Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It’s National Nuclear Science Week!

NMNSH Did you know it’s National Nuclear Science Week? Just the same time as last year.

National Nuclear Science Week is a national, broadly observed week-long celebration to focus local, regional and national interest on all aspects of nuclear science. Each day will provide for learning about the contributions, innovations and opportunities that can be found by exploring nuclear science.

That means more than reactors:

Nuclear science plays a vital role in the lives of Americans…and the world. Consider these facts:

• 18 million nuclear medicine procedures are performed per year among 305 million people in the United States

• 104 operating nuclear reactors in the US employ an average of 700 people to operate them in the 31 states that have nuclear power generating plants

• 20 percent of our nation’s electricity is generated by nuclear power

• 436 nuclear power plants are operating in 30 countries, supplying 14 percent of the world’s electricity. Fifty-three new nuclear plants are under construction in 14 countries.

All true. As it says above, different topics are addressed each day. Today is about Careers, tomorrow Generation (that’s NEI and its membership, broadly speaking), Nuclear Safety is Thursday, and Nuclear Medicine on Friday. Take a look – there’s a nicely designed web site with a lot of activities – it’s a great way to introduce young folks to nuclear energy.


As you can see, National Nuclear Science Week has a strong educational component. Our blog friend Rod Adams over at Atomic Insights gets into the spirit of the week with profiles of Tammy Davis Sayko, assistant director of the Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas and For Jennifer Reichert, senior program manager at CRDF Global, a nonprofit organization that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, technical resources, and training.

Here’s a bit of what NPI is up to:

Through the NPI, the university has partnered with two- and four-year educational institutions and has developed degree programs, certificate programs and courses to educate the existing nuclear work force. NPI is reaching even farther into the educational system through a comprehensive outreach recruiting program at the middle and high school levels to encourage and sustain students’ interest in science, technology and mathematics disciplines.

Do read the whole thing.


National Nuclear Science Week is overseen by The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, the nation’s only congressionally chartered museum in its field. It’s located in Albuquerque, so before you make a wrong turn there (as Bugs Bunny invariably did on the way to Pismo Beach), stop by. Good Web site, with a lot to explore, and some interesting items in its gift shop.

The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. I’ve been to Albuquerque and it does seem as if everything is baking.

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