Early career faculty members sought for new $2.5-million DOE program

December 14, 2021, 12:08PMNuclear News

The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy is soliciting applications from untenured, early career faculty members for the new Distinguished Early Career Program. Applicants must respond by February 2 with a plan that integrates research, education, and service under the terms of a funding opportunity announcement dated December 6 and announced by the DOE on December 7. The DOE anticipates granting up to four $625,000 awards, each with a five-year duration.

Universities to host a new generation of advanced reactors

December 13, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News
A screen shot from the “Research Reactors in Support of Advanced Reactor R&D” session at the 2021 ANS Winter Meeting and Technology Expo.

First-of-a-kind research reactors, demo reactors, and research facilities are being developed and sited on university campuses to support the broader deployment of advanced reactors. At the 2021 ANS Winter Meeting and Technology Expo, during a December 2 panel session titled “Research Reactors in Support of Advanced Reactor R&D,” several of these planned projects were discussed in detail—including a molten salt reactor in Texas and a high-temperature gas–cooled reactor in Illinois.

The session was sponsored by the Reactor Physics Division and organized and chaired by Pavel Tsvetkov, of Texas A&M University. A video of the session is available to registered Winter Meeting attendees.

Students: Apply online now for 2022–2023 ANS scholarships

December 2, 2021, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The American Nuclear Society supports more than 50 college students each year through its Scholarship Program, awarding more than $140,000 annually. Applications for the 2022–2023 academic year are now available, and all ANS student members are encouraged to apply. Recipients will be awarded between $1,000 and $5,000, based on merit and financial need.

NRC awards R&D grants to 10 universities

November 17, 2021, 6:59AMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced on November 15 that it has awarded nearly $5.5 million in grants to support research and development activities in nuclear science, engineering, technology, and related disciplines under the University Nuclear Leadership Program (UNLP), previously known as the Integrated University Program.

Back to school with Navigating Nuclear: ANS’s complete K-12 curriculum

August 27, 2021, 12:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Teachers and parents around the nation are learning about Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World—a K-12 nuclear science curriculum that now features content for all grade levels and can be accessed at ans.org/navigatingnuclear. The free online materials are classroom-ready, and include virtual field trips, project starters, and lessons available to every teacher and parent.

NAVIGATING NUCLEAR VIRTUAL CURRICULUM FINDS NEW HOME FOR SCHOOL YEAR

August 27, 2021, 10:10AMPress Releases

With back-to-school season upon us, the American Nuclear Society (ANS) is excited to announce that our Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World curriculum now reaches all grade levels and can be accessed at ans.org/navigatingnuclear.

U of Illinois plans to integrate research and power with advanced microreactor

June 30, 2021, 12:18PMNuclear News
A rendering of Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation’s micro modular reactor as proposed for construction on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. (Graphic: USNC)

The U.S. state with more nuclear power plants than any other—Illinois—has no operating university research reactors. A team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) intends to reverse that situation and construct a high-temperature gas-cooled microreactor. If the team's plans go ahead, the first new U.S. university research reactor deployment in about 30 years could also support commercial advanced reactor deployment.

NRC awards $10.7 million in academic grants

June 9, 2021, 9:31AMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced on June 8 that it has awarded 30 academic grants to 26 academic institutions in 19 states, totaling nearly $10.7 million. The funds will support scholarships, fellowships, and faculty development at four-year universities and colleges, two-year trade schools and community colleges, and minority-serving institutions.

ANS holds launch party for virtual field trip to space

May 24, 2021, 1:35PMANS News

ANS celebrated the launch of the newest Navigating Nuclear virtual field trip, “Nuclear Frontiers: Powering Possibility,” with a special watch party held on May 19. The video, which was viewed more than 70,000 times in the first week alone, explores the amazing ways that nuclear science is fueling earthly innovation and deep space exploration.

Join ANS's watch party for a virtual field trip into outer space

May 18, 2021, 3:00PMANS News
Photo: NASA, ESA, and STScI

Help ANS celebrate the launch of our newest virtual field trip, “Nuclear Frontiers: Powering Possibility,” by attending tomorrow's online watch party!

The virtual field trip explores the amazing ways that nuclear science is fueling earthly innovation and deep space exploration. The field trip video, which was made available earlier this month, is part of ANS’s Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World program The Navigating Nuclear program, which was started in August 2018, has already reached more than 1.5 million K-12 students.

Register now for the watch party for the virtual field trip, to be held tomorrow, May 19, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (EDT).

Join ANS for a virtual field trip into outer space

May 17, 2021, 3:00PMANS News

Help ANS celebrate the launch of our newest virtual field trip, “Nuclear Frontiers: Powering Possibility,” which explores the amazing ways that nuclear science is fueling earthly innovation and deep space exploration. The video is part of the Society’s Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World program, which has reached more than 1.5 million K-12 students.

Register now for this special event, to be held on Wednesday, May 19, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (EDT).

Journey to outer space in the latest Navigating Nuclear virtual field trip

May 7, 2021, 9:29AMANS News
Former NASA astronaut Franklin R. Chang-Diaz talks about the ways nuclear fusion will assist in deep space travel. (Photo: Navigating Nuclear)

In partnership with Discovery Education, ANS launched its third virtual field trip on May 6. “Nuclear Frontiers: Powering Possibility” takes students on a journey to learn how Earth-based nuclear science and technology are paving the way in space exploration. It is available on-demand on the Navigating Nuclear website.

ORISE reports uptick in nuclear engineering master’s degrees

March 2, 2021, 9:29AMNuclear News

An increase in the number of master’s degrees awarded in the United States in 2019 pushed the total number of nuclear engineering degrees to its highest level since 2016, according to a study conducted by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) that surveyed 34 U.S. universities with nuclear engineering programs. The report, Nuclear Engineering Enrollments and Degrees Survey, 2019 Data, includes degrees granted between September 1, 2018, and August 31, 2019, as well as enrollments for fall 2019. It was released by ORISE in February.

Details: The 316 nuclear engineering master’s degrees awarded in 2019 represented a 21 percent increase over the 2018 total, and a 12 percent increase over the number awarded in 2017. The 194 doctoral degrees awarded in 2019 represented the second-highest level recorded since 1966.

Exelon Generation’s workforce development and knowledge transfer strategy

February 12, 2021, 4:10PMNuclear NewsHeather Davis

Students display items they received at a STEM workshop sponsored by Exelon. Photo: Exelon.

The landscape of Exelon Generation’s nuclear business has continued to evolve—even before the complications of a pandemic—but people will always remain the core focus. Our employees and our future employee pipelines are changing almost as fast as technology, which is why the development of the workforce, both present and future, along with the transfer of knowledge across all departments and levels of the organization, must remain adaptable and advance as well.

John Gilligan: NEUP in support of university nuclear R&D

December 30, 2020, 7:07AMNuclear NewsRick Michal

John Gilligan has been the director of the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) since its creation in 2009 by the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE). NEUP consolidates DOE-NE’s university support under one program and engages colleges and universities in the United States to conduct research and development in nuclear technology. The two main R&D areas for NEUP funding are fuel cycle projects, which include evolving sustainable technologies that improve energy generation to enhance safety, limit proliferation risk, and reduce waste generation and resource consumption; and reactor projects, which strive to preserve the existing commercial light-water reactors as well as improve emerging advanced designs, such as small modular reactors, liquid-metal-cooled fast reactors, and gas- or liquid-salt-cooled high-temperature reactors.

Nuclear Education and COVID-19

December 29, 2020, 7:07AMNuclear News

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States on a wide basis in March of this year, and life as we knew it changed. “Social distancing” and “essential workers” entered the jargon and working from home for many became the norm.

The number of remote meetings skyrocketed, and various companies have seen that business can be conducted without having employees in the office.

For universities, distance learning has been common for a while now, but with COVID it has become essential.

Nuclear News asked some nuclear engineering professors about how their programs have been dealing with the pandemic. We posed three questions and asked for responses to any or all of them:

How has COVID affected your NE program, and what have you learned from the experience?

Has your NE program been able to contribute to your university’s broader COVID response (e.g., through research or volunteer programs)?

What opportunities or challenges do you foresee in the next year for your program and your students?

The following are responses received by NN.

The value of “fluffy” stuff

December 16, 2020, 9:23AMANS NewsMary Lou Dunzik-Gougar

Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar

You know the old saying that those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach? Well, I say anyone thinking that way should be kept far away from students!

In my time at Argonne National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory, I worked with incredible scientists and engineers doing cutting-edge research. Unfortunately, making progress in research is not always conducive to the education and training of those who haven’t yet gained the necessary expertise. And there is an interesting phenomenon that occurs the more one gains in education and experience: We tend to forget what we were like before, what it was like not to know everything we do now. More than one of my PhD colleagues at the national labs dismissed the education and outreach efforts that I pursued in my spare time: scouts, K-12 classroom visits, teacher workshops, science expos, etc., viewing any focus other than the truly technical as just “fluffy” and a waste of valuable time and effort.

U.S. university programs: Lighting the way to a brighter nuclear future

December 16, 2020, 6:58AMANS NewsCraig Piercy

Craig Piercy

We have dedicated this month’s edition of Nuclear News to university programs and their contributions in advancing the field of applied nuclear science and technology and readying the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Say what you want about the condition of the U.S. nuclear enterprise today, but there is no denying that our university-based programs in nuclear science and engineering are still the envy of the world. You can see it in the way these programs attract students and faculty from across the globe, and from their formative contributions to technologies, such as the NuScale power module and many of the advanced reactor designs being developed today.

NEDHO: A nuclear education alliance

December 11, 2020, 12:04PMNuclear NewsKostadin Ivanov, Todd Allen

The Nuclear Engineering Department Heads Organization (NEDHO) is an alliance of the heads (chairs) of about 30 nuclear engineering schools, departments, and programs in the United States. NEDHO is managed by an executive committee consisting of the chair, the chair-elect, and the three most immediate past-chairs. NEDHO meetings are normally held in conjunction with the American Nuclear Society’s national meetings. The NEDHO meetings are open to anyone, but on matters that require a vote, each institution is limited to a single official representative (i.e., one vote).