Letter from the CEO

Calling balls and strikes

Craig Piercy

As a not-for-profit scientific and professional organization, the American Nuclear Society’s raison d’être has always been the advancement of nuclear science and technology. While many among our diverse ranks may see themselves as advocates, it is important to recognize that ANS the organization will never take the place of industry trade associations like the Nuclear Energy Institute or the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council. No, we will always be dedicated first to serving the men and women of the nuclear community, both here in the United States and around the world, as a source of news, technical knowledge, professional development opportunities, and scientific fellowship.

This should not in any way dissuade us, however—either individually or as a community—from engaging in the public discussion about nuclear technology, especially when debates become tainted by outright falsehoods or “fake news.” As we have seen in stark relief over the past eight months of pandemic-dominated life, the scientific community has a societal obligation to stand up and set the record straight when misinformation crops up. Simply put, we have to be prepared to call balls and strikes.

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A global nuclear science and engineering commencement

With the support of the European Nuclear Education Network, the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is hosting an online event on August 27, at 7 a.m. EDT (1 p.m. in Paris).

The event will celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021, especially those within the nuclear science and technology fields.

The event is free and open to all. Registration is required.

The art of the 10,000-year warning

How to warn future generations to the location of buried long-lived radioactive waste has been debated for decades. Everything from massive obelisks inscribed with ominous warnings and fields of concrete “thorns,” to “atomic priesthoods” and cats that change color when exposed to ionizing radiation—all are real ideas that have been proposed. Others argue, rather convincingly, whether any such warning is needed at all.

The multifaceted issue of nuclear semiotics is the subject of a recent article in the web magazine BBC Future.

NEA analyzes nuclear’s role post-pandemic

The Paris-based Nuclear Energy Agency recently issued four policy briefs on the role that nuclear energy can play in the post-COVID-19 recovery:

Nuclear power and the cost-effective decarbonization of electricity systems

Creating high-value jobs in the post-COVID-19 recovery with nuclear energy projects

Unlocking financing for nuclear energy infrastructure in the COVID-19 economic recovery

Building low-carbon resilient electricity infrastructures with nuclear energy in the post-COVID-19 era