Unlocking Africa’s potential through nuclear energy

March 26, 2024, 7:02AMNuclear NewsAleshia Duncan

Aleshia Duncan

Data from the African Development Bank shows that Africans have an electricity access rate of 40 percent—the lowest in the world. This statistic is one I have been hoping to bring more awareness to and positively impact. Since stepping into my role at the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, I have prioritized focusing on Africa, leveraging the opportunity to deepen existing relationships and forge new ones.

Developments in advanced reactor technology are opening the door to all nations and promise to be critical to attaining climate and energy security goals. As we engage various countries on the African continent regarding their desire to pursue nuclear as an important part of their energy mix, Ghana has emerged as a nation that offers a unique partner profile that is aligned with our mission to support emerging markets and build regional leaders while also being motivated by its own sense of urgency in deploying new nuclear.

NRC names acting executive director for operations

January 16, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News


Raymond V. Furstenau, currently head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Office of Research, has been named acting executive director for operations, effective January 27, upon Daniel Dorman's retirement and until a permanent replacement has been selected.

The EDO is the highest-ranking NRC career position and carries the responsibilities of overseeing the agency's operational and administrative functions and serving as the chief operating officer.

Praise: "Ray is a seasoned executive with exemplary communication and management skills. He's the right person to lead the NRC staff while the commission works together to identify a permanent executive director for operations," said NRC chair Christopher Hanson.

Investments for peace

December 8, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear NewsKathryn Huff

Kathryn Huff

President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his “Atoms for Peace” speech to the United Nations General Assembly in December 1953. In this historic address, he invoked the existential threat of nuclear weapons proliferation and the potential horror of nuclear war to muster the diplomatic energy of the United Nations toward establishing peaceful uses for the atom. The speech launched domestic and international initiatives, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, that would underpin decades of robust, peaceful nuclear power commercialization and expansion.

This month, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of that speech, we celebrate Eisenhower’s prescience in suggesting that “experts would be mobilized to apply atomic energy to the needs of agriculture, medicine, and other peaceful activities” and “to provide abundant electrical energy in the power-starved areas of the world.” Mobilizing American experts, of course, would mean refocusing the work of the national laboratories toward peaceful uses of the atom and repurposing the vast weapons complex investments of the 1940s toward more peaceful ends.

Laying the foundation for advanced reactors

November 15, 2023, 9:31AMNuclear NewsRichard A. Meserve

Richard A. Meserve

Climate change presents a grave threat, demanding increasing reliance on low-carbon energy over the coming decades. Nuclear power today contributes half of U.S. low-carbon generation, and achievement of climate goals requires the continued operation of existing plants. But there are competitors for low-carbon energy, and nuclear’s further role remains uncertain. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) conducted a study to explore the challenges that must be overcome for widespread new nuclear deployment.1 This article provides my summary of the study, highlighting and abbreviating some of its principal recommendations. Note that the italicized portions of the article are shortened versions of the recommendations in the report.

The launch of the ANS STEM Academy

February 14, 2023, 7:01AMANS News

The new ANS STEM Academy launched at the end of 2022 encompasses all of the American Nuclear Society’s educational programs. It brings together a state-of-the-art curriculum with nuclear experts and enriches classroom experiences to enable a national expansion of K-12 nuclear science and technology education. The new program strives to serve educators, students, and everyone interested in nuclear science and technology.