One of the most exciting and important events at the American Nuclear Society's Winter Meeting in Washington, DC, this year was the "Capitol Hill Day" visit held on November 4. This event allowed society members the opportunity to go to Capitol Hill to meet with congress persons and staffs, and to offer unique expertise as the world's foremost experts in nuclear technologies.
"This year, a new standard of success was set for future Capitol Hill Day visits," said Craig Piercy, ANS Washington representative. "About 90 members participated, visiting congress persons and their staffs from 22 states and the District of Columbia. Given the events in Japan [beginning last March], it's more important now than ever to have ANS members willing to engage their senators and representatives as sources of the most accurate and reliable information and expertise."
The event was the penultimate session of the highly successful ANS/NA-YGN Young Professionals Congress. "The central purpose of the Young Professionals Congress is to help prepare for the future of the nuclear industry," said Peter Caracappa, general chair. "The Capitol Hill Day visit serves to remind policy makers that the nuclear industry has a future, and an important one, in this country."
"One objective of the ANS Young Members Group includes facilitating young professionals' involvement in the society's work and in the nuclear community," said Jennifer Varnedoe, chair of the ANS Young Members Group. "The YPC Capitol Hill visit gave young professionals the opportunity to educate lawmakers, express our passion for nuclear science and technology to them, and network with both young professionals and more experienced members of the society."
Varnedoe continued, "In my group alone, we had three young professionals and two more experienced members. Each of us represented different areas of expertise, but combining our efforts toward one common goal we were able to convey our sincere belief that nuclear science and technology holds the answers to many challenges facing America, including energy supply, food safety, medical applications, and many other areas."
ANS President Eric Loewen said, "As a former ANS Congressional Fellow, I can attest to how vital it is that ANS Young Members engage their elected representatives on nuclear science and technology issues. A successful future of progress in nuclear science and technology truly depends on it."
Feedback from participants in the ANS/YPC 2011 Capitol Hill Day visit has been uniformly positive and enthusiastic. "Many people worked behind the scenes for the Young Members Group and ANS to make sure this event ran smoothly," said Laura Scheele, ANS Communications Manager. "A big 'thank-you' is in order to all the participants and everyone who contributed to making this event a success!"
For more coverage, visit NA-YGN's Clean Energy Insights blog, and be sure to visit the ANS Nuclear Cafe tomorrow for a first-hand perspective on Capitol Hill Day 2011!