ANS Nuclear Cafe

The ANS Nuclear Cafe is a blog owned and edited by the American Nuclear Society. Information contained on the ANS Nuclear Cafe has been provided by numerous sources. Therefore, the American Nuclear Society assumes no responsibility or liability for the accuracy of information contained herein. DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in posted articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Nuclear Society. The views expressed here are those of the individual authors. ANS takes no ownership of their views. The American Nuclear Society assumes no responsibility or liability for any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions, or ideas contained on this site.

ANS's Earth Day webinar focused on clean energy

April 27, 2022, 7:03AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Earth Day webinar participants were (clockwise from top left) Craig Piercy, Lindsey Walter, Mikal Bøe, and Shannon Bragg-Sitton. (Image: ANS)

The American Nuclear Society hosted the webinar “Earth Day: Reflections on the Future of Clean Energy” on April 22. Expert panelists discussed the best options for achieving emissions-free objectives, including goals in energy production, industrial activities, and transportation.

Online fundraising event for Ukraine to be held April 27–28

April 26, 2022, 12:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe

An open online event titled “Challenges of Ukraine’s nuclear energy in wartime” will be held on April 27 and 28. The event is sponsored by the International Conference on Nuclear Decommissioning and Environmental Recovery (INUDECO). Organizers include the Slavutych (Ukraine) City Council, the Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Safety of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and the Ukrainian Nuclear Society.

Register now. There is no fee for registration. However, funds raised from participants will be donated for humanitarian purposes. Fundraising is open now.

Europe is showing renewed interest in nuclear energy “despite danger,” says the Washington Post

April 26, 2022, 7:06AMANS Nuclear Cafe

“The war in Ukraine has intensified interest across Europe in building new nuclear energy plants or extending the lives of old ones to liberate the continent from its heavy reliance on Russian oil and natural gas,” Washington Post reporters Steven Mufson and Claire Parker write in their recent article, before describing what they view as the potential dangers of nuclear energy. They also quote the American Nuclear Society in regard to the Chernobyl nuclear site in Ukraine.

DOE expands Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program

April 25, 2022, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) is expanding its Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP). The program originally included internships, competitive research awards, a postdoctoral research program, and the Savannah River Environmental Sciences Field Station. It will now include a technology curriculum, a professional development program, a graduate fellowship program, and an EM/minority-serving institution shared interest research partnership, the DOE announced on April 14.

Chicago Tribune editorial board asks, “Is nuclear power good for Illinois?”

April 25, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Byron nuclear power plant

In an editorial published recently in the Chicago Tribune, the newspaper’s editorial board states, “As for the U.S., power generation from splitting atoms has declined in recent years, and more reactors are being retired than built. If you’re in Illinois, however, you’re all-in on nuclear energy—for better or worse. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has made sure of that.”

ANS in-person meetings are back!

April 22, 2022, 9:35AMANS Nuclear Cafe

After nearly two years of challenging absence, ANS meetings in 2022 have returned to being fully in-person events.

The theme for this year’s in-person ANS Annual Meeting, to be held June 12–16 in Anaheim, Calif., is “The New Outlook.” The meeting will feature two new events that serve to expand networking opportunities for attendees:

  • First, a career fair will be held on Monday, June 13, and Tuesday, June 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. local time. This live event comes on the heels of two successful virtual career fairs held during the pandemic. ANS hopes that student and young members will be able to take advantage of the opportunity to network and explore the many different career possibilities.
  • Second, a dinner hosted by ANS President Steven Nesbit and Vice President/President-Elect Steven Arndt will be held the evening of Tuesday, June 14, and will be a celebration of ANS and the nuclear community.

IAEA webinar notes that best-paying clean energy jobs are in nuclear

April 22, 2022, 6:59AMANS Nuclear Cafe

In the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, the highest-paying jobs will continue to be in the nuclear power industry, which provides significant and sustainable employment that benefits local and regional economies. That observation was made during a recent webinar sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency titled “Investing in Low Carbon Technologies: Job Creation for Just Energy Transitions.”

Representatives from the clean energy industry discussed how rising living standards and job creation around the world can be ensured as energy investments align to meet climate goals.

The Federalist faults Apple’s Earth Day “demonization” of nuclear power

April 20, 2022, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Green pursuit of a low-carbon future absent the introduction of more nuclear power on existing grids is nothing but a fantasy, writes Tristan Justice, a correspondent for the online magazine The Federalist. In an article published on April 15, Justice calls out Apple Inc. for its 2022 Earth Day initiative to donate one dollar for every Apple Pay purchase to the antinuclear World Wildlife Fund, and he claims that Apple is "demonizing" nuclear power while promoting an antinuclear agenda.

Savannah River establishes nonproliferation R&D center

April 18, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Savannah River National Laboratory has announced the establishment of the Nonproliferation Applied Sciences Center (NASC), to be located on the lab’s main campus at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C. Tammy Taylor, associate laboratory director for global security, will lead the development of the center until a permanent director is selected later this year.

Health Physics Society presents “The History of the Linear No-Threshold Model”

April 15, 2022, 7:25AMANS Nuclear Cafe


The Health Physics Society has created a 22-episode video series titled “The History of the Linear No-Threshold (LNT) Model.” The videos feature discussions with Edward J. Calabrese, a renowned toxicologist and a professor in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

The video series begins with an introduction to Calabrese and his contributions to toxicology and radiation risk assessment. Episode 2 covers the origin of the LNT model as a way of explaining the mechanism of biological evolution. Episodes 3 through 5 explore the work of Hermann Muller, raising doubts about his claims regarding gene mutations and his linear dose response concept.

DOE offers $5 million in nuclear scholarships and fellowships

April 14, 2022, 7:02AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Department of Energy is offering over $5 million in scholarships and fellowships for students pursuing degrees in nuclear science and engineering. The awards are provided through the Office of Nuclear Energy’s University Nuclear Leadership Program (UNLP) and include 61 undergraduate scholarships and 28 graduate fellowships for students at 32 colleges and universities in 23 states. The awards are to be finalized by July 31, 2022.

Georgia Tech to host Advanced Manufacturing for Nonproliferation summer school

April 12, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Consortium for Enabling Technologies and Innovation (ETI), led by the Georgia Institute of Technology, is offering a summer school on advanced manufacturing for nonproliferation. It will be held from May 23 to May 27 on the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta, and it will include presentations, lab demonstrations, and tours, including a visit to Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Four “clues” that Diablo Canyon will be replaced by Wyoming coal

April 8, 2022, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. (Photo: Doc Searls)

Officials in California are planning to replace the electricity produced by the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, scheduled to shut down in 2025, “mostly with Wyoming coal-fired generation.” That claim is made in a post on the Capitol Weekly website written by Gene Nelson, a cofounder of Californians for Green Nuclear Power (CGNP). Nelson writes that although state officials are trying to hide this plan from the public, CGNP uncovered it by detecting four obscure clues in California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) filings.

Podcast features CEO of SMR company

April 5, 2022, 3:12PMANS Nuclear Cafe


In a recent episode of Azeem Azhar’s Exponential View, Troels Schönfeldt, chief executive officer of Seaborg Technologies, discussed his company’s reactor technology and other nuclear-related issues. Seaborg Technologies, which was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2014, is developing a compact molten salt reactor (CMSR) that it says is safe, significantly smaller, better for the environment, and inexpensive, even compared to fossil fuels, and can be manufactured quickly and deployed on barges to any location worldwide. The Exponential View is a podcast presented by the Harvard Business Review and hosted by Azhar, an entrepreneur and investor.

Different type of reactor: “We’re designing a fundamentally different type of nuclear reactor,” Schönfeldt said. “The powerful bullet points [are] that it cannot melt down or explode, it cannot release gases, it cannot be used for nuclear weapons. It could even burn nuclear waste, so we can get rid of some of the old waste stockpiles.”

SMR technology is “very promising” for the chemical industry, says Dow CEO

April 5, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe


Nuclear power from small modular reactors should be a central part of the chemical industry’s drive toward achieving carbon neutrality, according to Jim Fitterling, chairman and chief executive officer of Dow Inc. Fitterling’s comments, delivered at the 2022 International Petrochemical Conference, hosted by American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and held March 27–29 in San Antonio, Texas, were reported by Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (ICIS).

Beyond renewables: The ICIS report noted that more than 25 percent of Dow’s manufacturing sites are fully or partially powered by renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, and hydropower. Nevertheless, Fitterling said, “We need a broader and more realistic approach to feed our energy needs. Renewables are great, and we’re a tremendous supporter . . . but renewables alone are not the answer.” He added that renewable power generation would have to increase 90 times to equal the energy that is currently provided by hydrocarbons in the United States.

News report on past Diablo Canyon shutdown prompts clarification by nuclear advocates

April 4, 2022, 12:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, located near Avila Beach, Calif.

A recent article on a radio station website about an auxiliary feedwater (AFW) pump problem at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant led to information exchanges between a reporter, the American Nuclear Society, and nuclear advocates. The incident also involved a tweet by a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Looking back at coverage of TMI

March 31, 2022, 3:30PMANS Nuclear Cafe

This week for the #ThrowbackThursday post, we are again turning to the April 1984 issue of Nuclear News, which was highlighted in February when we looked at the start of the federal program to convert research reactors from the use of high-enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium. This week, however, we are reviewing the coverage presented in that issue about the five-year anniversary of the Three Mile Island-2 accident.