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.

Returning Colorado to “the power of the atom”

May 18, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Fort St. Vraine (Photo: NRC)

In a May 15 piece, the editorial board of The Denver Gazette has weighed in on Colorado’s continuing controversy regarding how the state gets its electricity. While the current discourse in the state primarily pits fossil fuels against wind and solar, the board asks, “How about an energy source that generates almost limitless power, leaves no carbon footprint, and produces practically no emissions? It’s nuclear power—as green as you can get.”

Bloomberg Law describes nuclear's efforts to attract ESG-based investment

May 17, 2022, 7:01AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The nuclear industry and its supporters want to ensure that current and future reactors are weighed by climate-conscious investors as a net benefit, according to a recent story, Nuclear Power’s Climate Credentials, Footprint Spark ESG Debate, by reporter Daniel Moore in Bloomberg Law. The interest comes as investors are increasingly sensitive to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Nuclear’s benefits must be included “in the array of ESG frameworks sprouting up to define the scope of any energy project’s climate impact,” writes Moore.

The Atlantic: Build what we’ve already invented

May 16, 2022, 12:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe

“What if I told you that scientists had figured out a way to produce affordable electricity that was 99 percent safer and cleaner than coal or oil, and that this breakthrough produced even fewer emissions per gigawatt-hour than solar or wind?” That’s the question that Derek Thompson, a staff writer at The Atlantic, asks in his article, "The Forgotten Stage of Human Progress," before revealing, “The breakthrough I’m talking about is 70 years old: It’s nuclear power.”

Diversity resource guide for colleges and universities available

May 16, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

As part of its Pathways programs for online learning, the Pearson company has published a resource guide titled “Diversity in Colleges: Statistics, History, and Resources.” The guide could serve as a resource for the nuclear community as it seeks to increase diversity among university students studying for careers in the nuclear industry.

Profile published on head of MARVEL project at Idaho National Laboratory

May 12, 2022, 7:03AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Idaho National Laboratory nuclear engineer Yasir Arafat (Photo: INL)

From refugee in Bangladesh to top nuclear engineer at Idaho National Laboratory, ANS member Yasir Arafat has led quite an interesting life, as described in a recent online profile written by Donna Kemp Spangler for the INL website. Arafat is leading the development of the Department of Energy’s Microreactor Applications Research Validation and EvaLuation (MARVEL) project at INL. The profile notes that MARVEL, which Arafat envisioned soon after joining INL in 2019, is scheduled to be “built and demonstrated at INL’s Transient Reactor Test Facility and connected to the world’s first nuclear microgrid within two years.”

“Being real means that the renewable revolution requires nuclear power”: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists op-ed

May 11, 2022, 3:14PMANS Nuclear Cafe


In a recent opinion piece in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, mathematician and economist Michael Edesess writes that “The goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 [appears] unrealistic.” Edesess, a research associate of the EDHEC-Risk Institute, adds, “We must, in the final analysis, be realistic. Being real means that the renewable revolution requires nuclear power.”

Then: Edesess traces the history of interest in renewable energy sources to the 1970s when, he notes, climate change was not even part of the calculations. Back then, the thought was, “We only needed to reduce the oil we imported from the Middle East. Solar and wind could do that if only we could drive the cost down.” However, “For nuclear, driving the cost down was not the objective. The objective was to make nuclear power ever safer and safer. This drove nuclear power’s cost up.”

Colorado seeks 100 percent carbon-free energy without nuclear power

May 11, 2022, 7:02AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The administration of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis “appears uninterested in nuclear energy, bucking a growing consensus that nuclear power is an essential component in eliminating carbon emissions,” writes Scott Weiser in a recent Denver Gazette article. Weiser notes that nuclear power is not part of the governor’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap for 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2040.

Journalist: Nuclear waste management is key to nuclear renaissance

May 10, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

“The momentum toward a new era of nuclear energy is predicated in part on government and industry claims that new technological solutions to nuclear waste are forthcoming. But challenges remain in their realization at the necessary scale,” writes freelance journalist Jenny Johnson in the article “Nuclear renaissance hinges on solving the waste issue."

Vogtle project update: Cost likely to top $30 billion

May 9, 2022, 3:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Vogtle-4 diesel generator building in March. (Photo: Georgia Power)

The total bill for the reactor expansion project at the Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia is now expected to exceed $30 billion, according to the Associated Press. The original price tag for the two Westinghouse AP1000 units was $14 billion.

Join Ohio State for the first Neutron Depth Profiling Workshop

May 9, 2022, 7:02AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Ohio State University Nuclear Reactor Laboratory and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry are presenting the first Neutron Depth Profiling (NDP) Workshop on June 10, 2022. The daylong event will be held on campus and can also be attended via Zoom.

Register now. Registration, which is open until June 1, is free. A Zoom link will be provided upon registration.

France’s energy woes worsened by inspection-related nuclear power plant shutdowns

May 6, 2022, 6:59AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The nuclear power plant in Cattenom, France. (Photo: Stefan Kühn)

Bloomberg recently reported that nuclear power production in France declined to its lowest level in almost two years in April, with power output during that month falling to 21.7 TWh. The decline occurred as Électricité de France (EDF), one of the country’s major energy suppliers, dealt with long-term inspection-and maintenance-related halts to the operation of many of its 56 domestic nuclear reactors.

Newsom mulls a Diablo Canyon rescue

May 2, 2022, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant

California Gov. Gavin Newsom told the Los Angeles Times editorial board last week that his administration would look into using the federal government’s Civil Nuclear Credit Program to keep Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in operation beyond its scheduled 2025 closure date.

“The requirement is by May 19 to submit an application, or you miss the opportunity to draw down any federal funds if you want to extend the life of that plant,” Newsom told the board, according to an April 29 LA Times piece. “We would be remiss not to put that on the table as an option.”

A reactor physicist explains Chernobyl

April 28, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
A screen shot from the ANS webinar, “A Reactor Physicist’s Explanation of Chernobyl,” featuring Christopher Perfetti (inset). (Source: ANS)

On the 36th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the American Nuclear Society held the webinar, “A Reactor Physicist’s Explanation of Chernobyl,” led by Christopher Perfetti, an assistant professor in the Nuclear Engineering Department at the University of New Mexico. (Here we use the more common Russian spelling of Chernobyl, rather than the Ukrainian spelling, Chornobyl.)

May presidential election could revive nuclear power in Philippines

April 27, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Battan nuclear power plant in Morong, Philippines. (Source: Jiru27/Wikimedia)

“If the electorate through their elected leaders demand stable or lower electricity costs, and new coal is off the table, only nuclear power offers hope,” writes nuclear engineer Joseph Somsel in reference to the Philippines presidential election, scheduled for May 9. Somsel, who expressed his views on the Nuclear Engineering International website this month, notes that the leading ticket in the election consists of presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the former dictator, and vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte, daughter of the current president. The ticket has been running ads supporting nuclear power while condemning high electricity prices.

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.