Education


What does Earth Day mean to you?

April 23, 2021, 12:02PMANS News

ANS’s latest webinar on April 22—Earth Day—posed that question to a panel of five young leaders in the nuclear community representing a broad spectrum of environmental, social, and advocacy perspectives. The event was moderated by ANS’s Executive Director/CEO Craig Piercy, who introduced each of the five panelists and the issues they are concerned about. The panelists’ presentations were followed by an engaging Q&A portion with the audience.

The program is available for viewing online.

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Kurzgesagt YouTube channel asks: Do we need nuclear energy to stop climate change?

April 21, 2021, 12:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe
A screenshot from the Kurzgesagt YouTube video

The German animation studio Kurzgesagt released a new video to its English YouTube channel last week to answer the question, “Do we need nuclear energy to stop climate change?” The studio’s channel on YouTube is self-described as a small team working to make science look beautiful. Its videos discuss a variety of scientific, technological, philosophical, and psychological questions, and it has more than 14 million subscribers. The channel recently discussed the question of deaths caused by radiation—spoiler alert, nuclear is among the safest of all energy production.

The New Republican podcast features ANS policy guru John Starkey

April 16, 2021, 7:02AMANS News

Starkey

ANS government relations director John Starkey was a recent guest on the podcast The New Republican. Starkey discussed a range of topics with podcast host Lincoln Wallis in the 30-minute episode, “All Things Nuclear.”

“In 2020, nuclear energy became the second-largest source of electricity in the United States,” Starkey said in response to Wallis’s first question, adding, “That would entail nearly 20 percent of electric generation in the U.S. Nuclear energy has also operated at 90 percent capacity rate for the past 20 years or so. No other source of electricity can touch those [capacity] numbers.… I really see [nuclear energy] being a leader in decarbonization in the country and the world.”

Optimism reigns during final plenary of 2021 ANS Virtual Student Conference

April 14, 2021, 3:04PMANS News

The future of nuclear technology is bright and affords ample opportunities for today’s students to make an impact. That was the message given by the three plenary panelists on Saturday, April 10, during the final day of the 2021 ANS Virtual Student Conference. The three-day event was hosted by North Carolina State University and had nearly 500 registered attendees.

Registered attendees can view the entire session on demand.

$5 million awarded to next generation of nuclear scientists, engineers

April 14, 2021, 7:01AMNuclear News

The Department of Energy on April 9 announced more than $5 million in scholarships and fellowships for students pursuing degrees in nuclear energy and engineering in the United States. Included in the funding are 50 undergraduate scholarships and 31 graduate fellowships for students at 36 colleges and universities in 23 states—from Boise State to Virginia Tech. (The full list of schools is available online.)

Future job opportunities highlight Friday Plenary at ANS Student Conference

April 12, 2021, 9:30AMANS News

The second day of the 2021 ANS Virtual Student Conference, on April 9, hosted by North Carolina State University opened with the plenary, “Student Opportunities within the Nuclear Community.” The session featured three panelists, each representing a different sector of the nuclear community.

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).