Skip to main content

The NAYGN Impact: Advancing the Future of Nuclear

The following is a guest post from Natalie Wood, vice president coordinator at Entergy's River Bend Station. 
Natalie Wood
As I prepared to take on my role as the president of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear, I spent a lot of time thinking about how to best align the organization to help advance the future of nuclear. As the future leaders of this industry, we need to better utilize our voices as young professionals. In 2015, we reached 54,668 people sharing the benefits of nuclear energy. This is impressive, but how can we speak with one voice to make an even greater impact?

What if we changed how we think about NAYGN? Instead of thinking about what we are doing on a small scale, we think about what we are accomplishing as a way of helping the industry. This “what if” helped to drive the creation of a new initiative called The NAYGN Impact.

On May 23, The NAYGN Impact was introduced to the attendees at the NAYGN conference in Miami. This initiative was created to complement current industry efforts to improve efficiency while also advocating for nuclear energy facilities to be fully recognized for their value. This is not a change to the current NAYGN mission nor is it a request for chapters to increase the number of hours they volunteer. Instead, this is an opportunity for our organization to align its efforts with what will make the most impact within our companies and the nuclear industry.

The goals of The NAYGN Impact initiative are to (1) ensure the efforts of NAYGN are aligned to advance the future of the nuclear industry and (2) communicate the value that NAYGN provides. What makes this a simple idea is everything NAYGN does already aligns with being part of the solution. We are asking our local NAYGN chapters to decide what one thing they want to do this year to contribute to the success of the nuclear industry and to set a specific goal tied to this idea.

I challenge everyone to think about the actions they can take to advance the nuclear industry because, together, we can make an impact.

Comments

Kristin Zaitz said…
Great message Natalie, I'm looking forward to seeing great things from NAYGN this year under your leadership!

Popular posts from this blog

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 …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

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…