to complete the reactors after Toshiba bankrupted Westinghouse, the plant’s prime contractor. Georgia Power completed the project under the oversight of the Georgia Public Service Commission.
“Finishing Plant Vogtle has been a critical part of my tenure on the PSC,” Echols said. “Our Commission, the legislature, the business community and many others have been supportive of the effort and we are proud to be the only state in America to accomplish such a task.”
The NARUC Subcommittee said it will bring the brightest minds in nuclear energy to three national conferences each year. Echols said there will be a focus on small modular reactors.