Dear DESD Members,

The DESD sessions at upcoming ANS Meetings are described below. The sessions and speaker’s for the annual meeting have been set. However we are looking for people willing to participate in our sessions at the Utility Working Conference and the ANS Winter Meeting, dates and locations are provided below. If you are interested in participating please contact Jim Byrne at


  1. The sessions for the 2020 Annual Meeting, to be held June 7-11 in Phoenix, AZ are.
  • General Topics in Decommissioning – These are submitted papers and cover the following wide range of interesting topics
    • Hydrogen Economy in Champaign-Urbana, IL,
    • Mercury Remediation Process Optimization for Clayey Soil
    • Decommissioning of the Nuclear Power Demonstration Plant, Rolphton, Canada,
    • Material Requirements for a Green New Deal


  • Work Force Development – The decommissioning of nuclear facilities is an industrial activity that is growing worldwide, creating job opportunities at all educational levels. Over the last decades, many companies have been involved in decommissioning projects that are targeted at delivering an environmentally friendly end-product such as a fully restored green field site that can be released from regulatory control.This session will address the following questions in relation to education and training in nuclear decommissioning:
    • What are the competence needs for the future?
    • What are the education and training opportunities?
    • How can we stimulate interest and future talent?
  • Nuclear Energy’s Role in Climate Change Policy – Nuclear energy has a crucial role to play in addressing the global need to reduce emissions. Emission-reduction policies should neither favor nor limit any one energy source over another. Instead, such policies should evaluate energy sources based upon their ability to contribute reliably to meeting emission- reduction targets. This panel will cover initiatives at the international, federal, state and local level that allow nuclear to play a role addressing climate change. International examples include ANS’s participation with the Nuclear for Climate Initiative2 and the Declaration from Nuclear Societies3 which calls for the Clean Energy Ministerial to ensure that nuclear is part of the clean energy portfolio. Also, several states have taken action that recognize the role of nuclear energy in their future clean energy portfolio. The enacted policies, which may vary state by state, but are generally aimed at incentivizing the nuclear power plants for providing the reliable and carbon-free energy. The panel will cover performance-based, technology- neutral policy approaches and related advocacy to encourage innovation and to achieve intended emission-reduction targets.
  • Uranium Mine Reclamation – The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project was created by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to monitor the cleanup of uranium mill tailings. In 1978 the US Congress passed the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) which tasked the DOE with the responsibility of stabilizing, disposing, and controlling uranium mill tailings and other contaminated material at uranium mill processing spread across 10 states and at approximately 5,200 associated properties. This session will explore the progress of this effort and explore lessons learned that could be applied to other legacy sites.


  1. DESD will be supporting the Utility Working Conference, – August 9-12, 2020, Marco Island, FL. Our goal for this meeting is to develop and deliver a program track for the UWC that will cover the spectrum of contemporary commercial nuclear plant decommissioning planning and execution decisions, options, and lessons learned. The materials are developed with the intention of informing the attendees and causing a desire for further inquiry into the various subjects presented. For those of you looking to spend some time in the sun this is a perfect opportunity. Contact Jim Byrne, if you would like to participate.


Seven Sessions are being organized for the conference

Our Sessions are:

  • a. Historical and Innovative Approaches to Decommissioning – this session will address what is involved in decommissioning a nuclear power plant and approaches to decommissioning, with emphasis on new innovative decommissioning models. Historically, the owner/licensee has performed or overseen decommissioning activities. In new approaches, a decommissioning entity becomes the licensee and/or owner of the plant and controls the cleanup. Organizers Lynne Goodman, Joe Carignan
  • b. Spent Fuel Management options during the phases of site decommissioning – Speakers will provide valuable insights on shut down plant experiences dealing with Spent Fuel. Topics covered will include spent fuel pool isolation & independent cooling system installations, dry vs. wet storage decision making approaches, re-racking & spent fuel consolidation options, as well as, the feasibility of accessing and using a Consolidated Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facilities. The interim storage approach has been tried, without success, during the planning of the Private Fuel Storage Facility; lessons from this effort will be solicited and shared. Organizer: Richard St. Onge.
  • c. Innovation and Optimization in Decommissioning – Lessons Learned on Technology and Approaches to Shorten Project Durations. Decommissioning projects focus on the health & safety of its workers and the public as they complete the final closure and license termination of these facilities. As the experience base of these projects expand, methods are refined to be timelier & more cost effective. Speakers in this session will provide insights on innovative approaches to make decommissioning activities more efficient and effective. Organizers: Jim Byrne, Mark Kirshe, Dustin Miller
  • d. Regulatory perspectives and updates on Commercial Decommissioning processes– Speakers will provide perspectives on decommissioning regulatory advancements including the current state of affairs regarding NRC rule-making, as well as the emerging participation of State and Local authorities in the decommissioning processes. Organizer: Jim Byrne
  • e. Status of Decommissioning Projects in progress and completed to date – Speakers offer insights on past and current D&D projects with a focus on major differences between the original decommissioning plan and the realities of how things turned out during actual project execution. Organizer: Gerry van Noordennen.
  • f. Nuclear industry Security transformation via innovative methods; Cyber, Physical and Material Handling – Speakers offer insight on innovative technology to drive necessary rapid transformation to improve efficacy/cost efficiency across the entire nuclear industry. Specifically, for security, the panel will provide open discussions addressing the single largest NPP O&M expenditure of 30%. – Organizers: Mark Campagna and Skip Young
  • g. Nuclear industry Safety and Safety Culture – Speakers offer insight into cultural transformational impact via more effective thought process and more cohesive overall organizational behavior. Deploy innovative technology and methods to better protect workers and public -; improve efficacy/cost efficiency across the entire nuclear industry. Organizers: Mark Campagna and Lynne Goodman.


  1. 2020 Winter Meeting – November 15-19, 2020, Chicago IL Proposed sessions for the winter meeting are described below. Session organizers are currently contacting potential speakers, if you would like to participate in a session please contact Jim Byrne,, for further information.
  • Meeting Targets for Reduction of CO2 Emission without Causing Economic Damage – According to scientific consensus anthropogenic CO2 is a major contributor to climate change.  Different countries will aim to comply in different ways with international targets for CO2 emission reduction, depending on their specific circumstances.  This session will address this important matter, covering the role of various energy sources, including hydro power, varying (intermittent) energy (mainly wind and solar) and nuclear energy.  The potential impact on the countries’ economies will be briefly discussed.
  • Grid Modelling Considerations for Nuclear Energy – Nuclear energy can provide many societal and electric system benefits such as reduced air pollution, low land requirements, job creation, high unit-reliability, and grid stability. However, most of nuclear engineering focuses on the nuclear reactor rather than its real but currently unquantified electric grid benefits.  This session will cover the latest research being done to model aspects of our electric transmission grid that nuclear energy contributes to, and specifically invite considerations for nuclear energy’s unique contributions to grid stability.  Speakers from government laboratories, academia, and federal government will discuss the technical, and economic considerations.
  • Building Up Decommissioning Staff Credentials for Future Decommissioning Projects – The decommissioning workforce is changing from that which did the first decommissioning projects in the 1980s and early 1990s. Many of the current staff working decommissioning are reaching retirement age – but the need for replenishment staff on such projects is only increasing – more work is coming available in commercial NPP and FCF D&D and DOE / Government Owned Facility/Site D&D projects and programs. What happened is more effort is now being focused on adding younger, fresh graduates and other ‘career changing’ staff (new to the D&D area) to undertake such work and the number of staff needed for such work is steadily growing both for operators and regulators. This session will look at some of the work underway in the industry to feed this need to ‘power up’ the decommissioning staff credentials going forward at various levels – University, Government, others – both at the domestic level and internationally.
  • Community Advisory Panels –NEIMA is the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act that was passed this year. It requires the NRC to report to Congress on the best practices for establishing the advisory panels. This session will address:
    • a description of the type of topics that could be brought before a community advisory board;
    • how the board’s input could inform the decision-making process of stakeholders for various decommissioning activities;
    • how the board could interact with the NRC and other Federal regulatory bodies to promote dialogue between the licensee and affected stakeholders; and
    • how the board could offer opportunities for public engagement throughout all phases of the decommissioning process.
  • This session will include a discussion of the composition of existing community advisory boards and best practices identified during the establishment and operation of such boards, including logistical considerations, frequency of meetings, and the selection of board members.
  • Innovative Characterization Techniques in Support of Decommissioning – This session will present case studies of characterization techniques that have allowed for more efficient and cost-effective identification of radiological or chemical disposition of materials in support of decommissioning. Topics may include characterization of building materials, soil, sediment, and groundwater at nuclear power plant and legacy (non-power plant) decommissioning projects.
  • General Topics in Decommissioning – This session will explore a variety of decommissioning issues contributed by decommissioning practitioners.

As mentioned above please contact Jim Byrne at if you would like to participate in any of the above sessions. Additionally if you have any suggestions for future sessions please let him know also.

Gerard van Noordennen, Chair
Decommissioning and Environmental Science Division

A group of professionals having fun in the fields of decommissioning and environmental sciences for the nuclear industry.

The mission of the Decommissioning & Environmental Sciences Division (DESD) is to promote the development and use of those skills and technologies associated with the optimal management of decommissioning and environmental sciences and  long-term surveillance and maintenance of nuclear and formerly nuclear installations, materials, facilities, and sites for the betterment of society. The target audience for this effort is the member of the Division, the Society, and the public at large.

Why should you join the DESD Division of the American Nuclear Society?

Are you currently working on, looking for projects in, or simply interested in the nuclear decommissioning industry?

Are you a member of the largest nuclear society in the US and specifically the technical division focusing on the decontamination, decommissioning, and reutilization of sites within the nuclear industry?

Why not?

The American Nuclear Society – Decommissioning & Environmental Sciences (DESD) Division is the organization for you and your colleagues to join! This division has nearly 1000 members who understand what membership in the DESD division brings them. Activities focus solely on the decommissioning technical area. Our members include both domestic and international colleagues working in the nuclear decommissioning areas. We look to exchange the lessons learned and other technical information with numerous projects.

Benefits of ANS & DESD membership include:

  • Opportunities to network with leaders in the nuclear community with strong interest in the decommissioning technical area.
  • Special offer for new members – join the ANS-DESD now and be entered to possibly win a copy of the new recently published reference “Decommissioning Handbook”.
    A semi-annual DESD newsletter providing the status of various decommissioning projects that is available only to DD&R members.
  • Special pricing on publications related to the decommissioning industry.
  • Inside details on planning for the next major Topical Meeting on Decommissioning being planned by the DESD and Remote Systems Divisions for Pittsburgh, PA in August 2016.
  • Recognition awards from peers in the areas of exceptional performance on DESD projects and DESD area lifetime achievement.

Get Involved

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