The Global Nuclear Future - Realities and Opportunities

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Hosted by the Woodruff Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs Seminar Series.

Speaker Thomas L. Sanders is Vice President/President Elect of the American Nuclear Society ~ Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM


President Eisenhower's 1953 'Atoms for Peace' speech at the United Nations laid the foundation for the present global nuclear enterprise. In his speech, he recommended the creation of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He offered nuclear technology developed in the United States to other nations as part of a broad nuclear arms control initiative. Since 1953, the world has produced over 400 nuclear power reactors and all but four nations have signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. Significant nuclear arms control treaties have been signed. Important international organizations related to nuclear matters have been established. Perhaps the most important is that neither World War III nor nuclear conflict has occurred.

The end of the Cold War, the events of September 11, 2001, and almost global support for the resurgence of nuclear energy have created a new opportunity to reinvigorate our commitment to peace and prosperity built around a new 'Global Nuclear Future'. For the U.S. to return to its former position as a visionary leader in the beneficial use of nuclear technology and materials on a global scale, it is imperative that steps be taken to reverse the conditions and decisions that led to the present situation for the most part, the U.S. nuclear supply industry has moved offshore. This will require an integrated or holistic view of the global nuclear enterprise, from the cradle-to-the grave. Some of the realities of the global nuclear state will be outlined in the presentation.


Thomas Sanders was recently elected as Vice President/President-Elect of the American Nuclear Society for the next two years. Co-founder and former Vice President of the American Council on Global Nuclear Competitiveness. Manager/integrator of Sandia National Laboratories Global Nuclear Materials Management and Global Nuclear Futures Initiatives since 1997. Organized numerous focus meetings with senior government policy officials on the need for a second nuclear era, from a national security perspective. As the leader of the Global Nuclear Futures vision, led the development of topical meetings, policy papers, news articles, partnership events with other countries and non-government organizations, and caucus events on Capitol Hill to articulate that a healthy and thriving U.S. nuclear energy infrastructure (from education to labs, suppliers, operators, and NGOs) is key to global proliferation risk management in the future. Developed a complementary partnership initiative between 7 U.S. and 9 Russian Lab Directors. This message has been delivered at Presidential summits, White House and Congressional briefings, and to numerous champions throughout government, industry, labor, and academia. Contributed to and managed several technical groups and programs at Sandia since joining in 1984. Authored over one-hundred journal articles, conference papers, magazine articles, and white papers covering all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, from fusion and fast fission breeder reactor systems to criticality safety of spent fuel transport, storage, and disposal systems. Completed Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees in Mechanical/Nuclear Engineering at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. While at UT, licensed as a Senior Reactor Operator at the University of Texas by the NRC. Also served as a nuclear operator and supervisor on U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarines for several years, completing several patrols on the USS Kamehameha and the USS Shark. Also qualified as a journeyman shipyard electrician. Member of ANS, ASME, ACGNC, and INMM.

Refreshments will be served


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