Laws and sausages*—10 CFR Part 53

January 17, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear NewsSteven P. Nesbit

Steven P. Nesbit

Interested parties are watching the real-­time development of 10 CFR Part 53—a new Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulation for constructing and operating advanced nuclear power reactors in the United States. In January 2019, the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA) required, among other things, that for commercial advanced nuclear reactors, the NRC must increase the use of risk-­informed, performance-­based licensing evaluation techniques and establish by the end of 2027 a technology-­inclusive regulatory framework that encourages greater technological innovation.

* “If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.” – Otto von Bismarck.

The big nuclear world

November 3, 2021, 7:01AMANS NewsSteven P. Nesbit

Steven P. Nesbit

As I write this column, it’s late September, and I’m sitting in Dulles Airport waiting for my connecting flight back to Charlotte from Vienna, Austria, where I attended the 65th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency. It was quite an experience, and I want to share a few observations with you. But first, let me provide some background on the IAEA, which is perhaps not as well-­known to Americans as to those in other countries.

The IAEA was established in 1957 within the United Nations family and as an outgrowth of President Dwight Eisenhower’s famous 1953 “Atoms for Peace” speech. It is the world’s central intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical cooperation in the nuclear field. The objectives of the IAEA’s dual mission—to promote and control the use of the atom—are defined in Article II of the IAEA Statute.

Lessons from medicine

September 15, 2021, 7:02AMANS NewsSteven P. Nesbit

Steven P. Nesbit

I stand in awe of the pharmaceutical professionals who developed effective vaccines for COVID-19 and obtained emergency approval for their widespread use in the space of less than a year. Normally, vaccines take 10 to 15 years to develop; the previous best was four years for the mumps vaccine. The accomplishment is a testament to the ability of science and technology to work to the betterment of the human race. Does that sound familiar? The American Nuclear Society’s vision statement is “Nuclear technology is embraced for its vital contributions to improving peoples’ lives and preserving our planet.”

A tale of three states

August 11, 2021, 2:57PMANS NewsSteven P. Nesbit

Steven P. Nesbit

Stories are unfolding (or have unfolded) in three of our key states that illustrate the challenges facing the backbone of our country’s clean, reliable electricity generation infrastructure. I write, of course, about existing nuclear power plants. On the East Coast, New York is a done deal. Indian Point-3 shut down on April 30. The state authorities are banking on offshore wind to pick up the slack. They shrug off the cost and intermittency challenges associated with deploying wind power. We’ll see.

Another year, another ANS president

July 12, 2021, 3:08PMANS NewsSteven P. Nesbit

Steven P. Nesbit

It’s like clockwork. In June of every year, the American Nuclear Society brings in a new elected leader for the next 12 months. I’m Steve Nesbit, the latest in a line of distinguished (and maybe a few not so distinguished) nuclear professionals who have had the honor and privilege of serving as ANS president.

This is your lucky day. Everything you ever wanted to know about me, but were afraid to ask, is in an article in the July issue of Nuclear News (page 28). Instead of plowing that ground again here, I’ll take advantage of my monthly column to cover a few other topics that are hopefully of value.