ANS is committed to advancing, fostering, and promoting the development and application of nuclear sciences and technologies to benefit society.
Explore the many uses for nuclear science and its impact on energy, the environment, healthcare, food, and more.
Aerospace Nuclear Science & Technology
Organized to promote the advancement of knowledge in the use of nuclear science and technologies in the aerospace application. Specialized nuclear-based technologies and applications are needed to advance the state-of-the-art in aerospace design, engineering and operations to explore planetary bodies in our solar system and beyond, plus enhance the safety of air travel, especially high speed air travel. Areas of interest will include but are not limited to the creation of nuclear-based power and propulsion systems, multifunctional materials to protect humans and electronic components from atmospheric, space, and nuclear power system radiation, human factor strategies for the safety and reliable operation of nuclear power and propulsion plants by non-specialized personnel and more.
Utility Working Conference Virtual Summit (UWC)
August 11, 2020
The Standards Committee is responsible for the development and maintenance of voluntary consensus standards that address the design, analysis, and operation of components, systems, and facilities related to the application of nuclear science and technology. Find out What’s New, check out the Standards Store, or Get Involved today!
Latest Magazine Issues
Latest Journal Issues
Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
Penfield and Enos: Outage planning in the COVID-19 era
Energy Harbor’s Beaver Valley plant, located about 34 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, Pa., was one of many nuclear sites preparing for a scheduled outage as the coronavirus pandemic intensified in March. The baseline objective of any planned outage—to complete refueling on time and get back to producing power—was complicated by the need to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
While over 200 of the plant’s 850 staff members worked from home to support the outage, about 800 contractors were brought in for jobs that could only be done on-site. Nuclear News Staff Writer Susan Gallier talked with Beaver Valley Site Vice President Rod Penfield and General Plant Manager Matt Enos about the planning and communication required.
Beaver Valley can look forward to several more outages in the future, now that plans to shut down the two Westinghouse pressurized water reactors, each rated at about 960 MWe, were reversed in March. “The deactivation announcement happened in the middle of all our planning,” Enos said. “It’s a shame we haven’t had a chance to get together as a large group and celebrate that yet.”
While the focus remains on safe pandemic operations, the site now has two causes for celebration: an outage success and a long future ahead.
Our world is changing. These changes increasingly take the form of higher temperatures and other climate impacts, creating a global push to limit our reliance on greenhouse gas-emitting energy sources. Nuclear energy is the largest zero-carbon energy source in the United States. In combination with other low- or zero-carbon energy sources, nuclear energy offers numerous benefits that make it uniquely suited for supporting a future clean energy economy.
Many of the world’s largest short-term decarbonization efforts have been accomplished using nuclear energy. While all forms of energy production have potential downsides, nuclear energy’s reliability, density, and versatility make it well suited as a part of a global clean energy system.
No energy source is always available, but nuclear energy gets pretty close. In the United States, nuclear power plants regularly operate for more than 90% of the year, providing “baseload” clean energy. In the developing and developed world, the availability of clean energy is critical to reducing humanity’s long-term impact on the environment and population.
Nuclear power plants provide clean energy during disastrous weather events and require infrequent refueling, contributing to their high reliability. Nuclear energy’s high capacity factor, a measurement of how much of the time an energy source is generating electricity, makes it ideally suited to providing energy in situations when weather and other resources may not be reliable.
Electricity is only part of the story.
Electricity production accounts for less than 40% of the energy usage and carbon emissions in the United States. Around the world, nuclear power plants are currently used to heat homes and create fresh water in addition to providing electricity. Transportation and industrial energy use, which are heavily reliant on fossil fuels, make up half of total energy usage in the United States and will need to be decarbonized. Nuclear energy has long been seen as a viable replacement for fossil fuel-based heat in many industrial processes and can be used to create electricity and zero-carbon fuels, like hydrogen, for use in decarbonized transportation.
Responsibly making use of the abundant resources on our planet goes hand in hand with caring for the air and water we rely on. Of all low- or zero-carbon energy sources, nuclear energy is by far the most energy dense and can generate the same amount of energy more efficiently. Nuclear energy can generate the same amount of electricity as solar on a third of the land, as wind on a fifth of the land, and as hydroelectric on a twentieth of the land. Nuclear energy also uses fewer overall resources, such as concrete and steel, when compared to other low-carbon sources. Plus, the average nuclear power plant in the US is just 38 years old. This combination of low resource use and long lifetime result from the density of nuclear energy and allow for a significant contribution to decarbonization goals.
Last modified April 17, 2020, 4:17pm CDT