Skip to main content

National Nuclear Science Week

NuclearMuseumNational Nuclear Science Week is coming up January 23 and The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History (which has a great slogan: “Reactions Welcome”) is gearing up for it. The museum is in Albuquerque – where Bugs Bunny often made wrong turns – and also near one of the Manhattan Project sites at Los Alamos.

Although the museum does not ignore nuclear weaponry and its role in the Cold War, the focus of National Nuclear Science Week is, as the title suggests, more scientific than historic, offering themes  for each of the weekdays.

Monday is “Get to Know Nuclear Energy,” Tuesday, “Careers in the Nuclear Fields”, and then “Nuclear Energy Generation,” “Nuclear Safety,” and “Nuclear Medicine.”

Some of the days don’t appear to have agendas finalized yet. The web site, though, has a lot of materials for teachers and students, some fascinating audio and video clips – the audio of Einstein talking about the lately beleaguered theory of relativity is of particular interest – and plenty of links. All they need is an app.

The site is well worth a visit and if you stop in Albuquerque before making your wrong turn on the way to Pismo Beach, the museum should be on the agenda.

---

Energy Secretary Steven Chu sent a letter to commemorate the week. Here’s a bit which serves to remind that Chu and DOE are very fully engaged with nuclear energy:

The Department of Energy remains strongly committed to supporting graduate education, competitive research and advanced scientific tools in the areas of nuclear physics, nuclear chemistry and nuclear engineering. Through its National Nuclear Security Administration, the Department of Energy stewards the U.S. nuclear stockpile, provides oversight of the world's largest nuclear nonproliferation program, and bears responsibility for the U.S. Navy's nuclear propulsion program. We share your commitment to fostering a deeper public understanding about nuclear energy, nuclear education, nuclear medicine and all of the nuclear sciences.

Music to the ears.

The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. Need more to do? Los Alamos hosts the Bradbury Science Museum if you happen to head out that way.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Now if only Chu and the DOE were "very fully engaged" in obeying federal law, specifically following the provisions of the NWPA regarding Yucca Mountain. Now that would really be something to sing praises over (although I was always taught that obeying the law was just something good citizens did by nature).

Popular posts from this blog

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…