ANS webinar to focus on low-dose radiation risk

Join ANS on Thursday, January 21, at noon (ET) for a Q&A with an expert panel as they discuss how to communicate about the risk of low-dose radiation. “Talking About Low-dose Radiation Risk” is a free members-only event that serves as a follow-up to the “Risky Business” President’s Session that took place during the ANS Virtual Winter Meeting last November. The session will take a deeper dive into the many questions generated from the thought-provoking discussion.

Register now to attend the webinar.

IAEA confirms Iran working on uranium metal for reactor fuel

Iran has started work on uranium metal-based fuel for a research reactor, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog and Tehran said on Wednesday. Kazem Gharib Abadi, Iran’s representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency, confirmed that the country has started working on the fuel, saying that everything has been reported to the agency.

Iran's action is the latest breach of its nuclear deal with six significant powers as it presses for a lifting of U.S. sanctions.

Holtec SMR could be built at Oyster Creek site

The site of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township, N.J., could be the location for Holtec International’s SMR-160 small modular reactor, according to an AP News story published last week.

ARDP investment: Holtec received $147.5 million in Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program funding to demonstrate its SMR design. Company spokesperson Joe Delmar said, “As part of our application to the Department of Energy for its advanced reactor demonstration program, we expressed interest in possibly locating an SMR-160 small modular reactor at the Oyster Creek decommissioning site in the future. This concept is only preliminary and something we would likely discuss with Lacey Township and the community if plans to locate (the reactor) at Oyster Creek evolve.”

Increasing costs of climate change–related disasters reflects importance of nuclear

Hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters across the United States caused $95 billion in damage last year, according to new data referenced by the New York Times. The cost is almost double the amount in 2019 and the third-highest loss since 2010.

The new figures, reported January 7 by Munich Re—a company that provides insurance to other insurance companies—are the latest signal of the growing cost of climate change. The spike reflects the need for increased reliance on clean energy sources such as nuclear, solar, and wind.

The year in review 2020: ANS News

Here is a look back at the top stories of 2020 from ANS News. This is the last post in our series on the top stories from 2020. See below for links to other top stories from our Power and Operations, Research and Applications, and Waste Management sections of Nuclear News magazine.

ANS News

  • ANS convenes new task force on federal nuclear R&D funding: The American Nuclear Society has formed a Task Force on Public Investment in Nuclear Research and Development to assess the R&D needs of the U.S. nuclear technology enterprise and the federal investment required to meet those needs. The task force will identify the overarching objectives of U.S. nuclear R&D and identify specific metrics that can be used to evaluate progress toward those objectives. Read more.
Letter from the CEO

A new year, finally

Craig Piercy

To you and all members of the nuclear professional community, Happy New Year! With the COVID-19 vaccine finally here, all indications point toward 2021 as the year we return to some semblance of normality. After all, this year has to be better than 2020, right?

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President's Column

The value of “fluffy” stuff

Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar

You know the old saying that those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach? Well, I say anyone thinking that way should be kept far away from students!

In my time at Argonne National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory, I worked with incredible scientists and engineers doing cutting-edge research. Unfortunately, making progress in research is not always conducive to the education and training of those who haven’t yet gained the necessary expertise. And there is an interesting phenomenon that occurs the more one gains in education and experience: We tend to forget what we were like before, what it was like not to know everything we do now. More than one of my PhD colleagues at the national labs dismissed the education and outreach efforts that I pursued in my spare time: scouts, K-12 classroom visits, teacher workshops, science expos, etc., viewing any focus other than the truly technical as just “fluffy” and a waste of valuable time and effort.

Letter from the CEO

U.S. university programs: Lighting the way to a brighter nuclear future

Craig Piercy

We have dedicated this month’s edition of Nuclear News to university programs and their contributions in advancing the field of applied nuclear science and technology and readying the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Say what you want about the condition of the U.S. nuclear enterprise today, but there is no denying that our university-based programs in nuclear science and engineering are still the envy of the world. You can see it in the way these programs attract students and faculty from across the globe, and from their formative contributions to technologies, such as the NuScale power module and many of the advanced reactor designs being developed today.

Happy birthday to the American Nuclear Society!

The American Nuclear Society turns 66 today! ANS was founded on December 11, 1954, at the National Academy of Sciences on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The beginnings: ANS was launched in the mid-1950s, a time of growing interest in employing peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology for bettering the lives of people in the United States and around the world. President Eisenhower had presented his dramatic 1953 "Atoms for Peace" speech to the United Nations, proposing international knowledge-sharing for the development of civilian nuclear science and technology.

While a number of associations already had nuclear divisions or groups, many people felt that a new organization was needed. Following its establishment in 1954 as a not-for-profit association of individual members, ANS quickly added breadth and depth to its activities, resulting in an organization that was both influenced by and had an influence on the burgeoning nuclear field.

ANS creates new award to celebrate diversity, inclusion

The American Nuclear Society Honors and Awards Committee, in conjunction with the Diversity and Inclusion in ANS Committee, has established the Social Responsibility in the Nuclear Community Award. The award recognizes an individual, group, or organization for outstanding efforts in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the nuclear community.

The award may be presented for a singular outstanding effort or a sustained effort over a long period of time. The award consists of an engraved plaque and a $1,000 monetary prize and will be presented annually at the ANS Winter Meeting, beginning in 2021, if an eligible candidate is nominated and selected.

Giving Tuesday: Bringing nuclear to every classroom

Giving Tuesday is a nationwide day of giving back to the not-for-profit community. For Giving Tuesday, the American Nuclear Society is on a mission–jumpstart funding for a special initiative, Nuclear in Every Classroom. This landmark effort helps ensure nuclear science and technology crosses the desks – virtual or in-person – of every k-12 student and teacher in the nation. The initiative builds upon the success of Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World, the ANS partnership with Discovery Education that has reached over 1.3 million students.

ANS Board of Directors votes to retire outdated position statements

The American Nuclear Society’s Board of Directors on November 19 voted to retire several outdated position statements, as requested by the Public Policy Committee. Among them are Position Statements #37 and #63, dating from 2010, which have been retired for lacking policy recommendations and for being redundant, as other position statements exist with language that better articulates the Society’s stance on those topics.

2020 ANS Virtual Winter Meeting: ANS honors more award recipients during President’s Special Session

American Nuclear Society President Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar recognized four Presidential Citation recipients and the Milton Levenson Distinguished Service Award winner on November 18 during the 2020 ANS Virtual Winter Meeting. The following awards were presented as part of the ANS President’s Special Session.

Apply online now for 2021-22 ANS scholarships

The American Nuclear Society supports more than 50 college students each year with annual scholarships of more than $140,000 awarded through its Scholarship Program. The program offers both achievement-based and financial need-based scholarships to ANS student members made possible by the generosity of ANS professional divisions, local sections, and individual donors.

Applications for the 2021-2022 academic year are now available. All ANS student members are encouraged to apply. Recipients will be awarded between $1,000-$5,000 based on merit and financial need.

Completing the General Scholarship Application qualifies students for consideration for more than 24 ANS scholarships. To increase the chances of receiving a scholarship, explore the various opportunities established by the ANS divisions and local sections. Many of these require answers to only a few extra questions to qualify.

Check out the Before You Apply information for guidance throughout the application process.

ANS Virtual Winter Meeting gets under way

With the theme “Nuclear is Good for You,” the 2020 ANS Virtual Winter Meeting kicks off on November 16 with the opening plenary session. The plenary features two keynote speakers—Alex Epstein, of the Center for Industrial Progress, and Jessica Lovering, of the Good Energy Collective—in a discussion about why nuclear is the right choice for the benefit of all humankind.

The Winter Meeting features more than 35 panel sessions, 100-plus technical sessions, and more than 440 paper presentations.

More than 2,100 registrants have already signed up. That tops the preregistration total of 1,700 for the 2020 ANS Virtual Annual Meeting, which was the largest ANS meeting in modern history.

If you haven’t registered yet, do so now! Registration is open through Thursday, November 19.

ANS WISE program seeks 2021 applicants

ANS student members are encouraged to apply to the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) program for the opportunity to spend next summer exploring the intersection of technology and policy in Washington, D.C.

“WISE provides a unique opportunity for ANS student members to learn about how our government deals with technologically complex issues,” said ANS Fellow and WISE program coordinator Alan Levin. “Past interns have said that the program is a challenging and enjoyable experience that gave them new perspectives on engineering and government; for some, the program influenced their choice of post-graduate study and/or career.”

B. John Garrick, pioneer in development and application of risk sciences, passes away


B. John Garrick, ANS Fellow and member since 1956 and an international authority on quantitative risk assessment, died on November 1 due to complications from a fall. He was 90.

Garrick, a distinguished adjunct professor of materials science and engineering at the University of California at Los Angeles, established his trailblazing theory on risk sciences in his Ph.D. thesis, which contributed to building the foundation of probabilistic risk assessment. Also referred to as quantitative risk assessment, it offers a guide to corrective actions to eliminate threats and to best practices for managing low-probability, high-consequence events resulting from natural and man-made disasters.