Daniel Stoddard, Chief Nuclear Officer of Dominion Energy

“We like to focus on doing our business and we don’t like to blow our own horn a lot. We come to work, we do our job, we do it well. And we provide a great public service for the commonwealth and that really is kind of the way we like it. But I think we do need to do a better job of talking about the tremendous benefits of nuclear.”

Nuclear power is an often overlooked piece of the energy puzzle yet it is second only to coal in energy production (EIA, 2015) and natural gas in electricity generation (EIA, 2017). In this podcast, Dan Stoddard, Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer for Dominion Energy stops by to talk about this critically important segment of Virginia’s energy mix.

Stoddard is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and has a Master’s degree from the University of Virginia. Following the Navy and more than a decade working in South Carolina, he began his Dominion career in 2006, serving at North Anna where he rose to the rank of Site Vice President. He became Dominion’s lead for all nuclear matters in 2016.

Topics that we cover in this conversation include:

– The influence of the nuclear navy on commercial nuclear power
– The attributes and skills needed to work in the nuclear industry and how to get started
– What is nuclear power and what does it mean when a reactor is “critical”?
– Why is nuclear overlooked in the energy conversation?
– How is Virginia’s nuclear electricity regulated/distributed/competitive in the marketplace?
– How does nuclear fit in an “all of the above” energy strategy?
– What are the benefits of nuclear power?
– How does the nuclear industry answer concerns and overcome the fears about past incidents, like Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima Daiichi?
– What are Dominion’s modernization plans and are there plans to expand North Anna?
– Is Dominion pursuing any digital transformation?
– How is Dominion’s relationship with communities near the power plants and Virginia at-large?
– What is the future of nuclear power?
– What should policymakers consider regarding nuclear regulation and legislation?

Links of Note:

Dan Stoddard Bio
Rickover Principles
Dominion Nuclear Stations – includes video on nuclear generation
Virginia State Profile and Energy Estimates
Institute of Nuclear Power Operations

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