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About

This is an unofficial website intended to inform the general public on the progress of the NH Nuclear Study Commission and its regular meetings. The official government website can be found here.

The commission was created by the passage of HB543, a bill sponsored by New Hampshire State Representatives Keith Ammon (R-New Boston), Jason Osborne (R-Auburn), and Michael Vose (R-Rockingham). The bill was filed in November 2020 and signed by Governor Chris Sununu in June 2022.

Purpose

Eliminating carbon emissions from electricity generation is an urgent goal to mitigate the threat of climate change. Energy production using wind and solar sources are still a small fraction of energy production. Wind and solar are carbon-neutral but are very low in energy density and function intermittently. Nuclear power is currently the largest source of carbon-free energy in the US, supplying 20 percent of electricity nationally. The state of nuclear reactor technology has advanced significantly in the last few decades, and a new generation of technologies, “generation IV,” are purported to be safer and more reliable than older generation systems designed in the last century. Now is an opportune time to revisit nuclear power to determine the current state of technology and possible applications for energy production in New Hampshire during the coming decade.

Duties

The commission shall investigate:

  1. Advances in nuclear power technology, including “generation IV” reactors, by conducting research and seeking counsel and testimony from experts in the field;
  2. The most promising generation IV designs as determined by the Gen IV International Forum:
    1. Gas-cooled Fast Reactor (GFR);
    2. Lead-cooled Fast Reactor (LFR);
    3. Molten Salt Reactor (MSR);
    4. Supercritical Water-cooled Reactor (SCWR);
    5. Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR); and
    6. Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR);
  3. Large-scale, small-scale, microreactor, modular and breeder reactor designs;
  4. The safety of modern designs, including “passive safety systems”;
  5. Various types of fuel consumption, including the ability for new designs to safely consume nuclear waste, such as the waste in long-term storage facilities;
  6. Nonelectric applications including:
    1. Hydrogen or other liquid and gaseous fuel or chemical production;
    2. Water desalination and wastewater treatment;
    3. Heat for industrial processes;
    4. District heating;
    5. Energy storage; and
    6. Industrial or medical isotope production;
  7. Potential siting options;
  8. Partnerships with industry participants or investors;
  9. Partnerships with federal agencies, such as the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission;
  10. Federal incentives for nuclear power generation; and
  11. Shall identify potential obstacles with federal nuclear regulation.

Reports

The commission shall submit interim reports of its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the house clerk, the senate clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before December 1, 2022 and July 1, 2023, and shall submit its final report on or before December 1, 2023.

Submitted Reports

Sunset

The commission ends on December 1, 2023 when its relevant RSAs are repealed.


Commission Members

Mikael Pyrtel
NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs

Mikael Pyrtel works as a liaison, collaborating with regional economic development partners, businesses, and stakeholders to address various issues impacting the state’s economy. This involves finding solutions for workforce accessibility, training, financing, and technical assistance. Pyrtel represents the BEA on federal task forces, state committees, and trade groups such as the BOEM Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force and the NHCBE. He is also involved in initiatives like New Hampshire’s State Hydrogen Initiative, Committee on Purchase Power Agreements, and the State Supply Chain Advisory Council for the Business Network for Offshore Wind.

Matthew Levander
Seabrook Station NextEra Energy – Regulatory Affairs Manager

Matthew Levander is the Regulatory Affairs Manager at the Seabrook Station Nuclear Plant. He joined NextEra Energy in 2003 and has held leadership positions in the operations and training departments. He obtained his senior reactor operator license in 2009 and has been responsible for management oversight of licensing and emergency preparedness since 2021. Levander holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University.

Marc Brown
Secretary | Consumer Energy Alliance | VP, State Affairs

Marc Brown is an expert on energy policy and has testified before various local, state, and federal bodies. He has managed campaigns on topics such as oil and gas production and renewable energy. He has also appeared on panels discussing electricity market design and natural gas pipeline expansion. Marc represents the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire on the Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Board and sits on the board of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy. He holds a BA in Government and Politics from George Mason University.

David Shulock
Department of Energy, General Counsel

David Shulock is the General Counsel at the New Hampshire Department of Energy. He has previously served as General Counsel at the Public Utilities Commission and as the Director of the Legal Division at the Commission. Shulock holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Economics from Dartmouth College and a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School. His legal practice focuses on energy law, environmental permitting and compliance, telecommunications, and other commercial and consumer transactions. Shulock has experience in contract negotiations, business closings, compliance counseling, and civil and administrative litigation.

Bart Fromuth
Freedom Energy Logistics

Bart Fromuth is the CEO of Freedom Energy Logistics. He joined the company in 2008 and is responsible for overseeing its day-to-day operations, as well as developing and expanding its offerings. Fromuth has experience as an energy attorney and uses his legal expertise to negotiate contracts on behalf of the company’s clients. He has also been involved in key policy decisions in the New England region, including those related to residential choice, community choice aggregation, and net metering. Fromuth has a bachelor’s degree in history from Bates College and a law degree from Northeastern University. He has served on the board of directors for the Granite Institute and the NH Clean Energy Council.

Howard Pearl
State Senator

Howard Pearl, a State Senator and fourth-generation farmer from Loudon, New Hampshire, is a dedicated public servant representing District 17. He is Chair of the Executive Departments and Administration Committee, Vice-Chair of the Energy Committee, and member of the Finance Committee. With a 300-acre farm and a role as treasurer for the NH Farm Bureau, Pearl advocates for agricultural interests. As Loudon’s town moderator, he also facilitates town meetings. Despite challenges like the politics of climate change and regulations, Pearl remains steadfast in his commitment to farming and community.

Christopher McLarnon, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer at UNH

Chris McLarnon is a Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of New Hampshire. Chris has been at UNH for the last five years, following a career in research, development, and demonstration of pollution control technologies for power plants and industrial facilities. Before college, Chris graduated from the US Navy’s nuclear power program and spent four years on a nuclear-powered submarine. At UNH, Chris has taught courses in Nuclear Engineering, Air Pollution Control, Energy and the Environment, Chemical Engineering Design, and Chemical Engineering Unit Operations.

Daniel Goldner
PUC Chair

Dan Goldner is Chair of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. Goldner has over 30 years of experience in high technology and started his career as a design engineer. He has held a range of executive leadership roles and has extensive experience in finance and acquisitions. After working as the Controller for a California-based acquisition, he grew a high-performance analog semiconductor business from $800m to $3bn in four years. Goldner holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas St University and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.

Michael Harrington
Vice Chair | State Representative

Michael Harrington is a New Hampshire State Representative serving on the House Science, Technology, and Energy Committee. Michael has a BS in Nuclear Engineering. He has worked as a civilian engineer for the US Navy on nuclear submarines and held various engineering and management positions at the Seabrook Nuclear Plant. He has also served as a NH Public Utilities Commissioner. Michael has been married for 43 years to his wife Linda and has two adult daughters. He has been a resident of Strafford for over 35 years and has been involved in various local government committees. In his free time, Michael enjoys mountain climbing and is a certified rescue diver and certified pistol instructor.

Catherine Beahm
NH Department of Environmental Services

Catherine Beahm is the Planning Administrator for the NH Department of Environmental Services’ Air Resources Division. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Maine. Beahm is responsible for rulemaking, state implementation plan submittals, right-to-know requests, and preparing the division’s budget. She has almost 20 years of experience with the department and has been involved in special assignments related to PFAS air issues. Beahm was appointed to serve on the commission as the designee of the Commissioner.

Keith Ammon
Chair | State Representative

Keith Ammon is a State Representative for Hillsborough District 42 in the New Hampshire House and Vice Chair of the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs committee. He is currently serving his fourth term in office and has previously served on the Municipal and County Government and the Science, Technology, and Energy committees. He has also held the positions of Assistant Majority Whip and Clerk of the House Commerce committee. In addition to politics, Ammon is a software developer focused on data analytics and blockchain technology. He is also a recreational pilot and an advocate for New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die” tradition.