When Ken Petersen is asked what he sees as the biggest challenges facing nuclear today and in the future, he immediately turns the question around. The 69th president of the American Nuclear Society prefers to focus on the positives of nuclear power instead of dwelling on the biggest challenges facing nuclear’s future prospects. That’s because there’s a lot to celebrate within the nuclear community—especially recently.
Most everything is trending up—from advanced technologies such as SMRs and microreactors to the promise of fusion energy to new ways of creating medical isotopes to progress in space exploration. “There’s huge momentum for nuclear right now,” Petersen said. “We're getting support from the environmentalist community and from legislation. I see it as a huge opportunity for us to continue to grow. It’s an exciting time. And it’s not just the U.S. It’s worldwide, too.”