Nuclear Power: What it means in Illinois

NPRE 2016 Leadership Speaker Series

NPRE and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, North America's Building Trades Unions, are co-sponsoring the informational forum, Nuclear Power: What it means in Illinois, to be held Tuesday, October 18, 2016, in Chicago's Bilandic Building.

A host of national policy leaders will outline the sustainability and economic impacts of nuclear energy in the state, particularly in light of recent proposed closures of Illinois-based nuclear generation plants. Viewing of the event as it takes place will be made possible through a live webcast. The forum is partially suppported by the NSF PIRE: “Nuclear Energy Systems and Materials under Extreme Conditions.” See news story.


1:00 p.m. – James F. Stubbins, NPRE Department Head

Opening Addresses
1:10 p.m. – Lonnie Stephenson, International President, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
1:30 p.m. – Cheri Bustos, U.S. Representative from Illinois, 17th Congressional District
1:50 p.m. – John Kotek, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

Panel 1 - Impact of Closures
2:15 p.m. – Moderator, Dr. Jeffrey Binder, Director, Applied Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
                   David Foster, Senior Advisor, Officer of the U.S. Secretary of Energy
                   James F. Stubbins: "Energy and Environmental System Impacts on Nuclear Closures"
                   Donne Trotter, Illinois State Senator, 17th District


2:45 p.m. –  Facilitator, Matt Bennett, Senior Vice President, Third Way
                    Maria G. Korsnick, Chief Operating Officer, Nuclear Energy Institute
                    William Hite, General President, United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry, United States and Canada

Panel 2 - Solutions
3:25 p.m. –  Moderator, Prof. Petros Sofronis, Director, WPI International Institute on Carbon Neutral Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
                    Dr. David Boyd, MISO External Affairs Team
                    Susan F. Tierney, Senior Advisor, Analysis Group
                    Chapin Rose, Illinois State Senator, 51st District

4:00 p.m. –  Tim Followell, City Administrator, Clinton, Illinois
                    Henry Marquard, Director of Government Affairs, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce

4:30 p.m. –   James F. Stubbins


James F. Stubbins, Donald Biggar Willett Professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has served as Department Head for Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering since 1999. His research interests are advanced energy systems and energy policy; nuclear materials; nuclear systems design and analysis; and development, analysis and application of materials, primarily for energy-related applications.

Lonnie R. Stephenson is International President of the 750,000-member International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He was elected to the position in May, after having been appointed for a year to fulfill the role. Initiated into the union in 1976 in Rock Island, Illinois, Stephenson has been extremely active in both his local and in the international organization. He has served in leadership capacities in both the local and international IBEW, and has spearheaded many efforts to help his community and to build membership.

U.S. Congresswoman Cheri Bustos represents Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, including the location of the Quad Cities Nuclear Generating Station. She has joined other elected officials in calling on Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and leaders of the state House and Senate to consider legislation that would help keep the state’s economically at-risk nuclear energy facilities operating.

John Kotek, an NPRE alumnus, serves as the Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy. The Office is responsible for conducting research on current and future nuclear energy systems, maintaining the government’s nuclear energy research infrastructure, establishing a path forward for the nation’s spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste management program, and a host of other national priorities.

Jeffrey L. Binder, an NPRE alumnus, has served as Director of the Illinois Applied Research Institute (ARI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign since November 2013. This November, he will assume a new position as Associate Laboratory Director for the Argonne National Laboratory’s Energy and Global Security Directorate. Before ARI, Binder worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, rising to the position of Associate Laboratory Director for Nuclear Science and Engineering.

David Foster joined the Energy Department as a senior advisor on industrial and economic policy in June, 2014. Prior to his appointment, he served eight years as the founding Executive Director of the Blue Green Alliance, a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the clean economy.

Illinois State Senator Donne Trotter has sponsored Senate Bill 1585 to establish a Low Carbon Portfolio Standard (LCPS) that would help to reduce carbon emissions, increase renewable energy and maintain a stable and secure electricity supply in the state. Proponents believe the bill is needed to bolster Illinois’ clean energy leadership, support the state’s nuclear energy facilities and protect jobs, consumers and a reliable electricity supply. Trotter was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1992 after spending two terms in the House of Representatives.

Matt Bennett is a co-founder of Third Way, a center-left think tank that is committed to developing and promoting policies to help in the fight against climate change. Third Way maintains that low-carbon technologies such as nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage (CCS) must be included in the mix of society’s energy solutions.

Maria G. Korsnick is the Chief Operating Officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute. NEI fosters the beneficial uses of nuclear technology before Congress, the White House and executive branch agencies, federal regulators, and state policy forums. Before joining NEI, Korsnick served as senior vice president of Exelon’s Northeast operations and acting chief executive officer and chief nuclear officer of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG).

William Hite has been General President and chief officer of the 340,000-member United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada since December 2004. The General President represents the face of the United Association in dealings with high-level government officials, contractors, contractor associations, project owner organizations, fellow labor unions and the general public.

Petros Sofronis, James W. Bayne Professor in the College of Engineering at UIUC, directs the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER). An international collaboration between Japan and the U.S., I2CNER’s mission is to contribute to the creation of a sustainable and environmentally-friendly society by conducting fundamental research for the advancement of low carbon emission and cost effective energy systems, and the improvement of energy efficiency.

David Boyd is a lead member of the External Affairs team for MISO, a regional transmission organization that provides electric power across 15 states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. Boyd serves as MISO’s primary liaison with the governors and state regulatory and legislative policymakers on footprint wide matters in the MISO region. In addition, he monitors and integrates the activities of federal regulators and legislators into MISO’s overall policies.

Susan F. Tierney is a Senior Advisor for Analysis Group, an economic, financial and strategy consulting firm. An expert on energy policy and economics, specializing in the electric and gas industries, Tierney has consulted to companies, governments, nonprofits, and other organizations on energy markets, as well as economic and environmental regulation and strategy. Her services have involved industry restructuring, market analyses, utility ratemaking and regulatory policy, clean energy regulatory policy, transmission issues, wholesale and retail market design, and resource planning and procurement.

Illinois State Sen. Chapin Rose has co-sponsored Senate Bill 1585 with the intent of keeping open the Clinton Nuclear Power Station in Clinton, Illinois, located within the state’s 51st legislative district that Rose represents. The Senate Bill would establish a Low Carbon Portfolio Standard (LCPS) that would help to reduce carbon emissions, increase renewable energy and maintain a stable and secure electricity supply in the state.

City Administrator Tim Followell has had 40 years experience working for the city of Clinton, Illinois, and has been a lifelong resident. Also speaking will be Henry Marquard, Director of Government Affairs at the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce. The Clinton and Quad Cities Nuclear Power Stations are among plants slated for closure.