Nuclear power is working for America. On May 22, hundreds of engineers, scientists, plant operators, entrepreneurs and students will gather in Scottsdale, at the annual Nuclear Energy Assembly, to talk about the multiple benefits that our technology provides, and the challenges and opportunities ahead.In preparation, NEI’s Matt Wald sat down recently with Lenka Kollar, the director of business strategy at NuScale Power, the company that submitted the first application for design certification of a small modular reactor. Lenka will be a panelist on the first day of the conference.NuScale is one of several companies working on small modular reactors, reactors that can be built in a factory and then shipped by barge, rail or truck to sites around the country or the world. It’s not quite plug-and-play, but it’s closer to it than anything the nuclear industry has done so far. NuScale is further down the path to deployment than others; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently accepted for review the company’s application for design certification.Lenka described the significance of NuScale’s approach. “Nuclear energy doesn’t have to be what people think it is,” she said. “It’s usually thought of as baseload power that is not flexible, and what we’re creating is something that is far more flexible and can meet the diverse energy needs here in the U.S. and abroad.’’The Nuclear Energy Assembly, she said, will be an intersection of the existing and the new. That will be true on stage, in the Expo Hall and in the hallways.Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona will address the meeting and talk about nuclear power as an element of Arizona’s infrastructure. Kristine Svinicki, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Colette Honorable, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, will speak, as will José Gutiérrez, the interim president and chief executive officer of

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