Contact:  Jeremy Davis

April 28, 2011 

Phone:  (615) 741-1967

Norris Appointed to Economic Development Consortium on Nuclear Energy

Focus on safe, economical energy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) has been named to serve as one of 12 members on the Communications, Policy and Economic Development Council of the U.S. Department of Energy’s program tasked with modeling and simulation of nuclear reactors.

Known as “CASL” (Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors,, the program includes Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee Valley Authority, and leading research universities in Tennessee, Texas, North Carolina, Florida and elsewhere.  The new headquarters facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee will be dedicated next Tuesday, May 3, at 1:00 P.M. EST.

CASL has received a five-year, federal grant to design and develop computer models simulating “virtual reactors” to increase safety and reliability, reduce waste and extend the life of the existing U.S. reactor fleet. “It’s the Manhattan Project of the new millennium,” said Norris following an initial meeting in Atlanta on April 28.

The Council consists of representatives from the public and private sector committed to recognizing the importance of safe and reliable nuclear energy in economic development.

“Post Fukujima, there is renewed interest in nuclear safety. It’s a tremendous opportunity for progress,” said Norris.

“Reducing risk reduces costs which strengthens opportunity for future economic development,” according to Norris who also serves on the Southern States Energy Board and Tennessee Technology Development Corporation.

Norris chairs the Southern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments which includes 15 southern states, many of which are also involved.


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