NRC Commissioner Ostendorff Will Not Seek Another Term

On February 17, 2016, William Ostendorff announced that he would not seek another term at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) after his term expires on June 30, 2016. Commissioner Ostendorff, who will have served for six years in the five-member body that oversees the safety of the country’s nuclear power plants, will instead return to the United States Naval Academy to teach, according to an agency spokesman.

The departure of Commissioner Ostendorff, a former naval officer who commanded an attack submarine and later taught and led the Math and Science Division at the Naval Academy, will leave the NRC with three members—two short of its intended staffing.

Ostendorff, a Republican, was originally appointed to the Commission by President Obama in 2010 to finish the term of retiring Commissioner Dale Klein. He was sworn in to a second term on July 7, 2011. He has served at the NRC through numerous challenges including, among other things, the agency’s response to the Fukushima D’aiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011. “We made a conscious decision by a unanimous commission vote, five to zero, to not require any U.S. nuclear power plant to shut down because of safety concerns,” Ostendorff told Senators last year about the Fukushima response. “We did not have those safety concerns.”

At a recent conference on nuclear energy, Ostendoff was quoted as saying, “I feel very comfortable leaving the Commission at the end of June with where we are on Fukushima.”  In a statement, NRC Chair Stephen Burns said that Commissioner Ostendorff “brought a wealth of experience to the Commission and helped guide the agency through the challenges of Fukushima, a changing industry environment and many other challenging issues.”

Registration Opens for NRC’s 2016 Regulatory Information Conference

Registration is now open for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) 28th annual Regulatory Information Conference (RIC). The conference is being held from March 8-10, 2016 at the Bethesda North Marriott located at 5701 Marinelli Road in Bethesda, Maryland. The NRC’s offices of Nuclear Reactor Regulation and Nuclear Regulatory Research jointly host the RIC. The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Approximately 3,000 people are expected to attend the RIC including industry executives, representatives from state governments, non-governmental organizations, individual community members, and representatives from dozens of foreign countries. The conference is an opportunity for attendees to discuss issues related to the safety and security of commercial nuclear facilities and current regulatory activities.

The program features NRC Chair Stephen Burns as the keynote speaker. Additional program highlights include plenary sessions with Commissioners Kristine Svinicki, William Ostendorff and Jeff Baran. NRC’s Executive Director for Operations, Victor McCree, will give remarks. Bill Dean, Director of NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, will give welcome and introductory remarks.

Highlights of this year’s RIC include two sessions titled, “25 Years of NRC’s Principles of Good Regulation” and “Project Aim: Accomplishments and Next Steps.” Other technical sessions will address significant domestic and international issues such as cyber-security, subsequent license renewal, advanced and small modular reactors, spent fuel research activities and the reactor oversight process.

The conference agenda and online registration links are now available on the NRC web site at The deadline for online registration is February 23, 2016. Early registration is encouraged; however, onsite registration will also be available during the conference.

For additional information, please contact Stephanie West of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.