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.

Join ANS for the virtual event, “Budgeting for the Future of Nuclear”

April 25, 2022, 9:28AMANS News

ANS is hosting a webinar titled “Budgeting for the Future of Nuclear” on Wednesday, April 27, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (EDT). Representatives from the Department of Energy will discuss the president’s fiscal year 2023 budget request.

Register Now. The webinar is for ANS members only.

DOE awards grant to Constellation to study direct air capture technology

April 22, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News

The Department of Energy has awarded a grant worth $2.5 million to Constellation and its project partners to investigate the potential benefits of direct air capture (DAC) technology at its Byron nuclear power plant in Illinois. DAC would remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere, a possible next-generation technology to help combat climate change.

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.

NNSA’s NEST team prepares for Super Bowl

January 31, 2022, 3:01PMNuclear News

Los Angeles residents may see low-altitude aircraft near the sites of Super Bowl LVI activities on February 1 and 2. That’s when the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration will send a Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST) helicopter to measure expected background radiation as part of standard preparations to protect public health and safety for the National Football League’s biggest game.

More information and video footage of NEST’s work is available online.

Representative Mike Levin: The spent fuel caucus and SONGS

November 19, 2021, 3:02PMNuclear NewsTim Gregoire


On July 21, Rep. Mike Levin (D., Calif.), whose district includes the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), announced with Rep. Rodney Davis (R., Ill.) the formation of the bipartisan House Spent Nuclear Fuel Solutions Caucus. The caucus, according to its members, seeks to address the challenges associated with stranded U.S. commercial spent fuel and to serve as a forum for those who want to make progress on the issue, regardless of whether they have a preferred solution.

Rep. Levin talked with Nuclear News staff writer Tim Gregoire about his goals for the caucus and finding an answer to the country’s spent nuclear fuel dilemma.

RadioNuclear 22: HBO’s Chernobyl: A Setback or Opportunity?

June 27, 2019, 2:14PMANS Nuclear CafeDoug Hardtmayer

Episode 22 of RadioNuclear is now available. In this episode, we discuss the recent miniseries "Chernobyl", which recently concluded on HBO. We debunk some of the more egregious articles written in the wake of the show (see links to these articles below). We also discuss good ways to engage with individuals who are captivated with the show, and not necessarily familiar with nuclear technology.

Looking Back: A Brief History of CONTE

January 2, 2019, 2:37AMANS Nuclear CafeDr. Jane LeClair

The accident that occurred at Three Mile Island on March 28, 1979, brought about many changes to the nuclear industry. Among the changes was the industry stopping to reflect on current procedures and the training of its employees. Exhorted by the findings of the Kemeny Commission and sponsored by the Department of Energy, industry leaders and training personnel began meeting on improvements to training at the Gatlinburg Conference in the early 1980's.

Consolidated Storage of Commercial Used Fuel

June 15, 2016, 11:51AMANS Nuclear CafeWill Davis

Used nuclear fuel storage; photo courtesy Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a division of the US Department of Energy

An interesting session at the ANS 2016 Annual Meeting, sponsored by the Fuel Cycle & Waste Management Division, saw the presentation of a number of interesting papers relative to the ever-increasing problem of used nuclear fuel at the various commercial nuclear plant sites in the United States.  Not only does the used fuel (which is a far better term than "spent fuel," these days, since it can conceivably be reused) continue to accumulate at the nuclear plants, but there is also a considerable amount of used fuel being stored at various sites where the nuclear plants have actually been shut down, decommissioned and completely removed for years.  Considering this, and the need to inventory, characterize and eventually move this material, a growing amount of interest is being shown in this field.

Seven Decades Past, A New Dawn

September 26, 2014, 6:47PMANS Nuclear CafeWill Davis

Shortly before midnight on September 26, 1944, a sustained chain reaction was begun for the first time in a nuclear reactor whose purpose was not merely to prove that fission could be achieved or sustained. The brand new reactor at Hanford Engineer Works, Washington state, had only been complete for about a month; its first uranium fuel had begun loading only on September 13. Incredibly, this facility, of a nature that had never been attempted before (as man had only been aware of fission, itself, for less than a decade) was built in the incredible time span of 11 months; ground had been broken to build the reactor building in October 1943.

Return to the 1970s

May 1, 2014, 5:57PMANS Nuclear CafeWill Davis

LetsGoBookIn the 1960s, visions for nuclear power were hopeful and plentiful; nuclear plants of all sorts imaginable* were under consideration and under construction in areas both urban and remote, while future plans portrayed an enormous nuclear plant build-out with a complete fuel cycle that included fuel recycling and breeder reactors.

Update and Perspective on Small Modular Reactor Development

March 21, 2013, 6:00AMANS Nuclear CafeJim Hopf

The US Department of Energy has a $452 million program to share development and licensing costs for selected small modular reactor (SMR) designs. The DOE's goal is to have an operating SMR by ~2022. Last November, the DOE awarded the first grant to the B&W mPowerTM reactor. In more recent news, the DOE has decided to issue a follow-on solicitation to enter a similar cost-sharing agreement with one or more other SMR vendors (and their SMR designs). The status of development and licensing for several SMR designs are summarized below.