Nuclear energy has watershed moment at COP28

December 22, 2023, 7:02AMANS Nuclear CafeSeth Grae

What happened at COP28, the annual United Nations climate event held this year in Dubai, was the greatest outpouring of global support for nuclear power the world has seen since the thunderous reception to Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace call exactly 70 years ago. For the first time, nuclear energy was specifically mentioned in the closing statement of a COP event as one possible way to combat climate change.

Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” at 70

December 8, 2023, 3:03PMNuclear News

Seventy years ago to the day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his historic address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. (See December 2023 Nuclear News's “Leaders” column to read the reflections of Kathryn Huff, the Department of Energy’s assistant secretary for nuclear energy, on the speech’s anniversary.)

The legacy of the Shippingport Atomic Power Station

May 26, 2023, 2:59PMNuclear NewsJeremy Hampshire
The Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Shippingport, Pa., the first full-scale nuclear power generating station in the United States, began operating in 1957.

Serving as the world’s first scalable nuclear power plant, Shippingport Atomic Power Station led the way for today’s nuclear generation fleet. Shippingport was centrally located roughly 25 miles from Pittsburgh, Pa., to provide electrical generation for many end-users. Shippingport also served as an experimental reactor that allowed engineers and designers the ability to test different core designs, and as such, the site housed additional testing equipment otherwise not commonly seen. The primary goal of Shippingport was always to generate electricity; however, its ability to function as an experimental reactor served utilities in further development of scalable nuclear generation.

The U.S. nuclear fuel Gordian knot: From global supplier to vulnerable customer

May 19, 2023, 3:01PMNuclear NewsMatt Wald

This article is the second in a series about the domestic nuclear fuel crisis. The first in the series, “‘On the verge of a crisis’: The U.S. nuclear fuel Gordian knot,” was published on Nuclear Newswire on April 14, 2023.

Once upon a time, enrichment was a government monopoly—at least outside the Soviet bloc. But the United States, eager to get out of the field, was convinced that the private sector could do it better. Now, the West is dependent on the Soviets’ successors and is facing an uncertain supply, a complication of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Slowly, a consensus is growing that dependence on imports is a bad idea. Some experts also say that upsets like the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and the collapse of natural gas prices due to fracking, show that the market is too prone to shocks for private companies to navigate without support. One of the architects of the U.S. government’s exit from the enrichment game is now voicing second thoughts. And belatedly—shortly after the first anniversary of the beginning of the Russian invasion—five Western countries, including the United States, announced that they have to get more deeply involved in the fuel supply chain, but didn’t say precisely how.

Happy birthday to the American Nuclear Society!

December 11, 2020, 1:30PMANS News

The American Nuclear Society turns 66 today! ANS was founded on December 11, 1954, at the National Academy of Sciences on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The beginnings: ANS was launched in the mid-1950s, a time of growing interest in employing peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology for bettering the lives of people in the United States and around the world. President Eisenhower had presented his dramatic 1953 "Atoms for Peace" speech to the United Nations, proposing international knowledge-sharing for the development of civilian nuclear science and technology.

While a number of associations already had nuclear divisions or groups, many people felt that a new organization was needed. Following its establishment in 1954 as a not-for-profit association of individual members, ANS quickly added breadth and depth to its activities, resulting in an organization that was both influenced by and had an influence on the burgeoning nuclear field.

Experimental Breeder Reactor I: A retrospective

December 19, 2019, 5:29PMANS Nuclear CafeWill Searight

In the not-so-distant 20th century past, our planet was in an uncertain new-world order. The second of two major wars had dramatically reshaped the landscape of the world's nations. It was not by any means assured that the extraordinary nuclear process of fission, which itself had been discovered mere years before the second war's end, would be successfully utilized for anything but the tremendous and frightening powers realized in thermonuclear warheads. In the years following, a humble project materializing out of the National Reactor Testing Station in Idaho was to challenge that assertion and demonstrate that nuclear fission could indeed be a commercial, peaceful source of electrical power for civilizations around the globe.