Nuclear Energy 101 ends on nuclear applications note

January 22, 2024, 3:02PMANS News

Nuclear Energy 101, the five-course educational series for congressional staffers, came to a close in October with its final talk. This seminar series is a fun—and popular—tool for ANS to explain the basics of nuclear science and technology to and network with Capitol Hill denizens. After a long hiatus, the series returned in March 2023, and delivered five successful courses.

A review: In March, STEM educator Candace Davison kicked off the series with “Totally Rad,” an introduction to radiation and nuclear energy that helps separate myth from fact. The second course, in May, was led by Dave Pointer, interim director of the Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who delivered his talk “Nuclear Power Plant Operations.”

The July briefing featured Argonne National Laboratory Senior Policy Fellow Paul Dickman and Constellation Energy’s director of nuclear fuel supply Jeanne M. Tortorelli. Their presentation, “Nuclear Weapons, Nonproliferation, and the Fuel Cycle,” covered the basics of nuclear weapons design, proliferation concerns, uranium enrichment, plutonium production and separation, and the international nonproliferation regime.

The course’s last briefing was “Non-Energy Applications of Nuclear Science and Technology,” featuring Steven Biegalski, chair of Nuclear and Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Starkey says: ANS public policy director John Starkey said of the final talk, “Our friend Steven Biegalski from the Georgia Institute of Technology gave an informative presentation, followed by a lengthy Q&A discussion with congressional staff on radioisotope supply chains, U.S. isotope infrastructure, and nonenergy national security applications.

“I’m excited to ramp up our NE-101 congressional briefings in 2024,” Starkey continued. “ANS will once again host a series of five educational briefings for Capitol Hill staff over the course of the year. We plan on covering new areas and expanding on popular topics from 2023.”

Email for more information about the Nuclear Energy 101 program.

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