Category Archives: Publications

Nuclear News publishes Special Report on Fukushima

Nuclear News, the monthly publication of the American Nuclear Society, today published a Special Report on Fukushima Daiichi after the earthquake and tsunami.  The 8-page Special Report will be included in the April 2011 edition of Nuclear News, which has been mailed to subscribers.

The April 2011 Nuclear News also contains a special section on outage management, which includes the following features:

  • an interview with Tim Borgen about Monticello’s outage training center
  • Point Lepreau Refurbishment Project—A second go at retubing
  • A low-key refueling results in outage success at Fermi-2

For more information—including how to subscribe—visit the ANS website.

ANS and Fukushima

By Joe Colvin

In the days since Japan’s earthquake and tsunami combined to create the situation at Fukushima, nuclear professionals across the country have been united in our deep concern over the events in Japan and have contributed countless hours working to ensure that information provided to the public and media was based on fact and reason rather than hysteria and misinformation. I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the many ANS members who stepped forward to support the efforts of the Society in this time of great need.

The Society has played—and is continuing to play—a major role in addressing the scientific and technical aspects of the accident at Fukushima with the public, policy makers, and the media. ANS headquarters, the ANS corporate officers, and our media, social media, and federal consultants have worked diligently, with the support of many members, to improve the public understanding of the situation in Japan. Within several hours of the events at Fukushima, ANS initiated the Crisis Communications Team, which has met daily by conference call since the accident to coordinate the Society’s activities, including media outreach. Though ANS members could not be everywhere, we have had a significant and positive effect.

ANS members have participated in more than 150 interviews in venues such as The Today ShowCBS Evening NewsNBC Nightly NewsCBS Morning News and local affiliates, CNNNPRGood Morning America, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal—to name a few. Over one hundred members volunteered their services after Candace Davison, ANS Public Information Committee chair, explained the urgent need for media resources.

Thanks to your efforts, ANS members reached more than 81 million people through proactive media outreach. That’s over one in four U.S. households—a truly remarkable effort!

While some ANS members could not serve as media spokespersons due to company restrictions, they provided essential analysis of the ongoing technical events in Japan. That analysis helped to formulate documents such as the Japan Backgrounder and the ANS Talking Points. ANS Social Media Group members actively engaged in positive, proactive media outreach—something they have done so successfully in the past. They identified and shared media opportunities and formed the backbone of the early media efforts.

Those who could not speak helped those who could by lending information, analysis, and advice.

The ANS Nuclear Cafe blog site was repurposed as an information clearinghouse during the early morning hours of March 11. As ANS members shared links to factual, non-alarmist information provided on the blog, traffic to the site increased by a factor of 100.

The strength of the Society is rooted in our membership and catalyzed by effective and talented expertise. ANS Student Sections, Nuclear Engineering Departments, and Local Sections have engaged in efforts across the country to reach out via public forums, webinars, presentations, conversations with friends and colleagues, and social networks. ANS Professional Divisions have put together technical briefs and fact sheets, and our commercial publications, such as Nuclear News magazine, are focusing articles on the Fukushima events. You can also visit the ANS website to be inspired by the wealth of activities catalogued under ‘Featured Content.’

ANS members have engaged in the vital grassroots efforts that drive greater understanding—and thus greater acceptance—of nuclear science and technology.

In response to your overwhelming feedback, ANS established the ANS Japan Relief Fund to help our friends, colleagues, and their families in Japan who have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami. This fund symbolizes how the international nuclear community stands together to help one another.

ANS will continue to play a key role in placing the Fukushima incident into perspective, as well examining the factors that have contributed to the incident. We are in the process of outlining the important role that the Society can play in developing a greater understanding into the scientific and technical issues surrounding the accident at Fukushima. Nuclear professionals will continue to set the bar high for nuclear energy, which remains the safest source of electricity generation.

I look forward to working with you, the dedicated and passionate members of this Society, as we continue to promote the awareness and understanding of nuclear science and technology.

Colvin

Joe Colvin is the 56th president of the American Nuclear Society. He has been an ANS member since 2001 and has worked to obtain senior nuclear utility expertise on ANS committees and the Board of Directors. Colvin is President Emeritus of the Nuclear Energy Institute, and he serves on the boards of Cameco Corporation, the world’s largest uranium company, and US Ecology, a hazardous and radioactive waste disposal company. He also is on the boards of non-profit organizations such as the Foundation for Nuclear Studies, which was set up by NEI to help provide the U.S. House and Senate with information on nuclear technology.

Book signings at ANS meeting

Marcus

Gail Marcus will be signing copies of her new book, Nuclear Firsts: Milestones on the Road to Nuclear Power Development, at the ANS Winter Meeting in Las Vegas at the Riviera Hotel. The schedule for the signings is:

  • Sunday, November 7, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, November 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday. November 10, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Marcus will be situated at the ANS bookstore near the meeting’s registration desk. Copies of her book (and other publications) will be available at the bookstore. The book is also available by visiting the online ANS Store.

 Nuclear Firsts traces the technical evolution of nuclear power development in the United States and around the world. In all, about 80 facilities and events in more than 10 countries are profiled. Developments in reactor technologies of all types are covered, as well as developments in reprocessing, enrichment, waste disposal, and some nonelectrical applications of reactors, such as radioisotope production, district heating, desalination, and neutron beam therapy. The book also covers the first government and private organizations that developed around the nuclear industry.

Well-known facilities and events, such as the first demonstration of controlled fusion and the first uses of reactors to produce electricity, and lesser known ones, such as early reactors in Antarctica and at the Panama Canal, are covered. Although many facilities are mentioned in the text or in tables, only “first of a kind” are discussed in detail. Tables are included to identify other firsts, such as the first reactor in a state or country, that may be of interest to the individual reader.

The book’s six chapters cover:

  • The scientific developments leading to the first demonstration of controlled fission.
  • The developments leading to the the first demonstration of the production of usable amounts of electricity.
  • The rapid evolution to an operating commercial nuclear plant built for peaceful purposes only.
  • The growth of nuclear reactor applications.
  • The maturation of the nuclear industry.
  • Where the firsts have led and what lies ahead.

Nuclear Firsts is written for a broad audience. Nuclear professionals will find it useful as an authoritative reference, while science teachers and students can use it as a general educational tool. The book also will appeal to organizations associated with the various firsts and to residents near the sites of the firsts because it provides information about the historical importance of locations in their own neighborhoods. The international community will also find the book of interest because it is not limited to U.S. firsts.

Gail Marcus is a consultant for nuclear technology and policy. Previously, she served as deputy director general for the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, principal deputy director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, and in various senior-level positions at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She is also a past president of ANS (2001-2002).

November 2010 Nuclear News online

The November issue of Nuclear News will soon be available electronically to ANS members. The issue contains a special section on nuclear nonproliferation, featuring the following articles:

  • Current efforts toward a sustainable nonproliferation policy, by Melvin R. Buckner and Benjamin J. Cross
  • Proliferation pathways and barriers, by William E. Burchill and Melvin R. Buckner
  • Status of nonproliferation agreements, by Paul Nelson
  • Reducing proliferation risks through nuclear energy assistance to developing countries, by David R. Boyle, Amir H. Mohagheghi, and  Kate M. Putman
  • Nonproliferation initiatives and plutonium disposition in Russia and the United States, by Steven P. Nesbit
  • Safeguarding and protecting the nuclear fuel cycle, by Trond Bjornard, Humberto Garcia, William Desmond, and Scott DeMuth
  • How proliferation resistant is resistant enough? by Shaheen A. Dewji, Michaela E. Eddy, and Robert A. Bari

To access the issue, go to http://www.new.ans.org/pubs/magazines/nn/ (subscriber log-in required for access to full issue).

Also, keep an eye out for a free copy of the November issue of Nuclear News at the 2010 ANS Winter Meeting and Nuclear Technology Expo, November 7-11, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev.

November/December 2010 Radwaste Solutions online

The November/December issue of Radwaste Solutions will soon be available electronically to ANS members. This issue includes the fifth annual Buyers Guide, which is a directory of companies that provide products or services that relate directly to work at Department of Energy cleanup and remediation sites and civilian decommissioning projects, as well as to radioactive waste management in both the utility and specialized nonpower/nongovernment segments of the nuclear industry. This year’s Buyers Guide includes information on nearly 400 companies listed in more than 150 categories.

In addition, the new issue of Radwaste Solutions will include a feature article on two novel approaches for lowering waste management lifecycle costs through the onsite volume reduction of Class B and C wastes.

To access the issue, go to http://www.new.ans.org/pubs/magazines/rs/ (subscriber log-in required for access to full issue)

Also, keep an eye out for the November 2010 issue of Nuclear News, coming soon, which will include a special section on nonproliferation. 

New nuclear history book is available

Gail Marcus’s new book, Nuclear Firsts: Milestones on the Road to Nuclear Power Development, is now available by visiting the online ANS Store.

Nuclear Firsts traces the technical evolution of nuclear power development in the United States and around the world. In all, about 80 facilities and events in more than 10 countries are profiled. Developments in reactor technologies of all types are covered, as well as developments in reprocessing, enrichment, waste disposal, and some nonelectrical applications of reactors, such as radioisotope production, district heating, desalination, and neutron beam therapy. The book also covers the first government and private organizations that developed around the nuclear industry.

Well-known facilities and events, such as the first demonstration of controlled fusion and the first uses of reactors to produce electricity, and lesser known ones, such as early reactors in Antarctica and at the Panama Canal, are covered. Although many facilities are mentioned in the text or in tables, only “first of a kind” are discussed in detail. Tables are included to identify other firsts, such as the first reactor in a state or country, that may be of interest to the individual reader.

The book’s six chapters cover:

  • The scientific developments leading to the first demonstration of controlled fission.
  • The developments leading to the the first demonstration of the production of usable amounts of electricity.
  • The rapid evolution to an operating commercial nuclear plant built for peaceful purposes only.
  • The growth of nuclear reactor applications.
  • The maturation of the nuclear industry.
  • Where the firsts have led and what lies ahead.

Nuclear Firsts is written for a broad audience. Nuclear professionals will find it useful as an authoritative reference, while science teachers and students can use it as a general educational tool. The book also will appeal to organizations associated with the various firsts and to residents near the sites of the firsts because it provides information about the historical importance of locations in their own neighborhoods. The international community will also find the book of interest because it is not limited to U.S. firsts.

Gail Marcus is a consultant for nuclear technology and policy. Previously, she served as deputy director general for the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, principal deputy director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, and in various senior-level positions at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She is also a past president of ANS (2001-2002).

ANS publishes white papers on small modular reactors


A six-pack of small reactors can be developed over time to meet a utility's growing needs.

The papers are the result of technical dialogs on generic licensing issues

By Dan Yurman

On September 3, 2010, the American Nuclear Society in a statement posted on its Web site said it has released the report of the President’s Special Committee on Small and Medium Sized Reactor (SMR) Licensing Issues.

The organization said, “The Society has taken a leadership role in addressing the SMR licensing issues because the licensing and eventual deployment of SMRs will lead to:

  • Job creation Export of U.S. goods and services
  • Benefits to national security and energy policy
  • Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”

The SMR report is available at the ANS Web site by clicking here (large PDF file).

ANS Immediate Past President Tom Sanders (left) established the ‘ANS President’s Special Committee’ earlier this year. Sanders directed the group to develop solutions that are technology neutral for SMR generic licensing issues.  In addition to the eight papers released in September, the Committee is writing another six papers that it will complete by November.

While ANS is not directly engaging with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on licensing issues, it has provided its white papers to the agency and to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). Sanders briefed NRC Chairman Jaczko on the papers earlier this year and on the role of ANS.  Sanders said in the ANS statement:

“The SMR Special Committee led the nuclear science and engineering community in organizing a forum for technical dialogue on SMR licensing issues.”

Highlights of two papers

Committee Co-chair Philip Moor said that two of the papers highlight some of the issues being tackled in all eight of them. These two are the papers on reactor fees, which reimburse the NRC for the fixed annual portion of its regulatory costs, and on manufacturing licenses.

A clear trend emerges in the conclusions and recommendation of the completed white papers, namely that the current U.S. nuclear reactor regulations are focused on the safety and security of large light-water reactors. The ANS papers illustrate the incompatibilities of the current licensing rules with SMR designs. In general, applicants would have three possible approaches for licensing SMRs:

  • Seek exemptions to current rules
  • NRC rule making
  • Legislative changes

Each of these approaches implies a specific time frame for implementation, and in many cases the white papers provide near-term solutions as well as long-term solutions aimed at achieving regulatory stability.

Manufacturing licenses

Several SMR vendors plan to build factories in the United States to produce their reactors, and then assemble them on a customer’s site either in this country or overseas. SMR vendors seeking to export their technologies face significant challenges in negotiating a regulatory thicket of government requirements imposed on nuclear exports from the Departments of Energy, Commerce, State, and Defense.

The ANS paper calls on the NRC to clarify these requirements. One place that the NRC can start, the paper says, is to examine the way that aircraft and other high tech exports are handled by these agencies. The U.S. government has a long history of dealing with foreign ownership and control of the exported technology. There should be lessons learned from that experience that can be applied to SMRs.

The paper also analyzes some of the relationships between a manufacturing license and other NRC requirements. The paper concludes that a manufacturing license “offers an excellent vehicle” to control export of U.S. technology and expertise. In addition, it suggests that manufacturing licenses may provide superior protection of intellectual property to U.S.-based reactor designers and developers.

Reactor fees

The fees required of a licensee of an operating nuclear facility include fixed annual assessment and reimbursement for NRC staff time. With regard to the annual fee the amounts are currently assessed in a manner similar to conventional large reactors. This paper makes a series of recommendations to recognize that size matters when it comes to annual fees. A short list of recommendations includes:

  • Establish a sliding scale for fees based on thermal power.
  • Set a maximum fee for all reactors that have less than 2000 MW thermal power.
  • Ensure that the NRC is adequately funded to conduct its reviews.
  • Establish a fee structure for new large and small reactors that avoids imposing inequitable costs on the existing fleet of operating reactors.

Collaborative effort The white papers are written by ANS members in a collaborative effort with NEI, the Electric Power Research Institute , the Department of Energy, and the International Atomic Energy Committee.

NEI is also preparing a series of white papers on SMR issues that are informed by the ANS effort. NEI is representing the U.S. nuclear industry through its members in a series of meetings with NRC.

ANS members on the SMR committee participate as individuals and not as representatives of the SMR vendors, government agencies, or other organizations.

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Dan Yurman publishes Idaho Samizdat, a blog about nuclear energy.