ANS members reach out on Fukushima events

May 4, 2011, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Many American Nuclear Society members and groups across the United States have been energetically involved in the media, in their communities, and on campus during the recent events at the Fukushima plant. These members and groups have provided their knowledge and expertise to improve the accuracy of public discussions about the Fukushima events during a time when it has been sorely needed. This effort continues around the country as ANS members provide accurate, scientifically-sound information in front of TV cameras, at campus symposia, on local radio, in newspapers and journals, and by many other ways.

Many of these outreach efforts are summarized under links at the top left of the ANS home page, under "ANS Outreach: Fukushima".  Using these links, one can get an idea of the scope and breadth of these volunteer efforts by members in the media, among faculty on campus, among ANS Student Sections, and among Local Sections around the country.

As regular readers of this blog site know, for several weeks following the tsunami of March 11, this blog was "re-purposed" and dedicated exclusively to providing comprehensive, accurate, and timely information about Fukushima events. An extensive media clip service, up-to-the-minute news and status information from agencies in Japan and the United States, an ANS twitter feed and ANS Facebook page for news updates, and many sources of background information and other resources, including the Japan Relief Fund, were featured on the blog's front page. This important service continues, and is linked under the "Fukushima" tab on the top menu of the blog. When the blog returned to a more typical format, entries concerning Fukushima and its ramifications followed.

In the days following the events unfolding, the ANS Professional Divisions developed fact sheets and a technical brief on issues arising from Fukushima. These documents can be found under "Featured Content" on the front page of the ANS website. The leadership of ANS has established a Special Commission on Fukushima Daiichi, to be chaired by ANS members Michael Corradini and Dale Klein. This commission will examine the major technical aspects of the event to help policymakers and the public better understand Fukushima's consequences and its lessons for the U.S. nuclear industry.

ANS members will have the opportunity to discuss Fukushima in-depth during the ANS Annual Meeting, June 26-30, in Hollywood, Florida. The ANS President's Special Session will focus on the latest update and lessons learned in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the impact on all nuclear facilities in Japan, with particular emphasis on the Fukushima Daiichi plants. A second Special Session, entitled "The Accident at Fukushima Daiichi-Preliminary Investigations," will focus on the latest technical information available on the accident at Fukushima Daiichi. Topics expected to be addressed include the accident sequence, challenges faced by the operating staff, reactor and fuel damage mechanisms, environmental impacts, and emergency response.

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