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Past Nuclear Focused Events

ETEC's Nuclear Working Group hosts a conference each year to highlight opportunities in the nuclear industry. The 2023 recap is directly below. Keep scrolling to see the summary of our conferences dating back to 2017.


ETEC's 5th annual Nuclear Opportunities Workshop hosted 400 attendees that included experts in both nuclear fission and fusion energy, national security, radioisotopes, environmental management, workforce, and students interested in these fields. The 1-1/2 day event was held in the Oak Ridge Corridor at the Hilton Knoxville Airport on Tuesday & Wednesday, August 1 & 2, 2023.


Tennessee Governor Bill Lee opened the conference with a welcome video created especially for the event. Click here to watch the video. To see the photos from the event, click here.

The panel discussions were each formatted differently and each of the conversations touched on the topics of supply chain, workforce development and needs, and emerging technologies. The panel topics were:

  • Nuclear Advanced Reactor Development Status & Lessons Learned
  • Nuclear Fuels
  • Nuclear Fusion Development & Progress
  • Nuclear Workforce, Training & Technology Advancements
  • Nuclear Cleanup & Environmental Justice
  • Nuclear & Energy Security
  • Nuclear Medicine & Radioisotopes
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Insightful and informative keynote presentations were given by:

  • Chuck Fleischmann, U.S. Representative (TN-03)
  • Dr. Michael Goff, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy
  • Jeff Lyash, CEO, Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Stuart McWhorter, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Deniece Thomas, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development

At the reception on Tuesday evening, August 1, attendees enjoyed interacting with each other and meeting the members of ETEC and the Oak Ridge community to joined us specifically to welcome our conference attendees. The participants were welcomed by the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Tennessee Randy McNally, William "Ike" White, Senior Advisor of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management, and Tennessee State Senator Ken Yager.

As expected, the most popular topic during the conference centered around workforce. The 70 or so students who attended were very popular.

Highlights of the event included the unveiling of the 'Nuclear Is Here' display/workforce map. This 20' x 7' graphic was compiled and created by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in conjunction with ETEC's Nuclear Working Group. Conference participants were invited to give feedback on the future workforce needed for the nuclear industry. If you have thoughts or workforce needs to share, send us an email.

At the conference Roane State Community College announced the launch of their Nuclear Technology Program and was presented with a $100,000 check from UT-Battelle, LLC, which manages and operates Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy.

ETEC's newest rendition of the Nuclear Industry map was on display as well. As a companion piece to the Nuclear Is Here display, it visually shows how the nuclear industry is positioned across the state. There are 229 nuclear companies in Tennessee, and 154 are of them are located in the Oak Ridge-Knoxville area.

For information about the current NOW Conference, click here.

For more information about the nuclear industry in Tennessee, click here.


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In 2017, ETEC and the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council (USNIC) hosted the 1st Nuclear Suppliers Workshop on September 6­-7 at the Pollard Technology Conference Center on the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) campus in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The focus of the event was on manufacturing opportunities arising in the Southeastern U.S. around small modular reactors, next-generation nuclear technology, nuclear medicine, and national security programs.

Session topics included workforce and training, certification programs, and the global marketplace.

The two-day workshop included an evening reception for attendees and business/community leaders, and optional tours of ORNL, Y-12, or ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF).


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The 2018 Nuclear Supplier’s Workshop was held in the Conference Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

2018 marked the 75th anniversary of Oak Ridge’s role in nuclear energy. To commemorate that marker, presenters at the NSW, in collaboration with ORNL and Y-12, covered nuclear energy, next-generation nuclear technology, nuclear medicine, and national security.

Speakers included John Kotek with the Nuclear Energy Institute and Adam DeMella with the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, Energy, and Water

The NSW was part of the Nuclear Opportunities Week (N.O.W.) that was held October 2-5, 2018 in Oak Ridge and Knoxville, Tennessee and included: ETEC’s Nuclear Suppliers Workshop, ETEBA’s Business and Opportunities Conference, ORNL’s Molten Salt Reactor Workshop, Y-12’s National Security Programming, and the DOE Nuclear Energy’s Millennial Nuclear Caucus.


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The 2019 Nuclear Suppliers Workshop was held on August 27, 2019 at the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12) in the New Hope Center. The event focused on supply opportunities for advanced nuclear reactors, nuclear fuels, additive manufacturing for nuclear, and nuclear medicine. Highlights included:

  • Rita Baranwal, Assistant Secretary of Energy, was the keynote speaker.
  • Breakout sessions for a more informal dialogue with industry representatives
  • Opportunity to tour Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.
  • Opening reception on the evening of Monday, August 26, at TownePlace Suites by Marriott Oak Ridge.
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In early summer 2019 ETEC partnered with the U.S. DOE Office of Nuclear Energy to facilitate one of DOE NE’s Millennial Nuclear Caucus. Held on June 21st with a community reception at the American Museum of Science & Energy (AMSE). the evening prior, the event was attended by early career professionals and interns from the federal sites in Oak Ridge, and private companies around the region.


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On June 29, 2021, public and private industry leaders met virtually for a discussion on fusion innovation. This virtual event was hosted by the Fusion Industry Association, located in Washington DC, and the East Tennessee Economic Council, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The online Zoom event featured:

  • Keynote presentation by General Fusion’s Chief Business Development Officer Jay Brister

Panel discussions on:

  • Enabling Fusion Innovation in the Private Industry Sector
  • Research and Development Technologies, Opportunities, and Partnerships in Fusion
  • Fusion from the Utility’s Perspective to Include Regulatory and Public Policy Issues

Comments from U.S. Representatives who are a part of the Congressional Fusion Caucus


“Probably one of the best virtual events I’ve attended. The discussions were engaging and insightful.”

“This was a really good event. As someone that spent ~8 years on the US ITER project, it was nice to hear the progress and new avenues to fusion. I’m happy to see more opportunities coming to Oak Ridge.”


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ETEC’s 2022 Nuclear Opportunities Workshop hosted 200 attendees including experts in nuclear energy, national security, radioisotopes, environmental management, and nuclear workforce, along with students interested in these fields, fill the Bridgewater Place Event Center on Tuesday, August 2, 2022. Topics discussed included:

  • Advanced Reactors: Lessons Learned in the Early Days of Advanced Reactors
  • Nuclear Fuels: Nuclear Fuel Demand and Development
  • Radioisotopes: Impact and Processes of Radioisotope Production
  • Nuclear Workforce: Workforce Initiatives and Opportunities Available to the Nuclear Industry in East Tennessee

Keynote presentations were given by:

  • Jon Carmack, Senior Technical Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy
  • Greg Boerschig, Vice President of the Clinch River Project for the Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Jon Ball, Executive Vice President of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

At the reception on Monday evening, August 1 at the American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE), attendees enjoyed interacting with each other, having good food and drink, and being welcomed by Oak Ridge City Mayor Warren Gooch, State Rep. John Ragan, and U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.

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