The indispensable value of a P.E. license for entrepreneurs

May 24, 2023, 3:00PMANS NewsArielle Miller

Arielle Miller

In the world of engineering, obtaining a Professional Engineering (P.E.) license is often seen as a significant milestone. The journey toward earning this esteemed credential can be arduous and time-consuming, involving rigorous exams, licensing applications, and recommendations from licensed professionals. However, many young engineers question the practicality of obtaining a P.E. license, especially when starting their own business. This article explores the importance of having a P.E. license when venturing into entrepreneurship and how it can benefit engineers in their professional journey.

For aspiring entrepreneurs in engineering, acquiring a P.E. license early in their careers can be a strategic move. Working for an established company allows young engineers to take advantage of opportunities like employer-funded preparation courses and financial assistance for licensing and exam fees. By investing time and effort into obtaining a P.E. license during the early-career stage, engineers position themselves for future success in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Pronuclear golf outing a success

May 24, 2023, 12:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Southern Nuclear Plant Vogtle team members showed off their first-prize winnings of golf balls and beer mugs at the banquet held after the CNTA Charity Golf Tournament. (Photo: CNTA)

Thirty teams of players participated in the 21st annual Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA) Charity Golf Tournament at the Houndslake Country Club in Aiken, S.C. The tournament, held on on May 12, raised net proceeds of about $23,000, which the nonprofit organization will use to educate the public about issues related to nuclear energy. In addition, more than $700 in donations were raised for the group’s community gift card program.

$275 Million for NuScale VOYGR deployment in Romania announced

May 24, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
President Biden met with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom at the G7 Summit, held May 19–21 in Hiroshima, Japan. (Also pictured are representatives of the European Commission and European Council.)

On the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, over the weekend, the Biden administration and partners Japan, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates announced a public-private commitment of up to $275 million to support the advancement of NuScale Power’s small modular reactor project in Romania.

MARVEL’s nonnuclear twin—PCAT—readied for testing this summer

May 24, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
INL prepares to ship PCAT by truck to Pennsylvania for testing. (Photo: INL)

An electric-powered prototype of MARVEL, the tiny microreactor designed and planned for operation inside the Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) facility at Idaho National Laboratory, has successfully been installed at a manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania ahead of a testing program that could begin as early as July, the Department of Energy announced on May 22.

Nuclear Alliance calls for 50 percent increase in EU nuclear capacity by 2050

May 23, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News

Nuclear energy could provide the European Union with “up to 150 GW of electricity capacity by 2050” through the safe operation of existing nuclear facilities, the deployment of 30 to 45 new large reactors, and the development of small modular reactors, according to a statement issued last week by Europe’s Nuclear Alliance, following a meeting in Paris with European commissioner for energy Kadri Simson. Currently, nuclear energy provides the EU with about 100 GW of installed capacity.

ANS members encouraged to apply for the 2024 Congressional Fellowship

April 5, 2023, 9:32AMUpdated May 23, 2023, 12:04PMANS News

The deadline to apply for the Glenn T. Seaborg Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship has been extended to June 5. The American Nuclear Society invites its members to apply for the fellowship to help the Society fulfill its strategic goal of enhancing nuclear public policy. Applications and all required materials are now due to ANS no later than June 5 by 11:59 p.m. EDT. Don't pass up this important opportunity to work on energy legislation in Congress as a representative of ANS.

Illinois lawmakers approve lifting ban on nuclear plant construction

May 23, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

The Illinois General Assembly has given the nod to S.B. 0076, a bill that would repeal the state’s decades-old moratorium on new nuclear power plant construction.

After passing the Senate in a 39–13 vote on March 30, the legislation proceeded to the House, where it was amended and approved 84–22 on May 18, then sent back to the Senate for concurrence. Late on May 19, the Senate agreed, 36–14 (with 3 voting “present”), to the proposed amendment. The bill now moves to Gov. J. B. Pritzker’s desk for consideration.

Zeno Power wins contract to build a radioisotope-powered satellite for the USAF

May 23, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear News
Rendering of a radioisotope-powered satellite. (Image: Zeno Power Systems)

Zeno Power Systems was awarded a $30 million contract to build a radioisotope-powered satellite for the U.S. Air Force by 2025. According to a SpaceNews article announcing the development and quoting company cofounder and chief executive officer Tyler Bernstein, the four-year contract is a “strategic funding increase” (STRATFI) agreement that provides $15 million in government funds, matched by $15 million from private investors.

DOE-EM outlines its cleanup goals for the coming decade

May 22, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management has released its Strategic Vision 2023–2033, a blueprint of the office’s anticipated cleanup achievements over the next decade. DOE-EM said the strategic vision is focused on the priorities of addressing radioactive liquid tank waste, demolishing contaminated buildings, remediating contaminated soil and groundwater, and safely managing and disposing of waste.

“The Strategic Vision 2023–2033 is intended to help us gaze further out to a place we want to be in the future,” DOE-EM senior advisor William “Ike” White said. “It sets EM on a course that will span a decade and inspire us all to achieve EM’s vital nuclear cleanup mission.”

NuScale, Nucor mull pairing SMR plants with steel mills

May 22, 2023, 12:03PMNuclear News
A Nucor electric arc furnace. (Photo: Nucor)

NuScale Power and steel manufacturer Nucor have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the deployment of NuScale’s VOYGR small modular reactor plants at Nucor’s scrap-based electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mills, the Portland, Ore.–based SMR developer announced Tuesday.

Granholm talks nuclear and other energy issues with WSJ

May 22, 2023, 9:31AMANS Nuclear Cafe


Secretary of energy Jennifer Granholm recently discussed the future of clean energy with Christopher M. Matthews, the U.S. energy editor for the Wall Street Journal. The May 15 live Q&A focused on Granholm’s perspective on the Biden administration’s policies for decarbonization and energy security. Granholm, who mentioned nuclear briefly at beginning of her remarks, returned to the issue at the end of the half-hour interview. In her answer to Matthews’s question, she addressed nuclear industry incentives, safety and waste concerns, next-generation technologies, and fusion.

Fossil fuels? Matthews opened the discussion by noting President Biden’s signing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) last year, allocating “billions of dollars in tax credits and federal loans to boost green energy, including electric vehicles, hydrogen production, and more.” He added, “At the same time, the administration has called on oil and gas producers to increase drilling to slow inflation and to tamp down energy prices.”

Nuclear Energy 101 is back on Capitol Hill to educate staffers

May 22, 2023, 7:22AMANS News
ANS Executive Director/CEO Craig Piercy introduces presenter Candace Davison at the first Nuclear Energy 101 talk of 2023.

Nuclear Energy 101, a course for congressional staffers in D.C., is back. After a hiatus of a few years, the American Nuclear Society hosted the first session of the five-part course on March 1 in the Rayburn House Office Building. This educational series has always been a great—and popular—tool for ANS to network with congressional staff and explain the basics of nuclear science and technology. Now that the country has returned (in many ways) to pre-pandemic ways, ANS thought it was the perfect time to relaunch the Nuclear Energy 101 program.

The U.S. nuclear fuel Gordian knot: From global supplier to vulnerable customer

May 19, 2023, 3:01PMNuclear NewsMatt Wald

This article is the second in a series about the domestic nuclear fuel crisis. The first in the series, “‘On the verge of a crisis’: The U.S. nuclear fuel Gordian knot,” was published on Nuclear Newswire on April 14, 2023.

Once upon a time, enrichment was a government monopoly—at least outside the Soviet bloc. But the United States, eager to get out of the field, was convinced that the private sector could do it better. Now, the West is dependent on the Soviets’ successors and is facing an uncertain supply, a complication of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Slowly, a consensus is growing that dependence on imports is a bad idea. Some experts also say that upsets like the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and the collapse of natural gas prices due to fracking, show that the market is too prone to shocks for private companies to navigate without support. One of the architects of the U.S. government’s exit from the enrichment game is now voicing second thoughts. And belatedly—shortly after the first anniversary of the beginning of the Russian invasion—five Western countries, including the United States, announced that they have to get more deeply involved in the fuel supply chain, but didn’t say precisely how.

Tennessee governor launches nuclear advisory council

May 19, 2023, 1:03PMNuclear News


In his latest effort to promote the growth of nuclear energy in his state, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order on Tuesday to establish the Tennessee Nuclear Energy Advisory Council.

“Tennessee is ready-made to lead America’s energy independence and drive continued economic growth with safe, clean, and reliable nuclear energy for the future,” Lee said at a news conference held at the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus to publicize the document. “Today, I’m signing an executive order that will continue our work to make Tennessee the number-one state for nuclear energy companies to invest and thrive, bringing greater opportunity and quality jobs for Tennesseans.”

Grandson of J. Robert Oppenheimer calls for nuclear cooperation to address energy crisis

May 19, 2023, 11:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Charles Oppenheimer, the grandson of the “father of the atomic bomb,” wants us to save the world with nuclear fission. In “Nuclear Energy’s Moment Has Come,” published in Time last week, Oppenheimer discusses why the public should embrace nuclear energy as a bipartisan solution to the climate crisis.

Oklo to deploy two Aurora plants in Ohio

May 19, 2023, 9:01AMNuclear News
A rendering of Oklo’s Aurora Powerhouse. (Image: Oklo)

Santa Clara, Calif.–based Oklo is planning to build its second and third commercial Aurora Powerhouse nuclear plants in southern Ohio, the company announced yesterday. The advanced reactor developer received a site permit in December 2019 from the Department of Energy to build its initial Aurora facility at Idaho National Laboratory.

According to the announcement, Oklo has signed an agreement with the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI), a community-reuse organization, to deploy two 15-MWe plants on land owned by SODI at the Portsmouth site near Piketon, Ohio. The DOE began transferring parcels of the Portsmouth site—home to the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, now undergoing decontamination and decommissioning—to SODI in June 2018 for economic development.

Two reports sound alarm on supply chain deployment risks—for fission and fusion

May 19, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

Reports released this week point to a clean energy future fueled by atomic energy—if and when pressing supply chain issues can be resolved. Advanced Reactor Roadmap, Phase 1: North America, released on May 15 by the Electric Power Research Institute and the Nuclear Energy Institute, takes a broad look at the deployment of advanced fission reactors and identifies supply chain ramp-up as one key enabler. The Fusion Industry Supply Chain: Opportunities and Challenges, released by the Fusion Industry Association on May 17, focuses on fusion energy supply chain issues.

U.S., Canada to cooperate on spent fuel management

May 18, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
The NWMO’s Laurie Swami (left) and the DOE’s Kathryn Huff sign a statement of intent to cooperate on used nuclear fuel management in Washington, D.C., on May 16. (Photo: CNW Group/NWMO)

The United States and Canada will cooperate on spent nuclear fuel management under a statement of intent (SOI) signed between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, the nonprofit responsible for the management of Canada’s commercial spent fuel.

Westinghouse, Dominion ink deal for Surry steam generator replacement

May 18, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Westinghouse chief executive officer Patrick Fragman meets with Dominion Energy CEO Bob Blue on May 15 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Westinghouse)

Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a contract with Dominion Energy to design, manufacture, and deliver replacement steam generators for Virginia’s Surry plant, the nuclear technology firm announced Tuesday.

Canada’s first microreactor headed to a Chalk River labs parking lot

May 18, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
Local officials, industry representatives, and others joined leaders from AECL, CNL, and GFP to mark the site of Canada’s first microreactor. (Photo: AECL)

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), and Global First Power (GFP) have announced plans to site a gas-cooled microreactor where a staff parking lot now sits on the campus of Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario.