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Molten Salt Reactors

Thurman Cooper discusses his ongoing research into the merits of the molten salt reactor, a GenIV type.
There is very active business interest in this reactor type that was earlier researched extensively at Oak Ridge. Subsequently the USA persued the Light Water Reactor (LWR) and the Liquid Metal Breeder Reactor (LMBR) and the Burner Reactor variant in the GNEP fuel cycle.
Now is the time to take a fresh look at the six GenIV nuclear energy platforms.
Welcome Thurman Cooper and the Molten Salt Reactor.

Smarter than Fermi

Dr. Enrico Fermi was Italian, his wife Jewish.  He traveled to Stockholm in 1938 to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics and with the money immigrated to the USA to avoid facism.  His proposal was selected to go forward in the Manhattan Project.  The B-reactor was built at Hanford and Pu was separated to end WWII.   Fermi’s genius then went to work on nuclear power and the fuel cycle.  Arco Idaho was the first city to be powered with nuclear, a sodium fast reactor, EBR-I in 1955.

President BillClinton and Energy Secretary BillRichardson were smarter than Dr Fermi and decided to chop-off this leg of nuclear energy technology..  Later, Secretary Sam Bodman under GW Bush reinvigorated the  SFR Burner Reactor within Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.  GNEP Draft Environmental Impact Statement and millions $ of high-end research and analysis were trashed without decisions upon President Obama’s arrival.  Resulting in…

No national energy policy, declining nuclear energy horizon, dirty air, coal tailing ponds, increasing electricity costs, and little basic nuclear energy research because there is no test reactor.  Lots of hand wringing over “what to do with the nuclear waste.”

The FFTF is deactivated and pristine.

Carl Holder, Chair  ANS-EWS

p.s.  The rest of the world is following Fermi’s lead, not Richardson.

Vit Plant – Ward Sproat

May Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, MaSproat_Ward-croppedy 19  Shilo Inn

Start  6:00 PM           Dinner  6:30   Presentation  7:00

Reservations:, or 509-521-6499

Cost:  $20 at the door for members, others $22,  Presentation only at 7 – free.

Ward Sproat is the Bechtel National, Inc. Manager of Design, Operations, and Integration for the Hanford Vit Plant.  In addition, he is responsible for managing technical issue resolution and ensuring design and safety basis alignment and integration.



Matt McCormick, Project Director, Kurion

MMcCormickApril 21, 2015 – Monthly meeting.

Matt McCormick oversees operation of Kurion’s Mobile Processing Systems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, where these systems are removing strontium from water stored in tanks.   McCormick also directs the supply chain for all of the Kurion water treatment systems operating at Fukushima.  McCormick is a nationally recognized executive for his leadership roles at the Hanford Site near Richland, Washington, the Savannah River Site near Aiken, South Carolina, and the Rocky Flats Site near Denver, Colorado. He spent 32 years in public service, most recently as Manager of Richland Operations for the Department of Energy. In this role he managed one of the largest and most complex decontamination and decommissioning projects in the world with an annual budget that exceeds $1 billion; covers more than 586 square miles; and includes more than 1,500 facilities and waste sites, nine plutonium reactors, 2,300 tons of spent nuclear fuel and 20 tons of leftover plutonium. McCormick earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Montana State University.

Reservations:  msg 509-521-6499, or

Shilo Inn, Richland

6:00 PM  No Host

6:30 PM  Dinner  $20 members, $22 non-members

7:00 PM  Presentation Only   $10 open to the public


March 17 Meeting: Pu-238 Production and Isotope Program

ANS-Eastern Washington Section March Meeting
Tuesday, March 17
6:00 p.m.
Shilo Inn, Richland, WA

The Eastern Washington Section of the American Nuclear Society is holding its monthly meeting Tuesday, March 17, at the Shilo Inn in Richland. We are pleased to host two outstanding presentations and presenters:

Alice Caponiti

Alice Caponiti

U.S. DOE Office of Space and Defense Power Systems and the Resumption of Domestic Production of Pu-238 

—Alice Caponiti, the Director of Department of Energy’s Office of Space and Defense Power Systems.  Her office designs, builds, tests, and delivers safe and reliable nuclear power systems for space exploration and national security applications and performs detailed safety analyses for each mission.

U.S. DOE Isotope Program

—Marc Garland, the program manager for isotope facilities and the National Isotope Development Center (NIDC) in the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Physics’ Isotope Development and Production for Research and Applications (IDPRA) program. His responsibilities include assuring availability and operability of the program’s isotope production facilities to support production goals, establishing additional production capabilities, and leveraging the program’s facility capabilities to optimize isotope production nationally.

Meeting Schedule
6 p.m. – Social / Networking (no-host bar)
6:30 p.m. – Buffet dinner
7 p.m. – Presentation (approximately one hour with questions)

Dinner reservations are requested by 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, and can be made via phone at 509-521-6499 or via email to the ANS-EW Treasurer at

registerhere100redThe cost is $20 for ANS Local Section members and other technical society members and $22 for non-members. ANS Local Section membership is $10/year for individuals. Make checks payable to ANS-EWS and pay at the door. There is no charge to attend the presentation only.

We welcome visitors! We will ask newcomers to introduce themselves briefly.

ANS Section scholarships available to area STEM students

Deadline for applications is March 31, 2015.

The Eastern Washington Section of the American Nuclear Society (ANS-EWS) is committed to encouraging students to enter the rewarding fields of nuclear science and technology and to advancing the nuclear-related careers of young people.

ANS-EWS has established the Gary Troyer Memorial Scholarship to encourage high school graduates to pursue a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). One $1000 scholarship for tuition is available to a 2015 high school graduate in the following eastern Washington counties: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Walla Walla and Whitman.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a current high school or home-schooled seniors attending school in the specified counties in eastern Washington
  • Anticipate completion of high school diploma at the time of application
  • Plan to pursue a degree in a STEM field at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution
  • Have a minimum 3.00 GPA at the end of their junior year of high school
  • Be active in either Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts during their youth

Preference will be given to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Pursuing a degree in nuclear science, nuclear engineering or a nuclear-related field
  • Acceptance to an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution
  • Recipients of the Eagle Scout award from the Boy Scouts or the Gold Award from the Girl Scouts
Gary Troyer, shown here with author Gwyneth Cravens at the 2014 Nuclear Science Week event.

Gary Troyer, shown here with author Gwyneth Cravens at the 2014 Nuclear Science Week event.

Scholarship established in honor of Gary Troyer

Gary Troyer was a nuclear chemist and computer scientist who tragically passed away in a 2014 vehicle accident. In addition to a distinguished professional career, he was extremely active in community and outreach activities. Gary held memberships in the American Nuclear Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Health Physics Society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He was both past President and President-Elect of the ANS Eastern Washington Section and a member of the Board of Directors. He was Vice-Chair and Public Relations Chair of the Pasco-Kennewick Rotary Club. Gary also served as current Chairman of Citizens for Medical Isotopes and was an outspoken advocate for a strong medical isotope program.

Gary was active in the Blue Mountain Council, Boy Scouts of America. He was on the Board of Directors, served on past Council Commissioner, and had organized several Merit Badge Weekends for Scouts wanting to earn their Nuclear Technology Merit Badge. He holds the Scouting Silver Beaver Award.

The Gary Troyer Memorial Scholarship was established in honor of his many contributions to the community and to his passion for educating and furthering the independence of young people.

College and Graduate School Scholarships also available

ANS-Eastern Washington Section is also making available up to three one-year, $1000 scholarships for college and graduate students in applied nuclear science or a related field. Applicants must have completed a minimum of two years in an accredited undergraduate program by June 2015 and be enrolled full-time in a four-year college or university in the U.S. Graduate students in their first or second year of study are also eligible to apply.

Applicants must be planning a career in nuclear science, nuclear engineering or a nuclear-related field. Note that the ANS chapter scholarships are, for the most part, restricted to schools in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For more information

Visit the ANS-EWS website at and download the 2015 scholarship packets (see right column under the Downloads section). The packets include further details and application forms.

Please note the deadline for submitting applications for both scholarships is March 31, 2015.

The American Nuclear Society is a not-for-profit, international, scientific and educational organization. ANS provides its members with opportunities for professional development and serves the nuclear community by creating a forum for sharing information and advancements in technology, and by engaging the public and policy makers through communication outreach. The core purpose of ANS is to promote the awareness and understanding of the application of nuclear science and technology.

February meeting: James Conca to discuss nuclear waste


ANS-Eastern Washington Section February Meeting
Tuesday, February 17
6:00 p.m.
Shilo Inn, Richland, WA


The Eastern Washington Section of the American Nuclear Society is holding its monthly meeting Tuesday, Feb. 17, at the Shilo Inn in Richland.  The dinner speaker will be international energy expert and Forbes contributor James Conca, PhD.


What’s Happened to our Nuclear Waste Disposal Program?

James Conca, PhD

James Conca, PhD

What is nuclear waste? What is commercial spent fuel (SNF)? What is high-level nuclear waste (HLW)?  What is transuranic waste (TRU)? It depends upon where you look: most statutes and discussions use a relic of the old source-based HLW definition established by the Atomic Energy Commission over 40 years ago.

The original nuclear waste disposal strategy was simple and science-based, but various geopolitical issues changed it dramatically. I will review the program from its beginning in 1956 to the present, covering the proposed HLW sites, the winnowing to the final three, the choice of Yucca Mountain, the formation of the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission and its recommendation, and the ramifications for commercial spent fuel.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, our Nation’s other nuclear waste deep geologic repository, will also be reviewed with its mission for TRU waste, details of the recent accident and future prospects.

These issues are not academic. Few issues in history have involved so much unnecessary effort and cost over what is a fairly easy scientific problem.


Meeting Schedule

6 p.m. – Social / Networking (no-host bar)
6:30 p.m. – Buffet dinner
7 p.m. – Presentation (approximately one hour with questions)


Dinner reservations are requested by 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, and can be made via phone at 509-521-6499 or via email to the ANS-EW Treasurer at

The cost is $20 for ANS Local Section members and other technical society members and $22 for non-members. ANS Local Section membership is $10/year for individuals. Make checks payable to ANS-EWS and pay at the door. There is no charge to attend the presentation only.

December Meeting — Holiday Party

ANS Eastern Washington Section is having its annual joint society Christmas Party and Magic Show.

Shilo Inn, Richland WA

Tuesday, December 16 at 6 pm



Registration RSVP via email:

November Meeting – Medical Isotope Supply Issues

“Congressionally-driven Policy on
Medical Isotope Production in the United States:
Can We Overcome Dependency on Foreign Supply?
Dr. Darrell R. Fisher
Dade Moeller Health Group

Presentation Abstract:  Your elected representatives in Washington DC write the laws that determine policy on isotope production. The primary focus of federal policy on molybdenum-99 and iodine-131 production centers on special interests in global non-proliferation of highly enriched uranium, rather than on optimized nuclear technologies. Consequently, this policy and associated budget allocations encourage private investments in alternative technologies, and not on dedicated nuclear reactors, for medical isotope production. In a global marketplace, the ability of foreign countries to supply Mo-99 at lower prices and with higher quality than U.S. non-reactor alternatives may ultimately doom the policy to competitive and technological failure.

Tuesday November 18, 2014
Shilo Inn, 50 Comstock, Richland, WA
6:00 pm –      Social hour with no host bar; 6:30 pm –      Buffet Dinner; 7:00 pm –      Presentation
(Professional Society members allowed $2 dinner discount)

October Monthly Meeting – Rod Adams

The Eastern Washington Section of the American Nuclear Society invites you to celebrate NUCLEAR SCIENCE WEEK with Rod Adams.

Rod Adams will present “There Are Safe Doses of Radiation.”

Rod Adams will discuss the perceptions and facts regarding the Linear No Threshold hypothesis (LNT) of radiation dosimetry policy.  The LNT has been used for decades to impose regulations and work practices in the nuclear industry based on the hypothesis that no level of radiation exposure is completely safe.  The regulations and work practices that have been imposed, as a result of the linear no threshold model, add a significant cost burden to the use of nuclear technology.  (Also see Download document.)

When: October 21stregisterhere100red
Time: 6:00 No-Host Bar
6:30 Dinner
7:00 Speaker
Where: Shilo Inn, Richland WA
Register to attend at: