Inaugural group graduates from nuclear operator program for Savannah River

September 6, 2022, 3:06PMRadwaste Solutions
DOE contractor Savannah River Mission Completion strengthened its ties with Aiken Technical College as the school graduated the first class of Nuclear Fundamentals trainees this summer. (Photo: DOE)

The first 36 students graduated this summer from Savannah River Mission Completion’s (SRMC) Nuclear Fundamentals Certificate program. SRMC is the Department of Energy’s liquid waste contractor at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina.

The program, which is a partnership between Aiken Technical College (ATC) and SRMC, is in its inaugural year.

Max Carbon Celebration coming to UW–Madison

September 6, 2022, 12:04PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Max Carbon

Join the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Department of Engineering Physics as it honors its founding chair at the upcoming Max Carbon Legacy Celebration. The on-campus event will take place on Friday, October 14, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. CDT at Union South, Varsity Hall 3, 1308 W. Dayton St. in Madison.

What it’s about: In addition to paying tribute to the legacy of the late Professor Emeritus Carbon, who established UW-Madison’s nuclear engineering program more than 60 years ago, the event will honor a number of retiring faculty members. Memories, stories, and photos of Professor Carbon will be shared by attendees.

SATER returns the Philippines to nuclear research and training

September 2, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Philippine Research Reactor-1 building at the University of the Philippines. (Photo: PNRI)

The research reactor known as SATER (Subcritical Assembly for Training, Education, and Research), housed in at the Philippine Research Reactor-1 building at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City, has become operational. As recently reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the core of SATER was loaded with 44 fuel rods, bringing the Philippines its first operational nuclear reactor in 34 years. Through this event, the country has moved a big step closer to meeting the government’s goal of adding nuclear power to its energy resources. The reactor is expected to become fully operational by 2023.

Abilene Christian’s NEXT Lab applies for MSRR construction permit

August 18, 2022, 3:04PMANS Nuclear Cafe
Construction of the new Science and Engineering Research Center is underway on the ACU campus. (Photo: ACU)

The Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing (NEXT) Laboratory at Abilene Christian University in Texas submitted a construction permit application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for its molten salt research reactor (MSRR) on August 15. According to ACU, the move represents the first application for a new U.S. research reactor of any kind in more than 30 years, as well as the first-ever university application for an advanced research reactor.

Feedback requested on draft FY23 Consolidated Innovative Nuclear Research program

August 16, 2022, 12:02PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) has unveiled the fiscal year 2023 draft version of its Consolidated Innovative Nuclear Research (CINR) program with a series of recent webinars. The new CINR program is dramatically different from that of previous years, incorporating many suggestions that had been offered by the nuclear community through the request-for-information process.

Purdue and Duke Energy introduce a nuclear lecture series

August 15, 2022, 3:13PMANS Nuclear Cafe


The new Understanding Tomorrow’s Nuclear Energy lecture series, sponsored by Purdue University and Duke Energy, premieres on August 30. The first scheduled speaker, Arden L. Bement Jr., professor emeritus of nuclear engineering at Purdue, will deliver a talk titled “Clean Nuclear Energy: Past, Present, and Future.”

Register now. Participants can attend the event, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. EDT, either in person or virtually. The presentation will be delivered in the Stewart Center Fowler Hall on Purdue’s campus in West Lafayette, Ind. Advance registration is required for this free lecture.

What’s it about: The series will feature community leaders speaking on the feasibility of using advanced nuclear technologies to meet the long-term zero-carbon energy goals of the West Lafayette campus. It is designed to appeal to everyone, from nuclear industry experts to community residents with a general interest in the topic.

Students graduate from SRNS/Aiken Tech nuclear apprenticeship program

August 12, 2022, 6:59AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The third cohort of the Nuclear Operator Apprenticeship Program was recognized in a ceremony at Aiken Technical College. (Credit: SRNS)

Twenty-three students in the third cohort of the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) Nuclear Operator Apprenticeship Program graduated recently following their completion of the Nuclear Fundamentals Certificate curriculum at Aiken Technical College (ATC) in South Carolina. The class was the largest ever of operator apprentices to graduate from the program. Those graduates who meet all employment requirements are eligible for hire at the Savannah River Site.

Westinghouse offers internships for Ukrainian nuclear professionals and students

August 8, 2022, 12:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe
Artist’s rendering of the Westinghouse Electric AP1000 modular reactor. (Image: Westinghouse)

New and immersive internship and development opportunities are being offered through a partnership of Westinghouse Electric Company and the Ukrainian nuclear energy utility Energoatom. Beginning this autumn, more than 60 opportunities will be available for Ukrainian nuclear energy professionals and graduate-level students.

TikTok nuclear professor takes on new tasks

August 3, 2022, 12:24PMANS News


Robert Hayes, the person behind a popular social media account defending nuclear energy to the masses, was named to a joint faculty position by Savannah River National Laboratory and North Carolina State University on August 1.

“Dr. Hayes will help develop and execute SRNL’s vision to advance nonproliferation and global security stewardship by expanding knowledge of and applications in sensing, characterizing, assessing, and deterring nuclear proliferation,” said Tammy Taylor, associate laboratory director for global security. Taylor explained that Hayes will conduct collaborative research to address key gaps identified in the strategic vision for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, while helping develop the workforce that will support future NNSA and national security organization mission needs.

Abilene Christian, Teledyne Brown sign contract for molten salt research reactor

July 27, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
An artist rendering of the Science and Engineering Research Center under construction at Abilene Christian University. The SERC will house the NEXT Lab's new advanced university research reactor sponsored by Natura Resources.

The first university-based molten salt research reactor (MSRR) is one step closer to reality with Abilene Christian University’s Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing (NEXT) Laboratory recently signing a contract with Teledyne Brown Engineering. After considering more than a dozen engineering firms, the NEXT Lab selected Teledyne Brown to perform the front-end engineering and design work to produce the reactor on the Abilene campus. The contract was described by NEXT Lab director Rusty Towell as “a significant step into the detailed design and construction phase of this project.” The hope is that the 1-MWt MSRR will go critical in 2025.

Europe’s changing energy markets described in latest trade reports

July 22, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The European energy data-analysis company EnAppSys has released its second quarter (April–June 2022) electricity market reports: GB Electricity Market Summary and European Electricity Generation Summary. A major focus of both publications is the considerable effects of the war in Ukraine on the European energy markets. The reports also describe how the nuclear energy market in Europe during the second quarter was forced to adapt to reductions in supplies from France due to corrosion and cracking problems that prompted shutdowns in the French nuclear fleet.

From NIA: New and updated reports on advanced nuclear

July 20, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA), a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit, has released a new report, Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technology: A Company Compendium, along with an update to its Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technology: A Primer, first published last September.

Both reports are meant to serve as resources for investors, reporters, policymakers, regulators, and others wanting to learn more about the different technologies and key players involved in the design, licensing, construction, and operation of advanced nuclear reactors.

Prepare for the nuclear PE exam with study aids from ANS

July 14, 2022, 9:30AMANS News

The next opportunity to earn professional engineer (P.E.) licensure in nuclear engineering is this fall. Now is the time to sign up and begin studying with the help of materials like the online module program offered by the American Nuclear Society.

According to Joshua Vajda, chair of the ANS Professional Engineering Examination Committee (PEEC), it is important for ANS as a technical society to continue to encourage professional licensure. “Emphasizing the importance of obtaining nuclear credentials is a Society initiative to maintain high ethical standards in the industry and to provide career advancement for the next generation of young practicing nuclear engineers,” Vajda said.

Updated nuclear power plant maps, Buyers Guide available from ANS

July 8, 2022, 9:30AMANS News

ANS has produced three updated and newly designed wall maps that together show the location of every commercial power reactor in the world that is operable, under construction, or ordered as of the end of 2021.

Each map includes a table that lists the generating capacity, design type, date of commercial operation (actual or expected), and reactor supplier for the nuclear power plants. The maps are individually segmented into these areas:

  • United States of America
  • Europe and Russia
  • The Americas, Africa, and Asia

The maps are available individually or in two- or three-map combos.

Purdue–Duke Energy launch lecture series on advanced nuclear technology

June 29, 2022, 12:04PMANS Nuclear Cafe

A new lecture series launched by Purdue University and Duke Energy is designed to educate the public about small modular reactors and other advances in nuclear energy. The series stems from an ongoing comprehensive joint study by Purdue and Duke, announced in April, which is investigating the feasibility of using SMRs to meet the campus’s energy needs.

Universities get $61 million for 74 nuclear research and infrastructure awards

June 20, 2022, 12:04PMNuclear News

Advanced reactor coolants, consent-based siting, and offshore nuclear production of hydrogen are just a few of the topics included among the 74 nuclear science and technology projects awarded more than $61 million by the Department of Energy on June 17. The Nuclear Energy University Program awards, Integrated Research Projects, Nuclear Science User Facilities awards, and Infrastructure awards will support nuclear technology development, infrastructure improvements, and career opportunities at more than 40 U.S. universities in 29 states.

“New Rules” for nuclear S&E students

June 16, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear NewsCraig Piercy

Craig Piercy

In April, I had the honor of speaking at the “Networking Dinner” held during the 2022 ANS Student Conference at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There’s something uniquely wonderful about 450 nuclear science and engineering students assembled in one place, seeing each other in person after two years on Zoom, trying to figure out where they are going in life. However, combine that enthusiasm with a long, narrow, A/V-challenged ballroom, and what you get is a genuine acoustical nightmare.

In particular, many people in the room couldn’t hear my “New Rules” for nuclear S&E students, modeled after the segment on Real Time with Bill Maher, and they came up to me afterward asking for a written version of the “rules.” Well, here they are, reconstructed from my notes, slightly polished, and offered with no guarantee of accuracy. It helps to start each by saying “New Rule!”


Latest stats on nuclear energy in Europe released by nucleareurope

June 14, 2022, 8:39AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Brussels-based nuclear energy trade association nucleareurope has published its latest Infographics, containing a variety of facts and figures on the use of nuclear energy in Europe. Some of the many interesting bits of information in the publication are highlighted below.

NEST: An international program supporting nuclear education, skills, and technology

June 3, 2022, 3:01PMNuclear NewsAntonella Di Trapani, Tatiana Ivanova, and Andreas Pautz

The world needs scientists, engineers, and technologists to ensure the safe, secure, and sustainable use of nuclear energy to meet global energy demands and environmental challenges. Yet, in many countries there are concerns about the potential loss of nuclear expertise and knowledge because of changes in workforce demographics. Much of the tacit knowledge in the sector was generated during the pioneering years of nuclear power. During this period, R&D projects and innovative construction projects were ramping up, and many nuclear power plants were being built. As a result, personnel in the industry were confronted with challenging and groundbreaking projects, as well as the risk of failure. It is this knowledge that is most difficult to harvest and is generally transferred via hands-on experience. In the current nuclear power landscape, where R&D spending is decreasing and innovation slows down as a general trend, this knowledge risks being lost if there are fewer opportunities to acquire hands-on experience work on challenging projects.