What skills are most needed in the advanced reactor workforce?

February 15, 2023, 7:05AMNuclear NewsNick Touran

Nick Touran

I got into nuclear engineering when I realized I could apply my passion for computers to the critical human challenge of energy. After training, I spent the past 13-plus years building automated and integrated engineering analysis tools for the efficient design/licensing of advanced nuclear reactors. Given what I’ve seen, I expect that modern high-level programming languages and data systems will continue to enable new efficiencies in analysis, configuration management, work planning, procurement, training, compliance, and execution in operations. The magnitude of potential impact laid out, for example, in Information Technology for Nuclear Power Plant Configuration Management (IAEA-TECDOC-1651) is well within reach. These impacts are identical to those promised by digital twins. Achieving these goals will require more information workers in the offices of nuclear vendors and operators to develop sophisticated skills in software engineering, database administration, statistics, and business analytics. Additionally, decision makers must be better trained to best understand and choose specialized IT systems and software.

GOP congressmen criticize Democrats for stalling nuclear innovation

August 1, 2022, 9:31AMANS Nuclear Cafe



Two Republican congressmen have penned an op-ed for The Hill in which they criticize the Biden administration for offering Americans “a false and misleading choice” between a clean environment or a strong economy, such as with administration policies prioritizing renewable energy sources. Representatives Jeff Duncan (S.C.) and Byron Donalds (Fla.) argue that a greater emphasis on nuclear innovation is needed “to ensure a reliable electricity supply and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, while fostering our national, economic, and energy security interests.”

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.”