Debate leads to resolution on nuclear energy
By Alex Sonnabend
It has been a pleasure to represent SPEEA, IFPTE Local 2001 as part of the IFPTE nergy Committee, supporting a recommendation to Congress regarding the future of
At the IFPTE Convention in 2012, concerns were
raised about a resolution by IFPTE Local 160,
recommending “Rebuilding and Construction
of Nuclear Power Plants.” In response, convention delegates established a committee to solicit
input, share ideas, and bring a revised resolution
to the 2015 IFPTE Convention.
The IFPTE Energy Committee participants
came from the Tennessee Valley Authority,
Diablo Canyon Power Plant, Society of Energy
Professionals, and the Office of Labor Standards
Enforcement in San Francisco. IFPTE President
Greg Junemann served as the subcommittee chair.
I applied to represent SPEEA on the committee because I have a background in energy studies and research. This includes renewable and
nuclear energy at the undergraduate and graduate levels, side projects converting cars to run
on biodiesel, biodiesel conversion systems, and
analyses on failures of coal-fired power plants. I
also represented Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
at the 2011 US Naval Academy Science and
Considering the representation from local unions
dependent on nuclear energy, the resolution
would most certainly include it. I researched con-
cerns resonating from SPEEA, many of which
Over the course of a
year and a half, our
committee met at least monthly, sometimes
weekly, to share ideas and resolve concerns and
issues. Our primary discussions centered on
supporting jobs within the IFPTE unions while
accounting for safety, environmental and logisti-
The result is a thoroughly reviewed document,
approved by member union councils, ready for
a vote. The resolution:
• Recommends nuclear energy as a source
capable of meeting energy demand, free
of harmful greenhouse gas emissions and
reducing dependence on foreign oil.
• Aims to support research in technological
advancements and jobs in nuclear energy,
training, safety, and storage.
• Encourages technology development for
alternative, renewable energy sources.
It was the professionalism and supportive nature
of the IFPTE and SPEEA members that helped
the committee reach a resolution.
[Editor’s note: At press time, the convention had
not started. Check our website at www.speea.org
for the latest convention news.]
Representing SPEEA at IFPTE triennial convention
SPEEA members attending the IFPTE Convention July 27-30 are shown here in Tukwila (connected with SPEEA Everett and Wichita) in a planning meeting July 21. About 230 representatives from IFPTE locals in the U.S. and Canada met in Las Vegas to conduct business and elect officers. SPEEA convention delegates attending were Roger Aisaka, Mike Arrington,
Sandy Hastings, Mohammed Khan, Judy Mogan, Dan Nowlin, Daniel Peters, Carrie Rule, Ryan Rule (one of three SPEEA-Area VPs to be formally elected), Stan Sorscher
and Nikki Wagener. SPEEA-Area VPs Joel Funfar and Donna Lehane (who were also formally elected for new three-year terms) and Jimmie Mathis, incumbent SPEEA-Area VP,
also attended the convention, held every three years.
Shown here at the June SPEEA Convention are from left, SPEEA leader and IFPTE VP
Jimmie Mathis, Alex Sonnabend, energy committee member, IFPTE Secretary Treasurer
Paul Shearon and IFPTE President Greg Junemann. Sonnabend reported on the energy
committee’s efforts and conclusions at the SPEEA Council meeting.