I had a chance to meet with the students at the Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp at the University of California, Berkeley, on August 10. We talked about the importance of nuclear energy, the value of membership in the American Nuclear Society (ANS) (I noted that most of the approximately 40 people in attendance already are ANS members), and the challenges to nuclear plant construction and operation. We also noted the successes in New York to include nuclear in their Clean Energy Standard and the announcement of the resulting important planned sale of the FitzPatrick plant to Exelon.
The students attending the Bootcamp were a very engaging mix of graduates and undergraduates in nuclear and mechanical engineering, as well as some from other disciplines, including Public Administration. They came from universities across America and other countries including Great Britain, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. These bright students are working on some very exciting entrepreneurial projects that could be developed into new business opportunities - a major aspect of the Bootcamp.
I also arrived in Berkeley early enough to hear Jessica Lovering from the Breakthrough Institute talk about their studies in nuclear economics and energy markets. The students were very engaged and the discussion was very stimulating. Programs like the Bootcamp undoubtedly will stimulate new ideas and innovation in nuclear energy and help develop our next generation of nuclear leaders and businesses.
It's been a great trip to the Bay Area!
Andy Klein is the current President of the American Nuclear Society. He works as a professor in the School of Nuclear Science and Engineering at Oregon State.