Southern’s Tom Fanning to retire

December 18, 2023, 3:02PMNuclear News


Tom Fanning, Southern Company board executive chairman and the man who helmed the firm during construction of the two new AP1000 reactors at Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear plant, will retire December 31, Southern has announced. His board seat will be filled by Chris Womack, who replaced Fanning as Southern’s president and chief executive officer earlier this year.

Elected by the Southern board in July 2010, Fanning became company president in August 2010 and assumed the additional responsibilities of chairman and CEO that December. During his more than 43 years with Southern, Fanning held executive roles across various business disciplines, including finance, strategy, international business development, and technology. As president, chairman, and CEO of Southern, he received numerous accolades, including being named one of the most influential leaders in the energy industry in the past 25 years.

ANS awarded Fanning a Presidential Citation at this year’s Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Ind.

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.

ANS Annual Meeting: Mapping the winding road to used fuel disposal

June 19, 2023, 12:09PMRadwaste Solutions

The question “What about the waste?” is typically thrown out by the antinuclear crowd as an attempt to bog down the discussion of nuclear development. However, with renewed interest in nuclear power—and new advanced reactors in particular—what to do about used nuclear fuel is coming to the fore as a question that needs resolving.

Profile focuses on Curio CEO and nuclear waste reprocessing

August 22, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Ed McGinnis, Curio CEO. (Photo: Curio)

Ed McGinnis, the chief executive officer of nuclear innovation startup Curio, is looking to solve the nuclear waste problem. In a profile published by CNBC, McGinnis says that nuclear waste is “a huge, huge unresolved problem representing pretty much the largest ball and chain on the ankle of the U.S. nuclear energy sector [which is] trying to transition itself for the next generation of reactors.” Curio, which has developed its NuCycle technology for chemically processing nuclear waste, is hoping to “rebrand nuclear as a means of unlocking the full potential of human ingenuity and aspiration,” according to the company’s website.

The nuclear community rallies to save Diablo Canyon

January 13, 2022, 7:01AMANS News
Pro-nuclear groups rallied to keep Diablo Canyon open beyond 2025 in front of the San Luis-Obispo County Courthouse in California on December 4, 2021. (Photo: Save Clean Energy)

Over the past couple of months, the nuclear community has participated in a grassroots effort to save the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant from premature closure—and it appears to be having an effect. The growing support for keeping Diablo Canyon open is seen in editorials, an academic study from Stanford/MIT, and a grassroots rally held in December 2021 to show support for keeping Diablo Canyon operating.

ANS forms advanced reactors working group

March 5, 2021, 12:00PMANS News


Knowing that many ANS members are heavily involved in the development and regulatory oversight of advanced reactors, ANS Vice President/President-elect Steve Nesbit envisioned a place where members involved in the field could pool their resources, exchange ideas, and support interactions with other organizations and government agencies.

Nesbit’s vision is becoming a reality with the formation of the ANS Advanced Reactor Group. For now, it is housed within the Operations and Power Division, but the ARG will be open to other divisions as well. In fact, OPD chair Piyush Sabharwall said that input from across the ANS membership is essential for the group.