Education


Pandemic-delayed ANS Student Conference kicks off with enthusiasm

April 9, 2021, 11:59AMANS News
NCSU: Site of the 2021 ANS Student Conference

North Carolina State University was finally able to host the ANS Student Conference, April 8 to 10. After the 2020 event was canceled due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 version is being held virtually for the first time.

The conference's opening session is available for registered attendees to view online.

ANS webinar features five past DOE nuclear energy officials

March 19, 2021, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Join the American Nuclear Society on Friday, March 26, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (EDT) to hear perspectives on the future of nuclear energy offered by individuals who have played a significant role in framing the United States’ nuclear energy policies of the past, present, and future.

Register now for this free event that is open to all. ANS members who register will have the opportunity to submit questions in advance.

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ANS hosts webinar on coping with COVID-19

March 17, 2021, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

COVID-19 has touched our lives in many ways, affecting work, school, and homelife. The Diversity and Inclusion in ANS Committee is holding a free webinar, "Coping with COVID: The Pandemic and the Nuclear Community," on Tuesday, March 23, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (EDT).

Panelists will discuss how the nuclear community is responding to the pandemic, what more can be done, what support resources are available, and what the future looks like.

Registration is required for the webinar.

YMG Spotlight on National Labs series shines on Brookhaven

March 10, 2021, 9:30AMANS News

The ANS Young Members Group will feature Brookhaven National Laboratory in the ninth installment of its popular webinar series, Spotlight on National Labs. Register now to participate in the webinar today at 1 p.m. (EST).

BNL, a multidisciplinary lab located in Upton, N.Y., which is home to seven Nobel Prize–winning discoveries, is one of 10 national labs primarily supported by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Learn how BNL delivers discovery science and transformative technology to power and secure the nation’s future.

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NC State celebrates 70 years of nuclear engineering education

March 5, 2021, 3:00PMANS News

An early picture of the research reactor building on the North Carolina State University campus. The Department of Nuclear Engineering is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its nuclear engineering curriculum in 2020–2021. Photo: North Carolina State University

The Department of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University has spent the 2020–2021 academic year celebrating the 70th anniversary of its becoming the first U.S. university to establish a nuclear engineering curriculum. It started in 1950, when Clifford Beck, then of Oak Ridge, Tenn., obtained support from NC State’s dean of engineering, Harold Lampe, to build the nation’s first university nuclear reactor and, in conjunction, establish an educational curriculum dedicated to nuclear engineering.

The department, host to the 2021 ANS Virtual Student Conference, scheduled for April 8–10, now features 23 tenure/tenure-track faculty and three research faculty members. “What a journey for the first nuclear engineering curriculum in the nation,” said Kostadin Ivanov, professor and department head.

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Hanford Site to restore wildland after grass fire

March 4, 2021, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

A worker readies a hanging bucket for a helicopter used to drop native grass and shrub seed on thousands of acres of the Hanford Site that burned in 2020. Source: DOE

An aerial seeding project on the Hanford Site’s Gable Mountain will help restore lost habitat following a wildland fire in June of last year, according a March 3 announcement from the Department of Energy’s Richland Operations Office (RL). The wildfire burned more than 5,500 acres on the mountain at Hanford, in Washington state.

Outgoing DOE contractor Mission Support Alliance coordinated the effort to drop 75,000 pounds of native grass and shrub seed from a helicopter during the rainy winter season. The project will continue under the new contractor, Hanford Mission Integration Solutions. Biologists expect the seeds to germinate by spring.

“Remediating environmental damage from the Gable Mountain fire is a priority, and the use of harvested native seeds will offer the best chance at future restoration of this critical habitat,” said So Yon Bedlington, RL program manager.

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Exelon Generation’s workforce development and knowledge transfer strategy

February 12, 2021, 4:10PMNuclear NewsHeather Davis

Students display items they received at a STEM workshop sponsored by Exelon. Photo: Exelon.

The landscape of Exelon Generation’s nuclear business has continued to evolve—even before the complications of a pandemic—but people will always remain the core focus. Our employees and our future employee pipelines are changing almost as fast as technology, which is why the development of the workforce, both present and future, along with the transfer of knowledge across all departments and levels of the organization, must remain adaptable and advance as well.

ANS webinar to focus on low-dose radiation risk

January 20, 2021, 12:04PMANS News

Join ANS on Thursday, January 21, at noon (ET) for a Q&A with an expert panel as they discuss how to communicate about the risk of low-dose radiation. “Talking About Low-dose Radiation Risk” is a free members-only event that serves as a follow-up to the “Risky Business” President’s Session that took place during the ANS Virtual Winter Meeting last November. The session will take a deeper dive into the many questions generated from the thought-provoking discussion.

Register now to attend the webinar.

John Gilligan: NEUP in support of university nuclear R&D

December 30, 2020, 7:07AMNuclear NewsRick Michal

John Gilligan has been the director of the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) since its creation in 2009 by the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE). NEUP consolidates DOE-NE’s university support under one program and engages colleges and universities in the United States to conduct research and development in nuclear technology. The two main R&D areas for NEUP funding are fuel cycle projects, which include evolving sustainable technologies that improve energy generation to enhance safety, limit proliferation risk, and reduce waste generation and resource consumption; and reactor projects, which strive to preserve the existing commercial light-water reactors as well as improve emerging advanced designs, such as small modular reactors, liquid-metal-cooled fast reactors, and gas- or liquid-salt-cooled high-temperature reactors.

Nuclear Education and COVID-19

December 29, 2020, 7:07AMNuclear News

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States on a wide basis in March of this year, and life as we knew it changed. “Social distancing” and “essential workers” entered the jargon and working from home for many became the norm.

The number of remote meetings skyrocketed, and various companies have seen that business can be conducted without having employees in the office.

For universities, distance learning has been common for a while now, but with COVID it has become essential.

Nuclear News asked some nuclear engineering professors about how their programs have been dealing with the pandemic. We posed three questions and asked for responses to any or all of them:

How has COVID affected your NE program, and what have you learned from the experience?

Has your NE program been able to contribute to your university’s broader COVID response (e.g., through research or volunteer programs)?

What opportunities or challenges do you foresee in the next year for your program and your students?

The following are responses received by NN.

Nuclear engineering programs: Building the new nuclear workforce

December 28, 2020, 7:01AMNuclear News

In order to deliver the next generation of nuclear power plants, the nuclear community needs to overcome a number of challenges identified in 2017 as part of the ANS Nuclear Grand Challenges presidential initiative. Knowledge transfer is one of the nine challenges identified. The goal of the challenge is to “expedite updates to the higher education Nuclear Engineering curriculum to better match today’s needs.”

The Nuclear Grand Challenges report noted that “effective means to transfer that knowledge to the newest group of scientists and engineers needs to be developed and implemented. With the advent of new reactor designs and the challenges within materials science to meet the needs of these new designs, the curriculum structure must be reviewed and updated to better meet the needs of industry, suppliers, and research organizations.”

Nuclear engineering programs at universities around the country are integral to training and developing the workforce to implement the next generation of nuclear energy. Nuclear News reached out to several such nuclear engineering departments, asking them to provide our readers with an update on how their unique programs are helping meet this important challenge.

NEDHO: A nuclear education alliance

December 11, 2020, 12:04PMNuclear NewsKostadin Ivanov, Todd Allen

The Nuclear Engineering Department Heads Organization (NEDHO) is an alliance of the heads (chairs) of about 30 nuclear engineering schools, departments, and programs in the United States. NEDHO is managed by an executive committee consisting of the chair, the chair-elect, and the three most immediate past-chairs. NEDHO meetings are normally held in conjunction with the American Nuclear Society’s national meetings. The NEDHO meetings are open to anyone, but on matters that require a vote, each institution is limited to a single official representative (i.e., one vote).

IAEA awards fellowships to 100 female students in nuclear

December 7, 2020, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The International Atomic Energy Agency has awarded fellowships to the first group of 100 female students from around the world under a new initiative to help close the gender gap in nuclear science and technology.

The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Program, named after the pioneering physicist, was launched by IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi in March to support women pursuing nuclear-related careers.

From the ground up: Building a workforce for advanced nuclear

December 4, 2020, 2:01PMNuclear NewsMichelle Goff

INL will need technical, innovative, and safety-minded construction personnel for the advanced nuclear projects ahead. Photo: INL

Around the world, researchers in the energy industry are engaging in the work of studying, testing, and developing carbon-free energy solutions. Throughout these circles, many scientists and engineers are embracing the possibilities of advanced nuclear technologies, including small modular reactors and microreactors. While these innovative technologies are poised to address some of the nation’s biggest concerns, they also present their own unique challenges, including the need for a large and talented workforce within the construction industry.

Fortunately, the state of Idaho and its key nuclear players are well-equipped for this challenge. In southeastern Idaho, home of Idaho National Laboratory, strong partnerships throughout the region have forged networks between the lab and the educational institutions, employers, trades, and unions that are working to establish this highly specialized nuclear talent pipeline.

NuScale unveils Energy Exploration Center at Oregon State

November 30, 2020, 6:55AMNuclear News

NuScale Energy Exploration Center at Oregon State University. Photo: Business Wire

Small modular reactor developer NuScale Power has announced the opening of the NuScale Energy Exploration (E2) Center at Oregon State University (OSU).

The E2 Center is designed to offer users a hands-on learning opportunity to apply nuclear science and engineering principles through simulated, real-world nuclear power plant operation scenarios, according to NuScale on November 17. The center employs state-of-the-art computer modeling within a simulator of the NuScale SMR power plant control room, allowing users to take on the role of control room operator at a 12-unit NuScale SMR plant to learn about the features and functionality unique to the company’s SMR technology.

More to come: The E2 Center at OSU is the first of three planned installations of a NuScale power plant control room simulator at U.S. universities. Support for the centers was provided by a grant in 2019 from the Department of Energy. Additional information on the E2 Center is available here.

Baranwal reviews virtual STEM lessons for U.S. tribal communities

November 24, 2020, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Baranwal

In a blog post to the Department of Energy’s website on November 23, Rita Baranwal, assistant secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy, commended recent virtual lesson projects from the Office of Nuclear Energy and the Nuclear Energy Tribal Working Group to increase STEM opportunities for Native American tribes.

The spotlighted lesson discussed in the article focused on a 3D-printed clip that turns a smartphone or tablet into a microscope with the ability to magnify items by 100 times. The Office of Nuclear Energy shipped nearly 1,000 of these microscope clips to students across the country, many of them going to U.S. tribal communities.

Apply online now for 2021-22 ANS scholarships

November 16, 2020, 1:23PMANS News

The American Nuclear Society supports more than 50 college students each year with annual scholarships of more than $140,000 awarded through its Scholarship Program. The program offers both achievement-based and financial need-based scholarships to ANS student members made possible by the generosity of ANS professional divisions, local sections, and individual donors.

Applications for the 2021-2022 academic year are now available. All ANS student members are encouraged to apply. Recipients will be awarded between $1,000-$5,000 based on merit and financial need.

Completing the General Scholarship Application qualifies students for consideration for more than 24 ANS scholarships. To increase the chances of receiving a scholarship, explore the various opportunities established by the ANS divisions and local sections. Many of these require answers to only a few extra questions to qualify.

Check out the Before You Apply information for guidance throughout the application process.

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ANS WISE program seeks 2021 applicants

November 9, 2020, 3:02PMANS News

ANS student members are encouraged to apply to the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) program for the opportunity to spend next summer exploring the intersection of technology and policy in Washington, D.C.

“WISE provides a unique opportunity for ANS student members to learn about how our government deals with technologically complex issues,” said ANS Fellow and WISE program coordinator Alan Levin. “Past interns have said that the program is a challenging and enjoyable experience that gave them new perspectives on engineering and government; for some, the program influenced their choice of post-graduate study and/or career.”

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Nuclear Science Week: the ANS local and student sections events

October 27, 2020, 9:31AMANS News

Nuclear Science Week (NSW) is a celebration designed to focus local, regional, national, and international interest on all aspects of nuclear science. National events marking the 11th annual NSW took place October 19–23 in Washington, D.C. This year’s theme was “Think Clean. Think Solutions. Think Nuclear.”

Several ANS local and student sections from around the world organized their own events to celebrate NSW, as follows: