Nuclear News on the Newswire

Lisa Marshall: Leading by example

Lisa Marshall
2024-2025 ANS President

The importance of an education was instilled in Lisa Marshall at a young age by her grandmother. Born in Trinidad, Marshall was raised by her grandparents after her parents emigrated to Canada in pursuit of their educational goals. “My grandmother, Winifred, saw education as the route to the next level,” Marshall said, adding that the family wasn’t even sure if her grandmother had finished elementary school. “She wanted more for us than she had, and she believed the best way to achieve that was through an education.”

When Marshall was young, Winifred walked with her on the road from their house to school every day and was there to greet her when the school day was done. When Marshall was older, she went home for lunch, which her grandmother prepared. “She was a stabilizing force in my life,” Marshall said. “She kept me safe and nourished me. She taught me to be independent. And she always stressed the education part.”

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Frank Augustine—ANS member since 1983

Augustine today, at home.

Augustine in 1991, during his years at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory.

We welcome ANS members who have careered in the community to submit their own Nuclear Legacy stories, so that the personal history of nuclear power can be captured. For information on submitting your stories, contact nucnews@ans.org.

In college I started in physics, but in 1977, during my sophomore year, I decided to pick a more practical major: nuclear engineering. Like many young people, I wanted to make the world a better place.

During my junior year, the Three Mile Island accident occurred. Many of us in nuclear engineering wondered whether we had chosen the wrong major, but our professors assured us there was a future in nuclear power. It seemed at the time a common-sense solution to the predicted shortages of oil and gas, and it was far safer than coal. I stayed the course and ended up getting my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nuclear engineering.

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Fast burst reactors: A historical primer

Fast burst reactors were the first fast-spectrum research reactors to reach criticality by using only prompt neutrons with high-enriched uranium as fuel, creating a pulse for microseconds. Among many achievements, fast burst reactors were the first research reactors to demonstrate the ability of thermal expansion to terminate a pulse and to show how this could aid in reactor safety. In addition, fast burst reactors were pivotal in early fission studies including critical mass determination, criticality safety, the study of prompt and delayed neutrons, and much more.

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From the pages of Nuclear News: Industry update July 2024

Here is a recap of industry happenings from the recent past:

ADVANCED REACTOR MARKETPLACE

Radiant purchases nuclear-grade graphite for its microreactor

Microreactor startup Radiant Industries and Amsted Graphite Materials, the largest American-­owned synthetic graphite producer, have reached an agreement to collaborate on reducing U.S. reliance on foreign sources of nuclear-grade graphite. The collaboration began with Radiant placing a purchase order with Amsted for its Kaleidos microreactor, a 1-MW high-temperature, gas-cooled portable microreactor that has a graphite core and uses TRISO fuel.

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NRC publishes report to Congress on security findings

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has posted an unclassified version of its annual report to Congress on the results of the agency’s security inspection activities in 2023.

The report covers the NRC’s security inspection program, including force-on-force exercises, for commercial nuclear power reactors and Category I fuel cycle facilities. It keeps Congress and the public informed of the NRC’s oversight of the protection of the nation’s civilian nuclear power infrastructure and strategic special nuclear material.

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General Atomics’ silicon carbide composite cladding is put to the test

Because of its hardness and its hardiness in the face of high temperatures, silicon carbide has been used for industrial purposes for decades. It has proven its worth as a key component of tiny TRISO fuel particles. But SiC has a weakness—in its pure form it is too brittle for use in structural components, such as 12-foot-long light water reactor fuel cladding tubes.

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Taking shape: Fusion energy ecosystems built with public-private partnerships

It’s possible to describe fusion in simple terms: heat and squeeze small atoms to get abundant clean energy. But there’s nothing simple about getting fusion ready for the grid.

Private developers, national lab and university researchers, suppliers, and end users working toward that goal are developing a range of complex technologies to reach fusion temperatures and pressures, confounded by science and technology gaps linked to plasma behavior; materials, diagnostics, and electronics for extreme environments; fuel cycle sustainability; and economics.

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European Commission signs off on Romanian nuclear plans

The European Commission has issued a positive opinion on the technical and nuclear safety aspects of the construction of Units 3 and 4 at Cernavoda nuclear power plant in Romania.

Under the Euratom Treaty, nuclear project developers are required to notify the EC of planned investments and to demonstrate compliance with the highest nuclear safety standards.

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