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YMG launches volunteer incentive program

February 6, 2023, 9:48AMANS News

The Young Members Group works to encourage and enable all young professional members to be actively involved in the efforts and endeavors of the Society at all levels (professional divisions, ANS governance, local sections, etc.) as they transition from the role of a student to that of a professional. With this mission statement in mind, the YMG decided to gamify member engagement to encourage YMG member participation in Society events.

New head of House Appropriations’ energy panel talks nuclear

January 19, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News

Fleischmann

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R., Tenn.), a strong nuclear energy advocate (his district includes Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex), was named chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s Energy and Water Development Subcommittee on Monday.

“The work of the Energy and Water Subcommittee is incredibly important to our nation’s long-term energy security and national security,” Fleischmann said in a statement following his selection for the job by Appropriation’s new chairperson, Rep. Kay Granger (R., Texas). “I am excited to find bipartisan common ground to advance important initiatives like modernizing our nation’s nuclear stockpile and advancing groundbreaking nuclear fusion research.”

For more on the congressman’s views on nuclear, check out this interview published yesterday on the Knoxville News Sentinel’s website.

National lab veteran Goff named to position at DOE-NE

January 18, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News

Goff

Michael Goff, a renowned nuclear engineer with decades of management and research experience in national laboratories and the Department of Energy, has been named as the principal deputy assistant secretary for the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). The DOE announced the appointment on January 17 after a competitive, nationwide selection process.

NE, White House, national labs: Goff, an American Nuclear Society member, had been serving his third term at NE as a senior advisor to the assistant secretary. He had also previously served as the assistant director for nuclear energy and as a senior policy advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He spent more than 30 years at Idaho National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory in a number of management and research positions. His research interests have focused on the nuclear fuel cycle, including separations technology, high-level waste development, and safeguards. He has had more than 70 papers published on these and other research topics.

Southern Company makes executive appointments

January 12, 2023, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
From left: Womack, Greene, and Sena. (Photos: Southern Company)

Southern Company has appointed Chris Womack chief operating officer effective immediately and president as of March 31. Tom Fanning will relinquish the role of president upon Womack's assumption of the role in March and is to assume the role of executive chairman of the board of directors.

Womack has served as president of Georgia Power since 2020 and chairman, president, and CEO since 2021. Prior to his current roles, he served as executive vice president and president of external affairs for Southern Company.

"Chris's leadership, vision, and integrity during his career with Southern Company have uniquely prepared him to guide Southern Company into a new era," said Fanning. "With our recent progress at Plant Vogtle and continued conversion of our operations towards net zero emissions, I believe that now is an ideal time to transition to new leadership."

The moves were announced by the company's board on January 5.

ORNL names new associate director of fusion, fission energy and science

January 4, 2023, 7:02AMNuclear News

Busby

American Nuclear Society member Jeremy Busby has been named associate laboratory director for the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, effective January 1.

Busby will oversee the directorate’s facilities, capabilities, and scientists and engineers who are tackling such challenges as extending operations of the current U.S. nuclear reactor fleet, investigating economical and flexible advanced reactor systems, and making fusion energy a viable part of the nation’s energy portfolio.

“ORNL has a proud history of addressing compelling challenges in both fusion and fission energy systems, and I’m honored to contribute to our success moving forward,” Busby said. “ORNL’s Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate has the world-leading expertise to advance the development and deployment of both fusion and fission. Combined with the additional strengths across ORNL’s research and support organizations and ORNL’s unique capabilities, we will fortify our nation’s energy transition.”

University of Wisconsin nuclear engineering student Grace Stanke is crowned Miss America 2023

December 16, 2022, 11:58AMANS News

Stanke being crowned Miss America.

Grace Stanke, a nuclear engineering student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who has partnered with ANS to promote nuclear energy, has been crowned as Miss America 2023. After competing in the three-night competition at the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn., as the reigning Miss Wisconsin, Stanke was honored with the iconic crystal crown and a $50,000 scholarship on December 15. During her year-long reign as Miss America, she will also receive a six-figure salary and other benefits as she travels thousands of miles a month to represent the Miss America Organization and to continue advocating for nuclear energy.

During the past year, Stanke’s work with ANS has included writing articles for Nuclear Newswire about her visits to nuclear facilities in Wisconsin and about misconceptions regarding nuclear energy. She also posted a two-part video about nuclear fusion on the ANS Instagram page.

How a nuclear victory at COP27 started with a teen and a text

December 15, 2022, 7:02AMANS News

As Seth Grae was preparing to return home from COP27, where he attended as an American Nuclear Society delegate, he had no idea that he was about to be part of a last-minute win for nuclear energy. Grae, the founder and chief executive officer of Lightbridge Corporation (NASDAQ: LTBR), felt that the nuclear industry had exceeded expectations at the two-week conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The first-ever International Atomic Energy Agency pavilion dedicated solely to nuclear energy was buzzing with delegates eager to educate the public. But hours before COP27 was to end, Grae received a text—the message of which would end up reaching the conference negotiation room.

The text came from a delegate, a teenager from Sweden who spotted an issue with the preliminary draft of the final COP27 decision.

Four recipients awarded ANS Presidential Citations

December 1, 2022, 9:35AMANS News

At this year’s Winter Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, American Nuclear Society President Steven Arndt honored four ANS members with Presidential Citations. The president of ANS has the privilege of presenting presidential citations to individuals who, in their opinion, have demonstrated outstanding effort in some manner for the benefit of ANS and/or the nuclear community.

The awards are “highlighted throughout our community as a personal outreach to our recipients to say, ‘well done,’” said Arndt.

NWTRB welcomes new executive director

November 15, 2022, 3:00PMANS News

Ogg

Daniel Ogg, ANS member since 1985, has been selected as the executive director of the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board.

Earlier in his career, he worked at the U.S. Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board and served in the U.S. Navy aboard a nuclear-powered submarine.

Ogg has a B.S. in engineering from the University of Washington and an M.S. in nuclear engineering from the University of California—Berkeley.

About the NWTRB: The mission of the NWTRB is to perform unbiased and ongoing technical and scientific peer review of the Department of Energy’s nuclear waste management activities.

Wisconsin: Producing more than just dairy

November 11, 2022, 7:04AMANS NewsGrace Stanke

Stanke

Being Miss Wisconsin has provided me with some unique experiences. I’ve met with community members from recognizable Wisconsin cities like Madison and Milwaukee, but I’ve also met individuals from smaller communities that might not be familiar to most readers—like Kendall, and Nekoosa. This connection with places and people across the state is expected in my role. It didn’t surprise me, and it is one of my favorite aspects of this position.

Through my partnership with the American Nuclear Society, I have had the opportunity to see some incredible facilities in Wisconsin. I first saw two fusion research labs, and created a two-part video on fusion that can be seen on the Miss Wisconsin 2022 and ANS Instagram accounts. It has sparked several conversations at my various appearances—including at those small towns. Hearing people talk about nuclear science and the potential it holds truly fills my soul.

Zack Pate remembered as statesman in nuclear energy industry

November 9, 2022, 9:30AMANS News

Pate

Zack T. Pate, the former chief executive officer of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) and chair of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), passed away recently at the age of 86. Pate will be remembered for his many important contributions to the global nuclear energy industry, especially regarding nuclear plant performance and safety, as well as his lengthy service in the U.S. Navy. He was a longtime member of the American Nuclear Society.

Navy: Pate was originally from Leesburg, Ga. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958 and continued to serve with distinction in the navy for 22 years, working on several nuclear submarines and reaching the rank of captain. He was executive officer of the USS Thomas Jefferson and commander of the USS Sunfish.

GAIN’s Rachel Taow recognized as first C3E awardee from the nuclear field

November 8, 2022, 3:15PMNuclear News

Taow

Rachel Taow, who is the process modernization lead for the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) at Idaho National Laboratory, received an award in the category of law and finance during the 11th Annual C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium and Awards, held on November 2 in Washington, D.C. Taow has 16 years of government contracting experience—the last six spent with GAIN—and was nominated for the award by GAIN director Christine King.

The Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Initiative was created in 2010 to close the gender gap in clean energy fields, and since 2012, outstanding mid-career women in clean energy have been recognized at the annual C3E symposium. Nine women received awards this year, including—for the first time in the 11 years of the C3E award program—a woman working to advance nuclear energy.

Morris, Lorson named to new leadership positions with NRC

November 7, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News

Lorson

Morris

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has appointed two longtime employees to key leadership positions. Scott A. Morris was named as the new deputy executive director for reactor and preparedness programs, and Raymond K. Lorson was named as the new Region I administrator. Morris and Lorson will assume their new roles upon the end-of-year retirements of the current deputy executive director, Darrell J. Roberts, and administrator, David C. Law.

NRC executive director for operations Daniel H. Dorman announced the two appointments on October 31, calling Morris and Lorson “extremely talented individuals committed to NRC’s complex and important mission.”

Entergy names new chief nuclear officer

November 4, 2022, 12:05PMNuclear News
From left: Kimberly Cook-Nelson, John Dinelli, and Bill Maguire. (Photos: Entergy)

New Orleans-based Entergy Corporation yesterday announced changes to its senior leadership, including the selection of Kimberly Cook-Nelson as executive vice president and chief nuclear officer, replacing Chris Bakken.

Cook-Nelson, Entergy’s first female CNO, will be based in Jackson, Miss., the company’s nuclear operations headquarters. She joined Entergy in 1996 as a design engineer at the Waterford nuclear plant in Killona, La., rising to general manager of plant operations in 2011. Most recently, she held the position of chief operating officer, nuclear operations. (In addition to the Waterford facility, Entergy owns and operates Arkansas Nuclear One in Russellville, Ark., Grand Gulf in Port Gibson, Miss., and River Bend in St. Francisville, La.)

ANS and its student groups respond to Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico

October 11, 2022, 7:04AMANS News
A town in Puerto Rico flooded as a result of the recent hurricane.

Hurricane Fiona slammed into Puerto Rico on September 18 with powerful winds and massive amounts of rain, resulting in mudslides, flooding, loss of power and water, wrecked homes and businesses, destroyed roads and bridges, and some deaths. Students from the American Nuclear Society student section at the University of Puerto Rico—Mayagüez (ANS UPRM) and other student groups have responded by distributing bottled water, nonperishable food items, cooked meals, first aid, personal hygiene items, flashlights with batteries, and other supplies, and by raising awareness of community needs and asking for monetary and food donations. In addition, ANS has established a fundraising drive for monetary donations to support students’ efforts in assisting ANS UPRM members in Mayagüez. The donations are being used to meet a number of needs during this challenging time.

Miss Wisconsin: Breaking down misconceptions about nuclear

September 23, 2022, 12:05PMANS NewsGrace Stanke

Grace Stanke in front of the cooling towers at the Byron generating station during this spring’s outage.

"Miss Wisconsin" and "nuclear engineer" are two phrases you have probably never heard in the same sentence before. And not just Wisconsin—it’s never been heard in any state. As Miss Wisconsin 2022, I will be the first nuclear engineering student ever to compete for the title of Miss America, an iconic position for which thousands of women across the country strive (which pays six figures and has the potential of thousands of dollars in scholarship earnings).

Over the summer, in an attempt to help find another opportunity to offset the cost of the last year of my education, I competed for the title of Miss Wisconsin for the second time. I was lucky enough this time to be selected for the job after competing against 22 candidates in the interview, talent, social impact pitch, red carpet wear, and onstage question events.

As Miss Wisconsin, I will travel thousands of miles across the state to attend community events, visit schools, and lead speaking engagements related to the Miss America Organization, my social impact initiative, and my career in nuclear energy. My social impact initiative, “Clean Energy, Cleaner Future,” promotes America’s transition to zero-­carbon energy with an emphasis on nuclear power, because I believe it is the best path forward as our major power source.

Fusion veteran Barabaschi selected as ITER director general

September 23, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Barabaschi

Capping a session in Paris, the ITER Council has unanimously selected Pietro Barabaschi as the new director-general of the ITER Organization. The Italian-born Barabaschi, who has been involved in nuclear fusion research for some 30 years, was chosen to lead the massive international fusion project following an intensive recruitment effort necessitated by the death of Bernard Bigot, the previous director general, in May. Since Bigot’s death, Eisuke Tada has been serving in the role in an interim capacity. Barabaschi will take office in October.

F4E leader: Barabaschi has been the head of the Broader Approach Programme and Delivery with Fusion for Energy (F4E) since 2008. F4E is the EU organization responsible for Europe’s contribution to ITER. In this position, he has been managing the department that oversees three projects stemming from the Broader Approach agreement between the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the government of Japan: the JT-60SA tokamak, the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility/Engineering Validation and Engineering Design Activities linear accelerator, and the International Fusion Energy Research Centre . Barabaschi has also been acting director of F4E.

NRC chairman visits ANS student section at University of Puerto Rico

September 21, 2022, 12:00PMANS News
Highlights from Chairman Hanson’s visit with the ANS student section at UPRM. (Photos: NRC/Twitter)

The American Nuclear Society student section at the University of Puerto Rico—Mayagüez (UPRM) recently welcomed Christopher T. Hanson, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. While at UPRM, Hanson met with graduate students conducting nuclear-related research, as well as with deans, professors, and other university officials. He also delivered a speech, “Preparing to Regulate the Nuclear Technology of the Future.”

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.