Workforce development, small reactors, 2008 ANS Annual Meeting, job opportunities, industry involvement in ANS, Zion Nuclear Power Plant
John Wheeler, Kelly Taylor and I talked about workforce development and John’s impressions from the American Nuclear Society Annual meeting, recently held in Anaheim, California. With regard to workforce development we chatted about the opportunities that the Nuclear Renaissance will bring for people that like math and science, hands on applications, working in teams, and seeing the physical products of their labors.
We also talked about the importance of the role of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the quality of the work that it does, and the cost of regulation.
As often happens on The Atomic Show, we also discussed a number of aspects of smaller reactors and how they would fit in a developing nuclear industry. We talked about how smaller plants do not have to wait in the same lines for massive forgings as large plants do, how they might be able to take advantage of assembly line techniques and how they can meet market demands in areas where 1000 MWe and larger plants simply cannot fit.
A side topic was the visionary decision by people like Donald Hintz, who recognized the value of nuclear plants that others did not want. The market consolidation that resulted has produced some strong, nuclear focused companies and helped significantly improve the reliability and productivity of the plants.
We also talked about the decision to shut down Zion Nuclear Power Plant and the possibility that it might be restored to operation. This particular topic ended with a call out for people with an interest and knowledge about the plant to contact me at rod_adams(at symbol)atomicinsights.com. I am really curious about whether or not the plants could be restored to operation at a significantly lower per megawatt cost than building a new facility. If anyone knows something or wants to get involved in the discussion, please contact me.