ANS News

Zack Pate remembered as statesman in nuclear energy industry

November 9, 2022, 9:30AMANS News


Zack T. Pate, the former chief executive officer of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) and chair of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), passed away recently at the age of 86. Pate will be remembered for his many important contributions to the global nuclear energy industry, especially regarding nuclear plant performance and safety, as well as his lengthy service in the U.S. Navy. He was a longtime member of the American Nuclear Society.

Navy: Pate was originally from Leesburg, Ga. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958 and continued to serve with distinction in the navy for 22 years, working on several nuclear submarines and reaching the rank of captain. He was executive officer of the USS Thomas Jefferson and commander of the USS Sunfish.

ANS President Arndt to speak at COP27

November 7, 2022, 3:04PMANS News
Attendees at the Nuclear for Climate booth during the COP27 conference.

COP27, the 2022 United Nations climate change conference, is under way this week in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. A delegation from the American Nuclear Society has traveled there to participate in Nuclear for Climate’s #NetZeroNeedsNuclear advocacy campaign. Nuclear for Climate, cofounded by ANS, is a grassroots organization made up of nuclear professionals and scientists from over 150 associations worldwide.

Co-locating the ANS NPIC&HMIT and PSA Meetings: Double the content, double the fun

November 4, 2022, 9:05AMANS News

Knoxville, Tenn., next July 15-21 will be the place to be for the nuclear community, with two ANS-sponsored meetings being held together. This is a first for ANS-sponsored meetings and will prove to be a can't-miss event. That said, the call for abstracts for the 2023 Nuclear Plant Instrumentation, Control & Human-Machine Interface Technologies (NPIC&HMIT) and Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA) meetings is now open and is set to close soon—submissions will be accepted until November 18.

2023 ANS Winter Meeting presidential citations announced

November 3, 2022, 3:02PMANS News

Part of being the president of the American Nuclear Society is having the honor of awarding Presidential Citations to individuals who, in the opinion of the president, have demonstrated outstanding effort in some manner for the benefit of ANS and/or the nuclear community. ANS President Steven Arndt has named the recipients of this year’s awards, which will be presented at the upcoming Winter Meeting.

Candidates announced for the 2023 ANS national election

November 2, 2022, 3:00PMANS News

With the national midterms coming to a close, the last word members want to hear is "election"—but at least the annual ANS election won't result in unending political adverts on our televisions. As one election cycle ends, so another begins. The candidates for the ANS 2023 election have been named to fill eight open positions, with terms beginning in June 2023, following the Annual Meeting. The national positions open are for vice president/president-elect, treasurer, four directors, one student director, and one non-U.S. director.

Collectables on tour from an earlier nuclear era

November 2, 2022, 7:04AMANS News
One of two cases that display the impressive belt-buckle collection.

Collecting belt buckles from nearly every nuclear power plant in the U.S. wasn’t the goal for Don Hildebrant when he obtained his first one. Over time, it just turned out that way.

One day years ago, Hildebrant came across a buckle from the nuclear plant where he worked, and it seemed before he knew it, he had collected more than 250 of them—some from plants that were never even completed. “When you look at the collection, you will see an interesting story of where nuclear power has been, and how far it has come,” he said.

Interactive Isotopes App launches on ANS website

October 27, 2022, 3:01PMANS News
A screenshot of the Interactive Isotopes App from the ANS website depicting U-235 and its decay chain. (Graphic: ANS)

In the summer of 2019, three students from the University of South Carolina–Aiken (USCA) had an idea to digitize the isotope. Wei Zheng, Drake Jones, and Joseph Taylor set out to design an app that would be an interactive one-stop shop for information about any isotope—number of protons and neutrons, whether it is stable or radioactive, its natural abundance on earth, and even its uses. From these ideas, the Interactive Isotopes App began to take shape.

The app’s launch was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic; although it was complete after three years of work and development, the creators sat on it. On October 12, the app at long last went live on the ANS website.

The YMG examines nuclear entrepreneurship

October 24, 2022, 11:50AMANS News
Caption: From top left: Stewart, Rampal, Peterson, Bernstein, and Souza participate in the ANS YMG’s “Nuclear Entrepreneurship” webinar.

This year, Nuclear Science Week was October 17–21, and the ANS Young Members Group celebrated by hosting the virtual event “Nuclear Entrepreneurship” on October 18. Panelists were Per Peterson, cofounder and chief nuclear officer of Kairos Power; Robbie Stewart, cofounder of Boston Atomics; Kelsey Souza, chief operating officer of Ultra Safe Nuclear; and Tyler Bernstein, chief executive officer of Zeno Power. The event was moderated by Brett Rampal, director of nuclear and power strategy at Veriten and chief technical analyst at Segra Capital Management.

Nuclear Science and Engineering publishes special issue on the VTR project

October 20, 2022, 6:59AMANS News

The Department of Energy’s crucial Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) project is the focus of a newly released special issue of Nuclear Science and Engineering. This special issue of the American Nuclear Society’s flagship journal presents a current snapshot of the nuclear innovation project, which is being developed in partnership among the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), six national labs, and a host of industry and university partners.

Join ANS for the Virtual Graduate School Fair

October 18, 2022, 7:04AMANS News

ANS and the Nuclear Engineering Department Heads Organization are hosting the third annual Nuclear Engineering Virtual Graduate School Fair on Friday, October 21, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. EST. The online event, which takes place during Nuclear Science Week, is designed to help students who are just entering the nuclear energy profession, as well as people who already have careers in the profession.

Register Now. This event is complimentary and open to all. If you can’t attend in real time, a recording of the event will be shared via email with everyone who registers, or you can visit to watch at a later date. Please contact Dan Goldberg with any questions.

Science, nuclear, and truth

October 17, 2022, 3:01PMANS NewsSteven Arndt

Steven Arndt

Recently, while reading an editorial by William Roper in the journal Science,* I was struck by the fact that the health care industry, in the past two or three years, has been experiencing some of the same challenges our industry has had for the past 40 years. Roper opines on the situation that scientists and health care professionals have had to face in a country that is divided not only along political and ideological lines but also about what constitutes the facts. He goes on to highlight that many scientists think there is a need to get the politics out of public health, while many policymakers (who are frequently politicians) think scientists are not the best people to be making public policy decisions. He also notes that of late, “political leaders, media personalities, and ordinary citizens have proclaimed their own ‘alternative facts.’”

As much as I would like to say something like “join the boat”—our scientific community has had to deal with “alternative facts” for years—I would much rather say to the health care community that we can and should all be striving for the same thing: to help the thought leaders of our world understand that we can only succeed if we are all willing to be in the same boat, working together to fix the problem.

A view from across the pond

October 12, 2022, 7:00AMANS NewsCraig Piercy

Craig Piercy

The Cheshire countryside in late summer has a lot to offer an American visitor besides cool, insect-free air; bacon sandwiches; and warm ales. It also provides the perfect vantage point to consider the fundamental shifts in energy availability and security we have witnessed over the last 12 months.

Residential energy prices here in the United Kingdom have increased by roughly 80 percent over the last year, prompting the government to advise Britons to turn their water heaters off at night and boil their kettles with only as much water as needed to make their tea.

While I was here, outgoing British prime minister Boris Johnson visited the Sizewell site to announce a £700 million investment in Sizewell C, two 1,600-MW EPR reactors soon to be under construction. His remarks had the wistful, poignant tone of a leader facing the end of his tenure in office:

ANS and its student groups respond to Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico

October 11, 2022, 7:04AMANS News
A town in Puerto Rico flooded as a result of the recent hurricane.

Hurricane Fiona slammed into Puerto Rico on September 18 with powerful winds and massive amounts of rain, resulting in mudslides, flooding, loss of power and water, wrecked homes and businesses, destroyed roads and bridges, and some deaths. Students from the American Nuclear Society student section at the University of Puerto Rico—Mayagüez (ANS UPRM) and other student groups have responded by distributing bottled water, nonperishable food items, cooked meals, first aid, personal hygiene items, flashlights with batteries, and other supplies, and by raising awareness of community needs and asking for monetary and food donations. In addition, ANS has established a fundraising drive for monetary donations to support students’ efforts in assisting ANS UPRM members in Mayagüez. The donations are being used to meet a number of needs during this challenging time.

ANS Young Members tackle “pop culture” nuclear myths

October 7, 2022, 12:00PMANS News
Students participate in the “Nuclear Mythbusting Pitch Competition,” hosted by the ANS YMG. (Photo: Julie McCallum)

To kick off the new academic year, the ANS Young Members Group hosted the online “Nuclear Mythbusting Pitch Competition” on September 22. Students competed in debunking nuclear misconceptions and misrepresentations in popular culture. While having fun and winning prizes, they set the record straight regarding nuclear science and technology.

Nuclear Science Week events to be held in October

October 5, 2022, 3:01PMANS News

Nuclear Science Week (NSW) is just around the corner, to be held October 17-21. First recognized in 2009, it has been celebrated during the third week of October every year since 2012. Organized by the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, NSW is an annual opportunity to celebrate nuclear science; recognize the professionals who apply it to solving the world’s most pressing problems; encourage nuclear professional development and networking; and share information with students, educators, and community members about the vital role of nuclear science in the lives of all people.

New standard available on thermal energy deposition rates

September 28, 2022, 6:51AMANS News

Miss Wisconsin: Breaking down misconceptions about nuclear

September 23, 2022, 12:05PMANS NewsGrace Stanke

Grace Stanke in front of the cooling towers at the Byron generating station during this spring’s outage.

"Miss Wisconsin" and "nuclear engineer" are two phrases you have probably never heard in the same sentence before. And not just Wisconsin—it’s never been heard in any state. As Miss Wisconsin 2022, I will be the first nuclear engineering student ever to compete for the title of Miss America, an iconic position for which thousands of women across the country strive (which pays six figures and has the potential of thousands of dollars in scholarship earnings).

Over the summer, in an attempt to help find another opportunity to offset the cost of the last year of my education, I competed for the title of Miss Wisconsin for the second time. I was lucky enough this time to be selected for the job after competing against 22 candidates in the interview, talent, social impact pitch, red carpet wear, and onstage question events.

As Miss Wisconsin, I will travel thousands of miles across the state to attend community events, visit schools, and lead speaking engagements related to the Miss America Organization, my social impact initiative, and my career in nuclear energy. My social impact initiative, “Clean Energy, Cleaner Future,” promotes America’s transition to zero-­carbon energy with an emphasis on nuclear power, because I believe it is the best path forward as our major power source.

NRC chairman visits ANS student section at University of Puerto Rico

September 21, 2022, 12:00PMANS News
Highlights from Chairman Hanson’s visit with the ANS student section at UPRM. (Photos: NRC/Twitter)

The American Nuclear Society student section at the University of Puerto Rico—Mayagüez (UPRM) recently welcomed Christopher T. Hanson, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. While at UPRM, Hanson met with graduate students conducting nuclear-related research, as well as with deans, professors, and other university officials. He also delivered a speech, “Preparing to Regulate the Nuclear Technology of the Future.”

ANS sponsors energy poverty panel during Clean Energy Ministerial in Pittsburgh

September 20, 2022, 9:34AMANS News

The American Nuclear Society is hosting the side event panel "Advanced Nuclear Reactors: A Possible Solution to Global Warming and Global Energy Poverty" at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum’s Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) . The event will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Thursday, September 22, from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. EDT.

The event is open to all CEM participants.

Cue ominous chords and fade in from black . . .

September 15, 2022, 2:52PMANS News

It’s 1976, and you’re watching TV when a public service announcement from the American Nuclear Society airs, showing the earth being squeezed dry of its last drops of oil by a giant hand as it urges more “safe, reliable, and economical” nuclear power plants. The narrator’s last words, intoned over a fading sunset, still ring true today: “Our world is hungry for energy, and we must move ahead to preserve our future. If we don’t, we could find ourselves in the dark ages of the seventies.”