Battelle’s Mark Peters honored with Henry De Wolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman award

May 30, 2023, 9:30AMANS News
ANS Executive Director/CEO Craig Piercy presented Mark Peters with the Henry DeWolf Smyth Award at NEI’s Nuclear Energy Assembly.

At the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Nuclear Energy Assembly, held this year in Washington, D.C., the Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award was presented on May 17 to Mark Peters, Battelle’s executive vice president for national laboratory management and operations.

Pronuclear golf outing a success

May 24, 2023, 12:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Southern Nuclear Plant Vogtle team members showed off their first-prize winnings of golf balls and beer mugs at the banquet held after the CNTA Charity Golf Tournament. (Photo: CNTA)

Thirty teams of players participated in the 21st annual Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA) Charity Golf Tournament at the Houndslake Country Club in Aiken, S.C. The tournament, held on on May 12, raised net proceeds of about $23,000, which the nonprofit organization will use to educate the public about issues related to nuclear energy. In addition, more than $700 in donations were raised for the group’s community gift card program.

ANS members encouraged to apply for the 2024 Congressional Fellowship

April 5, 2023, 9:32AMUpdated May 23, 2023, 12:04PMANS News

The deadline to apply for the Glenn T. Seaborg Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship has been extended to June 5. The American Nuclear Society invites its members to apply for the fellowship to help the Society fulfill its strategic goal of enhancing nuclear public policy. Applications and all required materials are now due to ANS no later than June 5 by 11:59 p.m. EDT. Don't pass up this important opportunity to work on energy legislation in Congress as a representative of ANS.

What is the public perception of the U.S. electricity grid?

May 9, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear NewsMeredith Angwin

Meredith Angwin

When my book Shorting the Grid was published in 2020, many described it as “alarmist.” Most people in the United States took grid reliability for granted. Sure, there were always power outages during storms, but weird things like “rolling blackouts” only happened in California.

Public perception is changing, however. Part of this change is due to the major February 2021 blackout in Texas, as well as the grid emergencies during December 2022. People became aware that their own grid could have problems, and not just the usual power-line-fails-in-a-snowstorm type of problems. For example, last December, the service areas for Duke Energy and the Tennessee Valley Authority in the southeastern U.S. experienced rolling blackouts. Grid operators had to take emergency measures. The Midwest, Texas, and New England experienced near misses with grid trouble. In other words, most of the country was at risk of rolling blackouts due to one relatively short winter storm.

Two students selected for the 2023 WISE internship

May 8, 2023, 5:43PMANS News



Sarah Elizabeth Cole of Boise State University and Abbey Hageman of the University of Nevada–Reno were recently selected as the American Nuclear Society participants in the 2023 Washington Internships for Students in Engineering (WISE) program. Cole is majoring in materials science and engineering and expects to graduate in the spring of 2025; Hageman is majoring in materials engineering with minors in mechanical engineering and mathematics and has a graduation date of spring 2024. These two scholars will join students sponsored by other engineering organizations for nine weeks throughout the summer.

LLNL’s Annie Kritcher named to TIME100 for her role in fusion breakthrough

April 26, 2023, 12:00PMEdited April 26, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
LLNL design physicist Annie Kritcher is honored as one of the TIME100 Most Influential People. (Photo: Blaise Douros/LLNL)

Physicist Andrea “Annie” Kritcher’s dedication to fusion target design has earned her a spot on the TIME100 Most Influential People list for 2023. Today, Kritcher and 99 other individuals on that list—among them Elon Musk, King Charles, Judy Blume, Patrick Mahomes, Beyoncé, Lionel Messi, Janet Yellen, and MrBeast—are being honored at the TIME100 Summit and Gala at the Lincoln Center in New York City.

Olsen: ANS scholarships provide stepping stone to career goals

April 25, 2023, 12:08PMANS News
Olsen was part of the IAEA team that inspected the Rivne nuclear power plant in Ukraine last year. (Photo: IAEA)

Student members are the future of the American Nuclear Society, and ANS believes in the importance of supporting students those who have shown academic, service, and leadership excellence as they navigate their early careers. Robert Olsen, now a nuclear security officer with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria, was one such beneficiary.

Last chance to vote for ANS leadership

April 4, 2023, 12:00PMANS News
Left to right: Vice president/president-elect nominees Jeffrey King and Lisa Marshall; treasurer nominees Harsh Desai and Dave Pointer

The 2023 American Nuclear Society election is underway. All ANS members are eligible to vote on the open leadership positions. To help members get to know who is in the running, Nuclear Newswire published an article spotlighting the candidates for the ANS vice president and the treasurer positions: Completed ballots must be submitted by 1:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 11.

Nuclear in a world where nuclear is not

March 20, 2023, 12:01PMNuclear NewsGrace Stanke

Grace Stanke

Despite nuclear power producing 10 percent of energy globally, it seems sometimes that ours is a world in which nuclear does not exist. We all have our own lives, our own passions, and our own separate interests—each of which in turn can feel like a world of its own. For example, I competitively water ski, and rarely does nuclear engineering come up during water skiing tournaments. Nuclear science is a major part of my life and my world—but it is not the only piece. Many of my other worlds have no intersection with nuclear science.

One of my worlds is my involvement in the Miss America Organization. I previously have shared stories about my experience as Miss Wisconsin, including using my platform to talk about nuclear with various individuals. Part of this role was competing for Miss America 2023, a title and position I was honored to win on December 15, 2022.

How can advocates amplify global shifts in the nuclear energy narrative?

March 15, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear NewsParis Ortiz-Wines

Paris Ortiz-Wines

“Nuclear is finding its way into real acceptance and enthusiasm, and that’s really exciting.” So said secretary of energy Jennifer Granholm at the COP27 climate conference last November.

For the past 65 years, humanity has harnessed the power of the atom. Since the grid connection of the world’s first commercial nuclear plant in 1957, nuclear has been an unsung hero in providing reliable, clean energy for generations. Nuclear is the world’s fourth-largest source of energy and the second-largest low-carbon source of energy, per Our World in Data.

And yet, it wasn’t until September of 2021, when it became increasingly clear that the world was entering an energy crisis, that nuclear found its way back into the spotlight. Five months later, with the invasion of Ukraine, countries dependent on Russian gas found themselves in a precarious and costly position.

ANS 2023 election is underway

March 8, 2023, 9:30AMANS News

The American Nuclear Society election is now open, and ANS members can vote for the Society’s next vice president/president-elect and the treasurer.

Each member can help select the new leaders who will guide ANS into the future. This election is an opportunity for members to have a voice and shape the direction of the Society. Elected leaders will be responsible for setting the strategic direction of ANS in the following year and working to further its mission of advancing nuclear science and technology. The leaders also will be responsible for representing the interests of ANS and its members and for ensuring that the Society remains at the forefront of nuclear innovation and discovery.

Fashion inspired by nuclear fusion and climate concerns

February 27, 2023, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Gabriela Hearst (Photo:

One doesn’t typically come across nuclear fusion in a fashion magazine, but a recent issue of Vanity Fair profiled the creative director of a famous luxury fashion house who has made nuclear fusion a conceptual focus of her clothing creations. According to the article, Gabriela Hearst, the creative director at the New York City office of Paris-based Chloé, has designed a spring-summer 2023 collection “inspired by site visits to labs in the Pacific Northwest, New England, and southern France, where hundreds of scientists and engineers are working to develop technology that will produce a net energy gain through fusion.”

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


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


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


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.