ANS is a strong technical society with a clear mission—sharing information on advances in technology, providing opportunities for professional development, and educating and engaging policymakers and the public. I joined the Society while a student at Georgia Tech, and my 30-year involvement in ANS has helped shape my career in nuclear energy research. I am honored to be nominated for vice president/president-elect and am enthusiastic about serving as we help shape the future of nuclear technology and develop the next generation of nuclear professionals.
ANS does a great job of disseminating information and supporting professional development for our members. Like our industry, we are on a path to continuous improvement. We have made strides in engaging the public and policymakers, but we can focus additional effort to increase the relevance and impact of ANS on the nuclear enterprise and on the public policies that support it. Positive interactions with the public and policymakers will further strengthen the other two mission areas and help our Society grow.
The tremendous benefits of nuclear technology are underestimated by many policymakers and citizens. Nuclear energy can help lift nations from poverty by providing the electricity that fuels economies. Nuclear medicine identifies and heals life-threatening diseases. Nuclear technology makes agriculture more productive and helps preserve food. It fuels the space exploration that enables us to learn more about our universe. If elected, I would focus on spreading the truth about nuclear technology and how it benefits society.
The recent U.S. presidential election was unique because both candidates supported nuclear energy. There is now real bipartisan support in both Congress and the administration—the time is right to increase our impact. We can achieve our strategic plan's goal and be the credible and trustworthy source of information on nuclear science and technology. I served in the Department of Energy for a year as a senior technical advisor to the assistant secretary for nuclear energy in the present administration. I observed and participated in the development of energy policy and saw firsthand the strong support and recognition of the role for nuclear technology in the United States and the world. As a Society, we can take advantage of these conditions to increase our effectiveness in defining the future of nuclear technology.
ANS performs a unique role as a provider of fact-based information on technical issues related to nuclear energy. ANS members and the organization as a whole have the opportunity to interact with elected officials, government leaders, industry leaders, university leaders, and policy think tanks. In my experience, policymakers, such as congressional staff and administration officials, want to clearly and fully understand the technical issues to inform the development of policy. ANS needs to be the key source of information on nuclear science and technology. ANS members, and especially the ANS president, need to proactively get in front of emerging nuclear science and technology issues and broadly engage policymakers. I would be honored to represent our Society in these discussions.
ANS's 19 professional divisions and two technical groups demonstrate the breadth and depth of our Society. The broad scope of our professional members opens us up to a wider audience of policymakers and the public.
The nuclear community is global, and we can be relevant globally. Much of my work at Idaho National Laboratory is focused on international collaborations related to the peaceful use of nuclear technology. Within ANS, I have served in a number of roles for the Global series of topical meetings, including technical program chair for Global '07. These experiences highlighted for me the benefits of international cooperation and the global impact that we can have.
The role of the United States in the development and deployment of nuclear technology internationally is critical. Working with governmental agencies and other societies, ANS can help expand nuclear technology for peaceful applications worldwide. We can play a role in discussing export control licenses for nuclear technology and in addressing technical needs for countries considering nuclear power. We can also join the debate in countries that are reassessing their level of support for nuclear technology. When I was chair of the Fuel Cycle and Waste Management Division, we had a relationship with a similar division in the Atomic Energy Society of Japan. As a result, I participated in technical and public meetings in Japan to discuss nuclear technology. Through these types of interactions, we can serve as a credible source of information for policymakers outside the United States as well.
This is a dynamic time for both ANS and the nuclear enterprise. We have opportunities to enhance the execution of our mission as we address our financial challenges. We must continue to focus our efforts in a manner that is fiscally responsible. I look forward to working with our dedicated volunteers and optimizing the support provided by our professional staff to execute our mission effectively and efficiently. Our recently developed strategic plan and goals are important guides to prioritize our efforts. My career at both Idaho and Argonne National Laboratories and my work in the various levels of ANS have given me the experience I need to lead ANS. I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to give back to the organization that has made such a difference in my career and in our industry. I am committed to our success.
Last updated March 6, 2013, 1:11pm CST.