Maria Lacal

Maria Lacal is executive vice president and chief nuclear officer at Palo Verde Generating Station for Arizona Public Service Company (APS). Based in Phoenix, APS is Arizona’s largest electric company and serves nearly 1.3 million customers across the state.

Lacal is responsible for all nuclear-related activities associated with the Palo Verde Generating Station, the nation’s largest power producer of carbon-free energy. She is also responsible for the nuclear assurance division and employee concerns and safety culture programs.

Previously, Lacal served as senior vice president, nuclear regulatory and oversight at Palo Verde. She was responsible for nuclear regulatory and environmental areas, the nuclear assurance division, the employee concerns and safety culture areas and the organizational effectiveness department. Lacal joined APS as director of strategic projects at Palo Verde in 2007 and was promoted to vice president of operations support in 2011.

Prior to joining APS, she served as director of operations support for the nuclear division of Florida Power and Light Company. In this capacity, Lacal’s responsibilities included the corporate functional area manager and accredited training programs across the fleet. She has held other management positions, including training manager and operations manager at the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant. As the operations manager, Lacal was responsible for site operations, radiation protection, chemistry programs and associated organizations.

Lacal obtained a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission senior reactor operator license in 1996. She has also served as chairman of the Academy Council for the National Academy for Nuclear Training. Lacal is currently a member of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) Executive Advisory Group; STARS Nuclear Alliance Board of Directors; Nuclear Strategic Issues Advisory Committee (NSIAC); Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Nuclear Power Council Executive Committee; chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) Risk Informed Steering Committee; executive chairman of PWR Owners Group; CNO liaison for EPRI Fuel & Chemistry Executive Committee; and executive sponsor of EPRI Fuels Research Integration Committee. She also serves as a member of the University of Arizona’s Eller School of Business National Board of Advisors, as a member of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear Executive Advisory Committee, and on the U.S. Women in Nuclear Executive Advisory Council.

Lacal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Miami. She also completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.

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