ANS is committed to advancing, fostering, and promoting the development and application of nuclear sciences and technologies to benefit society.
Explore the many uses for nuclear science and its impact on energy, the environment, healthcare, food, and more.
Nuclear Criticality Safety
NCSD provides communication among nuclear criticality safety professionals through the development of standards, the evolution of training methods and materials, the presentation of technical data and procedures, and the creation of specialty publications. In these ways, the division furthers the exchange of technical information on nuclear criticality safety with the ultimate goal of promoting the safe handling of fissionable materials outside reactors.
2020 ANS Annual Meeting
June 8–11, 2020
Online Virtual Meeting
The Standards Committee is responsible for the development and maintenance of voluntary consensus standards that address the design, analysis, and operation of components, systems, and facilities related to the application of nuclear science and technology. Find out What’s New, check out the Standards Store, or Get Involved today!
Latest Magazine Issues
Latest Journal Issues
Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
Base for second Hinkley Point C reactor completed
Concrete pour at the Hinkley Point C2 reactor. Photo: EDF Energy
Workers at the Hinkley Point C nuclear construction project in the United Kingdom have completed the 49,000-ton base for the station’s second reactor, Unit C2, hitting a target date set more than four years ago, according to EDF Energy.
Challenge: Transform the way the nuclear technologies sector thinks about public engagement.
How: To change the way the public views nuclear energy, we must first transform the way the nuclear sector thinks about public outreach, transitioning from a “deficit model” approach toward an “engagement model” approach for outreach.
Background: The nuclear technologies sector’s approach to public outreach is currently not structured. At this time, it relies very heavily on scientists, engineers, and other nuclear professionals to “educate” the public on a volunteer basis, using what is known as the deficit model of communication. This technique assumes that we must transfer our technical knowledge to the public and they will then support nuclear technology. Unfortunately, the evidence shows that this technique is largely ineffective when used outside of an educational setting, and can even backfire.
This is partly influenced by the way which certain scientific issues, such as nuclear safety or climate change, are framed, and by whom, which strongly affects how an issue is perceived.
At the heart of the sector’s approach to outreach is the idea that many members of the public claim that they trust scientists over activists or other public figures. Unfortunately, this approach has a major flaw. Gaining trust has very little to do with occupation, and almost everything to do with “warmth” – an intuitive sense of a person (or brand) we glean before any words are even exchanged. This paradigm was uncovered not by PR specialists or political operatives, but by social scientists, a group that is now driving the consensus around how to best engage on challenging scientific issues like nuclear.
An evidence-based “engagement model” communications approach is the current state of the art, and there is a tremendous amount of research as well as functional models to look to for guidance. As the name suggests, the engagement model shifts from a one-way information transfer with a focus on changing people’s minds in a single interaction, to a two-way dialogue rooted in listening, respect, and building longer-term relationships that would shift understanding on a scientific issue over time. Many other scientific communities have successfully moved to this approach in recent years, with much of the research and dialogue in scientific communication being spearheaded by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Last modified May 12, 2017, 1:22am CDT