Spotlight On: Changes to the ANS national meeting program

May 27, 2021, 12:01PMNuclear News

The only constant, as the saying goes, is change. Since adopting the American Nuclear Society Change Plan 2020 at the ANS Winter Meeting in 2019, the Society has been in a state of seemingly constant change. Many important improvements have been implemented under the Change Plan—including to this magazine and our news site, ans.org/news—with an eye toward making ANS a more modern and adaptable organization. Some changes also have better enabled ANS to quickly respond to events that were out of our control and forced us to take on new endeavors (thanks, COVID‑19)—a prime example being the 2020 ANS Virtual Annual Meeting and subsequent virtual meetings that followed.

Granholm urged to form nuclear waste management office within DOE

May 5, 2021, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

Granholm

The American Nuclear Society joined seven other prominent nuclear organizations in submitting a letter to energy secretary Jennifer Granholm requesting that the Department of Energy establish an office dedicated to developing and managing an integrated nuclear waste storage, transportation, and disposal program. The letter asks that the new office report directly to the energy secretary.

Specifically, the office would do the following:

  • Provide a focal point for work on spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
  • Facilitate necessary engagement with external stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate an intent and commitment to take meaningful action.

Critical Look: PBS Newshour’s coverage of 10th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear accident

March 15, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear News

Along with many other media outlets on March 11, the PBS NewsHour reported on the continuing recovery efforts from the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan 10 years ago. The segment, "Japan marks 10th anniversary of Fukushima nuclear disaster," is just over eight minutes long, most of which discusses the effects of the earthquake and tsunami on the region and Japan’s preparedness for the next major natural incident.

ANS weighs in on NNSA’s Pu disposition plan

February 1, 2021, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions

The American Nuclear Society is urging the National Nuclear Security Administration to rethink its “dilute-and-dispose” plan for managing surplus weapons-grade plutonium. In comments submitted to the NNSA, ANS notes that a better solution for the agency’s inventory of surplus plutonium is to convert it to nuclear fuel for advanced reactors, as was originally intended.

The comments are in response to a December 16 Federal Register notice by the NNSA that it intends to prepare an environmental impact statement on the scope of its Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program. According to the notice, the NNSA intends to dispose of the entire 34 metric tons of surplus plutonium using its dilute-and-dispose approach, whereby the material will be downblended and shipped as transuranic waste to the Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico.

Under the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement, signed by the United States and Russia in 2000, the 34 tons of plutonium was to be converted to mixed-oxide nuclear fuel using the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site, in South Carolina. However, the Obama administration, citing rising costs, halted construction on the facility in 2016, and the project was eventually canceled in 2019.

ANS backs effort to save Diablo Canyon

November 16, 2020, 9:33AMNuclear News

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. Photo: PG&E

The American Nuclear Society has submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in support of a complaint recently filed by a nuclear advocacy group regarding the 2016 decision to prematurely retire the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant.

The letter was signed by ANS Executive Director and CEO Craig Piercy and President Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar.

Excitement builds for ANS Virtual Annual Meeting

June 5, 2020, 2:55PMANS News

The 2020 ANS Virtual Annual Meeting promises to be a unique event in the history of the American Nuclear Society. The first all-virtual ANS meeting runs from June 8 to 11 and is being conducted via Zoom, a videoconferencing app that has gained widespread popularity since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 1,700 registrants have already signed up, making for the largest ANS meeting in modern history. More than 90 sessions will be held, with over 200 papers to be presented. Meeting registration will be open through Wednesday, June 10.