Looking back and looking ahead

July 10, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear NewsKen Petersen

Ken Petersen

It is a great time to be American Nuclear Society president. There are very positive articles in Nuclear News and other places on the advances in fusion, nuclear in space, isotopes, and new power plants. It seems that every month the good news keeps building. I am also fortunate to start my presidency after the extraordinary efforts of past presidents Steve Nesbit (2021–2022) and Steven Arndt (2022–2023).

Steve Nesbit created a special committee to make recommendations on the framework of a generic standard for a high-level radioactive waste repository. The excellent work is currently out for review and, once complete, this standard will be a significant step forward for existing and future reactors. When Steven Arndt started as ANS president last year, he said he would prioritize participation and advocacy, and in these regards he has been an outstanding nuclear advocate. He has taken advantage of being able to travel and has attended numerous conferences in person after the past few years of cancelations, postponements, and virtual meetings for ANS and other industry events. At the same time, Arndt has advocated for a Nuclear Worker Certification program. While the program is not yet approved, I believe it is an excellent initiative, particularly now, with so many people coming to the industry who are new to nuclear—and the growing need for more.