Progress is continuing, both inside our Society and in the areas we serve. The Executive Committee is committed to working with the ANS staff to implement the initiatives set forth in ANS Change Plan 2020. You may recall that our plans included an operational review of ANS headquarters. Executive Director/CEO Craig Piercy has announced organizational changes that went into effect in early February. We made some difficult decisions, but ones that will have a positive impact on our operating budget and improve the delivery of services to our members. I have tremendous confidence in the dedication of the staff and the vision of our new leaders. This has been a year of tremendous uncertainty and change, and I am grateful for the resiliency and focus of our staff.
On the industry front, there is excitement regarding the recent Request for Information (RFI) issued by the Department of Energy for the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program. The program will fund the design, licensing, and construction of two demonstration plants. Responses to the RFI were submitted in late February and will inform a subsequent Request for Proposals. Support from utilities and various advanced reactor developers is positive.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) in the United Arab Emirates announced receipt of an operating license and the commencement of fuel loading for Unit 1 of the Barakah nuclear power plant. Our congratulations go to ANS UAE Section Chair Gale Hauck and her colleagues on this milestone. We are thrilled to welcome ENEC to the global nuclear operating community and wish them much success on the startup of Unit 1 and the completion and startup of the three remaining units.
On the subject of local sections, I recently had the chance to visit with and provide presentations to the Piedmont Carolinas Section and the Northeastern Section. I am grateful for these opportunities because they give me the chance to meet and talk with so many of our members. I am impressed with how each section has its own vibe. Although we’re looking to make many changes to improve the workings of the Society, we recognize and value the need for each local section to retain its own identity. During each of these visits, I summarized the details and the incentives of the Change Plan initiative designed to increase national membership among local section participants.
Most recently, I had the pleasure to visit the Oregon State University (OSU) Student Section and present a certificate recognizing 50 years of service. The turnout was fantastic! The students put on a great event, and Samuel Briggs, their faculty advisor, was most gracious in coordinating my visit. I had the pleasure of participating on a panel with ANS Past President Andy Klein (2016–2017). You can read more about my visit to OSU on page 12 of this issue.
One trip that didn’t involve a boarding pass or hotel room was a virtual field trip to Idaho National Laboratory, made available free to the public and K–12 students through Navigating Nuclear, ANS’s nuclear science education program. The field trip, called “Nuclear Reimagined,” was released in February during Engineers Week as part of Navigating Nuclear’s high school curriculum. Check it out at www.navigatingnuclear.com/nuclear-reimagined-vft.
In closing, ballots for the ANS national election have been sent via email. We have no primaries or debates, but we do have a slate of excellent candidates who have graciously agreed to serve. Please share your opinion by reviewing the candidates’ bios and casting your vote.—Marilyn Kray