The United States Navy: The unsung heroes of nuclear power

August 2, 2022, 7:02AMNuclear NewsJames Conca
America’s nuclear navy presently has 86 nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers. All of them, and their predecessors over the last 60 years, have performed flawlessly, protecting America as well as their crews. Here, the nuclear submarine USS Seawolf leads the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and the conventionally powered Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Oonami DD 111 during exercises in 2009. (Photo: United States Navy)

Just this last April, President Biden officially commissioned the USS Delaware, a new Virginia-­class nuclear attack submarine, the 18th built in that class and the eighth and final Block III Virginia-­class submarine. (The Delaware was administratively commissioned in April 2020, but the COVID-­19 pandemic caused delay of the ceremony for two years.)

ANS Naval Academy student section hosts dinner, receives landmark

April 12, 2022, 12:00PMANS News
The USS Enterprise (CVN-65)

The Naval Academy ANS student section, with support from the Washington, D.C., local section, held its semiannual dinner on March 29 in Annapolis, Md. The event was attended by more than 100 people, including midshipmen, professors from the U.S. Naval Academy, local ANS members, and ANS President Steve Nesbit.

The evening’s program was hosted by the student chapter president, Midshipman First Class Sara Perkins, and was headlined by the director of the Naval History and Heritage Command, Rear Admiral (retired) Samuel Cox.

Why is Jimmy Carter trending on Twitter?

December 17, 2021, 11:59AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The young Jimmy Carter, years before his presidency. (Click to view entire graphic.)

Jimmy Carter is trending on Twitter this week because of his ties to nuclear power. Carter, the 39th president of the United States, was a member of Rickover’s nuclear navy about 70 years ago when he was assigned to help in the aftermath of an accident at the Chalk River Laboratory in Ontario, Canada.

U.S. Navy researchers dive into cold fusion debate

March 24, 2021, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Scientists at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division, have pulled together a group of Navy, Army, and National Institute of Standards and Technology labs to help try and settle the debate over low-energy nuclear reactions (LENRs), reports IEEE Spectrum, the flagship magazine of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Sometimes referred to as cold fusion, the science of LENRs has been debated since 1989, when Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann published the results of experiments in which they claimed to have generated nuclear energy using a simple, room-temperature tabletop setup involving palladium and heavy water. Subsequent experiments by other researchers, however, failed to replicate their findings, heightening skepticism.

According to the IEEE Spectrum report, the labs will conduct experiments in an effort to establish if there is really something to the LENR idea, if it is just odd chemical interactions, or if some other phenomenon entirely is taking place in these controversial experiments.

First female CO to command nuclear aircraft carrier

January 5, 2021, 12:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Bauernschmidt
Photo: U.S. Navy

Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt will assume command of USS Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Navy announced last month. It marks the first time that a female commanding officer will lead the crew of one of the Navy’s 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

Bauernschmidt will take the Lincoln’s helm this summer, upon completion of the nuclear power, aviation, and leadership training required of aircraft carrier COs.

U.S. university programs: Lighting the way to a brighter nuclear future

December 16, 2020, 6:58AMANS NewsCraig Piercy

Craig Piercy

We have dedicated this month’s edition of Nuclear News to university programs and their contributions in advancing the field of applied nuclear science and technology and readying the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Say what you want about the condition of the U.S. nuclear enterprise today, but there is no denying that our university-based programs in nuclear science and engineering are still the envy of the world. You can see it in the way these programs attract students and faculty from across the globe, and from their formative contributions to technologies, such as the NuScale power module and many of the advanced reactor designs being developed today.

Remembering Vice Admiral Wilkinson on the 102nd anniversary of his birth

August 10, 2020, 6:58AMNuclear NewsAnn Marie Daniel Winters

We owe a debt of gratitude to Dennis Wilkinson, born 102 years ago today. Dennis did so much for the nuclear power industry—both in the Navy and in the commercial sector. When people first met him, he invariably stuck out his hand, grinned, and said, “Hi, I’m Dennis.” No pretense, no pomposity, no self-importance. Supremely confident and brilliant, he was also compassionate and warm with an engaging sense of humor. Many people he met became life-long friends, as he often said that “friendship is forever.”

Ann Winters: On the 100th anniversary of Wilkinson’s birth

August 1, 2018, 9:10AMNuclear News

Winters

Dennis Wilkinson would have celebrated his 100th birthday on August 10, 2018. The life and career of the man who captained the first nuclear-powered submarine and the first nuclear-­powered surface ship and was the first president and chief executive officer of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) have been captured in Ann Winters’s book, Underway on Nuclear Power: The Man Behind the Words, Eugene P. “Dennis” Wilkinson, Vice Admiral USN.

Because of his inherent drive, Wilkinson was often called a cowboy, maverick, visionary, innovator, and superb leader. As the first commanding officer of USS Nautilus, he was a major player in revolutionizing underwater warfare. Nautilus and its crew were immensely popular, at home and abroad, and in the 1950s became what we now call “rock stars.” Nautilus gave nuclear power celebrity status at a time when the United States and the world were grappling with Cold War issues.