Plenary Topic: Role of a permanent nuclear waste management solution for a safe, secure, competitive, and clean nuclear energy future

About the speakers

Monica C. Regalbuto

Idaho National Laboratory

Dr. Regalbuto has over 30 years of experience in the area of radio-isotope processing and separation for diverse applications such as environmental remediation and resource conservation. She is currently leading the spent fuel and high level waste management initiative at the Idaho National Laboratory. She has served in multiple leadership roles, her latest, as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Environmental Management for the U.S. Department of Energy. This responsibility involved an annual budget of over $6B per year with a geographically dispersed workforce of over 20,000 federal and contractor employees. She managed 16 sites across 11 States.

Dr. Regalbuto has contributed to the development of innovative technologies. As a researcher at Argonne National Laboratory, she made key contributions beginning with the TRUEX process for removing transuranic elements, followed by the highly successful CSSX process demonstrations, for separating cesium-137 and the UREX+ processes, a suite of solvent extraction processes for the recovery of actinides and fission products. Dr. Regalbuto has authored multiple journal articles, reports, and presentations and holds six patents.

Rod McCullum

Senior Director, Decommissioning and Used Fuel
Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI)

Rod McCullum has been working on regulatory issues at NEI since 1998. He has 30 years of nuclear engineering, licensing, management and regulatory policy experience. Currently, at NEI, he leads industry efforts to reduce business risks associated with used nuclear fuel management, commercial nuclear power plant decommissioning, and emergent material degradation issues by directing broad scope technical and regulatory programs. He held prior positions in Government (with the Department of Energy) and Industry (at three commercial nuclear power plants). He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering (University of Cincinnati, 1985) and a Master of Business Administration degree (Lewis University, 2000).

Steven P. Nesbit


Steve Nesbit is now a nuclear industry consultant following a long career with Duke Energy Corporation.

Nesbit’s career at Duke Energy began in 1982 doing nuclear safety analysis. Between 1996 and 2005, he led Duke Energy’s efforts related to the use of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel in its nuclear power reactors as a part of the Department of Energy project to dispose of surplus plutonium from nuclear weapons. He also managed used nuclear fuel activities. For the past ten years he was responsible for developing company policy positions related to nuclear power, and interacting with industry and government groups on used fuel management and related issues.

In addition to the MOX fuel project, Nesbit has worked as a contractor on other Department of Energy initiatives: the New Production Reactor Project, 1990 to 1992; the Yucca Mountain Spent Nuclear Fuel Disposal Project, 1992 to 1996; and the Centralized Interim Storage Facility Project in 1996. These assignments included managing groups responsible for licensing and safety analysis.

Nesbit has worked on spent fuel issues through a number of industry groups and other organizations, including the Nuclear Industry Council, the Nuclear Energy Institute and the Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition. He is the past chairman of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Public Policy Committee and is currently on the ANS Board of Directors. He also chairs the Piedmont Carolinas American Nuclear Society local section.

Nesbit has published a number of technical and policy papers at past International High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Conferences:  repository seismic design methodology (1995) centralized interim storage (2011), a new used fuel management organization (2013), a proposed waste acceptance queue for shutdown nuclear power reactors (2015) and Nuclear Industry Council recommendations for nuclear waste management reform (2017). He testified to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act, in 2017.

Nesbit received Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of Virginia. He is a registered professional engineer in North Carolina. He is a past adjunct faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he taught nuclear engineering.