Keynote Speakers

Capt. Robert Baker, Jr., Retired, WMD-Hazmat Coordinator, Dallas Fire Rescue

Keynote Speaker

Capt. Bobby Baker, (RET.) B.A.S, M.P.S., served 21 years with the Dallas Fire and Rescue Department as a paramedic and firefighter, and hazardous materials technician with specialties in the radiological, biological, and chemical domains. Capt. Baker volunteered to serve as the WMD-Hazmat Coordinator where he was very influential in the building and equipping of the City of Dallas Joint Hazards Assessment Team (JHAT), an all-hazards multi-department asymmetric threat protection team primarily deployed to prevent and respond to low frequency mass casualty events. Capt. Baker is a published author and currently serves on the advisory panel for Domestic Preparedness magazine. (www.domprep.com) He is a past participant and active advocate for the SAVER program of the Department of Homeland Security National Urban Security and Technology Laboratory in New York City (NUSTL), assessing and producing validation reports for first responders.

Capt. Baker is a lifelong learner, holding a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from Dallas Baptist University 2003, a master’s degree in Homeland Security from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. 2021, and graduated from the former University of Texas Southwestern Medical School of Allied Health Paramedic Program in 1999.

Capt. Baker is a highly sought-after speaker and trainer both domestically and internationally in high performance team leadership and the incident command of CBRN incidents. He presented most recently at CBRN Convergence 2019 in Nashville, TN in the United States. Internationally he has presented twice at the European CBRN Summit in Rome, Italy 2017, and in 2018 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Keynote Address:Technology and Talent, the Synergistic Combination to Secure Our Nation

Michael Shellenberger, President, Environmental Progress

Keynote Speaker

Michael is considered a “climate guru,” “North America’s leading public intellectual on clean energy,” and “high priest” of the environmental humanist movement.

He is an invited reviewer of the next Assessment Report for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and advises policymakers around the world, including in the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

Michael has helped save nuclear reactors around the world, from Illinois and New York to South Korea and Taiwan, thereby preventing an increase in air pollution equivalent to adding over 24 million cars to the road.

Many environmentalists say climate change threatens to end human civilization and even humanity itself. Why then do they oppose the two technologies that have done the most to reduce carbon emissions, natural gas and nuclear, and insist on the two technologies that have done the least, solar panels and wind turbines? Is climate change really an apocalyptic threat? If not, what kind of a threat is it, and how can we deal with it? With natural gas’s role assured, and nuclear’s role in serious question, what matters and what doesn’t when it comes to expanding nuclear energy as a solution to climate change and other environmental problems? In this talk, Time magazine “Hero of the Environment,” Michael Shellenberger, author of forthcoming Apocalypse Never, will offer answers to these questions, and others.

Keynote Address:Apocalypse Never: Why We Need Environmental Humanism

Customer Presentations


Rick Leasure, Radiation Protection Manager, Entergy Nuclear (River Bend Station)

Rick Leasure is the radiation protection manager at Entergy’s River Bend Station, located in St. Francisville, Louisiana. He is responsible for organizing, directing, coordinating and controlling the conduct of operational, technical and administrative aspects of River Bend’s radiological program. He also provides leadership and direction to the station regarding the radiation protection program.

Leasure brings 36 years of nuclear experience to the position. He began his Entergy career in 2014 as a radiation protection superintendent at River Bend. While at River Bend, he has also held the role of emergency planning manager and vice president technical coordinator. Before joining Entergy, he worked with Exelon where his roles included radiation protection manager, chemistry manager and radiation protection technical manager.

Throughout his career, Leasure has been the recipient of the Exelon Nuclear Innovation Award and the University of Illinois College of Engineering Dr. John Palms Outstanding Innovation Award.

Presentation:Using Robotics In an Industrial Environment

Abstract:Using robotics improves performance at nuclear power sites, which results in fast, reliable data from many different types of detecting systems installed on these robots while decreasing worker dose and increasing worker safety.

Yvotte Brits, Global Supply Chain Manager, X-energy

Yvotte Brits is the Supply Chain Manager and Operator Training Simulator Program Manager for the Xe-100 Plant. He received is Bachelor’s degree in Electric and Electronic Engineering in 2006 and his Master’s degree in Nuclear engineering in 2010 from the North West University in South Africa. Yvotte won the award for the best Master’s degree theses at the International Youth Nuclear Conference in 2010 in Cape Town. Yvotte is a Nuclear Engineer with 13 years’ experience in Supply Chain Management, Operator Simulator Training Program Management, Energy Plant Transient Analyses, Instrumentation & Control Design, Cost Modelling, and Plant System Design for Power Plants. Yvotte is the project manager of a $7.5 M DOE ARPA-E project to reduced fixed O&M on the Xe-100 Plant and is busy with his PhD in Nuclear Engineering at the NCSU.

Presentation:Xe-100 Technology & Load Following Capabilities

Abstract:X Energy, LLC (X-energy) is developing a Generation IV Advanced Reactor based on the High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor (HTGR) technology utilizing U.S.-developed Uranium Oxy-Carbide (UCO) TRISO fuel embedded in spherical fuel elements, referred to as fuel pebbles. The reactor generates 200 MWt and produces high-quality, super-heated steam at 565°C and 16.5 MPa and is suitable for many different energy applications, including electricity, industrial process heat, district heating, desalination, wind/solar power augmentation, or a combination of these. The standard Xe-100 plant consists of four identical modules, with each module containing a nuclear reactor and steam generator, or Nuclear Island (NI), coupled to a Conventional Island (CI). CI systems and components are commercially available systems and components which can be procured from multiple U.S. and Canadian vendors and optimally configured to suit the end user’s requirements. The NI remains unchanged irrespective of the application and contains the nuclear steam supply system and safety related Systems, Structures and Components (SSCs). A single 200 MWt reactor module configured for electricity generation produces 80 MWe net power. The Xe-100 is highly manoeuvrable, ramping at ~5% per minute from 100% to 40% power. This makes the Xe-100 an ideal complement to variable energy resources (e.g., renewables) to deliver grid stability and high availability. The advantage of a 4-module configuration is that it maximizes shared systems such as the control room, spent fuel handling and storage and other common plant facilities such as security, maintenance, and administration. The 4 reactor modules will share a single control room optimizing the number of trained operators required for operation.

David Perkins, Senior Technical Executive, Electric Power Research Institute

David Perkins is a Senior Technical Executive for EPRI serving in the Fuels – Chemistry Program. His current research activities focus on water chemistry and radiation safety technology transfer and support for EPRI members and Program participants.

Mr. Perkins’s work experience has typically been focused in the pressurized water reactor chemistry controls, specifically focused on zinc injection and source term controls, radiation management, chemistry software code development, inline and online monitoring, data analysis, and decommissioning. His most recent work has been working with the EPRI Smart Chemistry, source term, inline gamma spectroscopy, data analysis, and technical transfer internationally. Mr. Perkins has supported many utilities in the assessment of chemistry controls and optimization processes related to cycle chemistry and long-term strategies through the use of the Strategic Water Chemistry Plans.

Presentation:Automated Gamma Isotopic Demonstration

Abstract:Similar to sampling from the earliest nuclear power plant startups, today this task is primarily per-formed by entering the radiologically controlled area, collecting the coolant samples manually, taking them to an assay laboratory and analyzing in a calibration-qualified counting geometry with a high purity germanium (HPGe) gamma spectrometry system. Technology today allows for more advanced monitoring and data analysis and evaluation while monitoring remotely. These manual processes are time and resource intense, creates the risk for spills and exposes the staff to radia-tion fields during sampling and sample preparation. Furthermore, potentially useful information from short-lived radionuclides or dynamic isotopic activity changes between the discrete sampling periods may provide early indications of adverse conditions that could be lost with existing sam-pling frequencies. This paper reviews the recently completed high purity germanium automated sample collection and analysis project performed at Monticello Nuclear Power Station.

David Brehm

David Brehm, Supervisor, Radiation Protection Technical Support for the Decommissioning of Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station

David Brehm currently holds a position as a Supervisor, Radiation Protection Technical Support for the decommissioning of Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station. He began his career there in 2008.

Prior to FCS, he worked for 17 years at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation (Battelle PNNL and Bechtel Hanford), the later years in providing radiological instrumentation, automation, and related analysis functions in support of site cleanup operations.

Mr. Brehm holds a degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Washington after spending 10 years in the U.S. nuclear Navy as an Engineering Laboratory Technician.

Presentation:Fission Product Gas Monitoring During Fuel Drying Operations at Fort Calhoun Station

Abstract:The goal of the project was to devise and implement a method of accurately qualifying any noble gas emitted during fuel drying operations (part of the dry fuel storage process) in order to provide the data needed to validate the off-site dose calculations. The imputes of the project was the NRC publishing Information Notice 18-01, “Noble Fission Gas Releases During Spent Fuel Cask Loading Operations” in February 2018. The information notice describes some industry events that occurred during vacuum drying operations as part of a dry fuel campaign. The solution was devised by Fort Calhoun Station staff in partnership with Mirion Technologies technical staff. The monitoring was accomplished by directing all the effluent from the fuel storage cask vacuum drying machine through a sample chamber containing a compact ISOCS characterized CZT based gamma spectrometer connected to a Mirion Data Analyst. This resulted near real-time quantification of the radionuclides of concern.