ANS Winter Meeting 2012: Nuclear Technology Expo

The first of a series on people and events at the 2012 American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting

By Will Davis

The evening of November 11 saw the opening of the latest ANS Nuclear Technology Expo, in the spacious convention facility housing the ANS 2012 Winter Meeting at the Town & Country Resort in San Diego, California. The event did not disappoint.

The Expo opened with this evening’s ANS President’s Reception, with food and beverage of a high caliber provided for attendees. The turnout was shoulder to shoulder for much of the floor space in the exhibit area.

Over 50 groups were represented in the Expo; the majority were vendors, while some were regulatory or governmental bodies (the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the International Atomic Energy Agency), national laboratories (Argonne, Idaho National Laboratory) and universities. Every kind of information was available either by brochure or via conversation with attendant representatives. The displays were all quite interesting, with many tailored directly to a very focused audience. One display was appealing to all audiences: a remote grappling arm with sensitivity sufficient to delicately manipulate a very thin-stemmed wine glass.

Vendors represented at the Expo included the large reactor vendor companies including Westinghouse, GE-Hitachi, and Areva, and many other companies whose services are more specialized, including I&C (instrumentation and control),  measurement equipment, and engineering consulting. Remotely-controlled, rugged equipment used for decommissioning of nuclear power plants (in addition to general demolition) was represented as well.

Face to face conversation and networking are among the most valuable aspects of this expo event. I did not have the chance to thank Mimi Holland Limbach for her fine presentation at the ANS Annual Meeting in June that was so enjoyable—tonight gave me the opportunity to discuss and thank her in person. I conversed with many colleagues who I haven’t seen since June—that is, when they were not engrossed in deep conversation with other colleagues.

This author came away with, literally, a bag full of relevant, up-to-date technical material that will serve well in answering future questions asked by readers. And, yes, some really “cool” souvenirs—you’ve got to have something to bring back home for the family!

The Nuclear Technology Expo is open for two more days—this Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, hours are from 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM (opening with an ANS Attendee Luncheon until 1 PM), while on Tuesday the hours are from 10 AM through 2 PM. If you’re here in San Diego attending the Winter Meeting and didn’t have a ticket to tonight’s event, do find time in the next few days to explore the Expo. It’s well worth it.

Remember to follow events on the ANS Twitter account! Look for @ans_org. Tomorrow—the Opening Plenary Session, with live tweets. Hash tag #ANS12.

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Will Davis is a former USN Reactor Operator qualified on S8G and S5W reactor plants; is a writer and social media consultant for ANS; writes for Fuel Cycle Week; and also writes at his own Atomic Power Review blog.

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