ARPA-E Energy Briefs highlight innovations and programs

The Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is at work developing and demonstrating novel energy technologies and connecting those technologies with private-sector investors. The researchers and innovators behind ARPA-E want to tell you all about it in a series of “Energy Briefs” available through the agency’s YouTube channel.

Recapping the ANS/NEI Advanced Reactor Codes and Standards Workshop

As industry steps up its efforts to design, develop, and deploy advanced reactors, codes and standards must be developed to support these technologies. Toward that end, ANS and the Nuclear Energy Institute collaborated to host a virtual workshop on June 23 for industry partners to discuss the development of advanced reactor codes and standards.

NEI’s senior director of new reactors, Marc Nichol, welcomed more than 400 attendees to the online meeting, and ANS’s director of government relations, John Starkey, outlined the meeting logistics.

ANS offers diversity, equity, and inclusion resources for all community members

The Diversity and Inclusion in ANS program is guided by the Diversity and Inclusion in ANS (DIA) Committee to promote diversity and inclusion in nuclear science, technology, and engineering and to promote and support the participation of underrepresented or marginalized groups within the Society, including—but not limited to—women, persons of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and persons with disabilities.

Spotlight finds NREL in latest YMG webinar

The ANS Young Members Group (YMG) continues to deliver an in-depth look at the Department of Energy’s national laboratories through a series of live webinars called Spotlight on National Labs. The fourth and most recent webinar focused on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located in Golden, Colo., and its role in advancing clean energy technologies and their integration into the global energy system. “It is exciting to have the lead renewable energy national lab discuss their work toward a flexible grid of the future and system integration efforts among all carbon-free sources, including nuclear energy,” said Harsh Desai, YMG chair.

Navigating Nuclear: Bringing it home

American Nuclear Society members who are parent­ing K–12 students have been drafted to serve as home ed­ucators during the COVID-19 pandemic. While schools may have provided e-learning resources, the school year is at an end. How can concerned parents prevent the dreaded summer slide?

Here’s our suggestion: turn to Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World, ANS’s K–12 curriculum devel­oped in partnership with Discovery Education, and teach nuclear chem­istry! Even if you live apart from the children in your life, consider using Zoom to introduce Navigating Nuclear to children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

ANS Virtual Trivia Night: The world’s first Zoom nuclear trivia event?

ANS’s first Virtual Trivia Night drew over 80 contestants who were ready to test their nuclear knowledge during an evening of Zoom-based socialization sponsored by the ANS Young Members Group, the Student Sections Committee, and the Diversity and Inclusion in ANS Committee. YMG Vice Chair Catherine Prat hosted the May 8 event. “I really appreciated seeing how engaged the players were throughout the night,” she said. “They were great guinea pigs for this first-of-a-kind event, as we continue to explore ways to connect virtually.”

“Top-secret” Los Alamos is in the spotlight

The ANS Young Members Group (YMG) is delivering an in-depth look at the Department of Energy’s national laboratories through a series of live webinars called Spotlight on National Labs. The third and most recent webinar attracted more than 1,000 participants who were keen to learn about the mission and key projects of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Get ready! ANS is taking the Annual Meeting online

Cancel your flight to Phoenix, but keep your calendar free! ANS is transforming its 2020 ANS Annual Meeting—coming up June 8-11—into an online conference. The virtual meeting will deliver the top-quality content and technical exchange you've come to expect from ANS meetings while ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved.

YMG turns the spotlight on national labs

ANS Young Members Group Chair Harsh Desai

The ANS Young Members Group has developed a new live webinar series that is free to all, and Harsh Desai is excited. “We have a great opportunity to highlight our national laboratory infrastructure, which is a pinnacle of innovation in nuclear science, technology, and engineering,” said Desai, chair of the YMG. “We’re giving each of the national labs the opportunity to highlight their mission, key projects, and rising stars, and we’re also giving members of the YMG executive committee valuable leadership experience building and moderating the webinar panels.”

ANS Student Conference organizers pivot to online webinar series

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced 2020 ANS Student Conference organizers to cancel plans to meet in person on the campus of North Carolina State University, they already had a full calendar of events and hundreds of registered attendees. While the meeting could be rescheduled, graduating students who had signed up to participate in the Student Design Competition would miss the chance to present their research. Finding a way for those students to present their work was a priority.

Letter from the CEO

Sustainability and impact

Dear ANS members,

As you know, the staff and I are in the midst of implementing a significant overhaul of ANS operations, as guided by the letter and spirit of ANS Change Plan 2020.

We are off to a good start. We have changed the ANS organization chart to knock down silos and bring fresh leadership to our Publications and Digital Technology Departments. We have embarked on a major overhaul of our IT infrastructure to leverage the advantages of cloud computing and significantly improve our cybersecurity posture. Our first visible improvement will be a modernized ANS website, scheduled to go live for members and the general public in a matter of weeks, followed by digital access to Nuclear News and related content this summer.

Navigating Nuclear takes high school students on virtual field trip to INL

When Navigating Nuclear’s latest virtual field trip (VFT) debuted online in February during Engineers Week, students in classrooms around the country learned about nuclear advancements happening right now at Idaho National Laboratory, on technologies including advanced reactors, TRISO fuel, and space power systems. The video, titled “Nuclear Reimagined,” highlights diverse applications of nuclear technology and career opportunities in the nuclear sector and puts a spotlight on the work of ANS members Heather Chichester, Paul Demkowicz, and Stephen Johnson at INL.

High school students become “decay detectives”

Lesson plans for middle school and high school students make up only one part of the compelling nuclear science education resources that Navigating Nuclear offers for today’s classrooms. ANS’s K–12 curriculum reaches students with virtual field trips (see article that begins on page 1), career resources, and STEM project starters to get students excited about nuclear science and its applications.

Prepare for the nuclear PE exam with online modules and a practice exam

The next opportunity to earn professional engineer (P.E.) licensure in nuclear engineering is this fall, and now is the time to sign up and begin studying with the help of a new online module program from ANS.

“Licensure is the mark of a professional,” said Joshua Vajda, chair of the ANS Professional Engineering Examination Committee (PEEC). “It’s a standard recognized by employers and their clients, by governments, and by the public as an assurance of dedication, skill, and quality,” he added.“It not only enhances your stature, it shows commitment to the profession and demonstrates heightened leadership and management skills.”

Standards Community of Practice for RIPB methods

The Risk-informed, Performance-based Principles and Policy Committee (RP3C), a special committee of the ANS Standards Board, has launched a Community of Practice (CoP) to support risk-informed, performance-based (RIBP) methods in ANS standards. The CoP consists of interested professionals who can contribute to standards development priorities identified in the Standards Committee Strategic Plan and in ANS Position Statement #46, “Risk-Informed and Performance-Based Regulations for Nuclear Power Plants.”

ANS publishes revised standard on PWR reload startup physics tests

The ANS Standards Committee has just published ANSI/ANS-19.6.1-2019, “Reload Startup Physics Tests for Pressurized Water Reactors” (revision of ANS-19.6.1-2011). The standard, approved December 19, 2019, provides guidance for verifying the nuclear characteristics of a commercial pressurized water reactor core following a refueling or other alteration of the reactor core for which nuclear design calculations are required. The standard provides the minimum acceptable startup physics test program, while recognizing that additional tests may be required by special design features of a particular core.