January 28, 2022
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Nuclear power is gaining popularity in some sectors amid efforts to use "clean energy". But what does "clean" really mean to decision makers and does nuclear meet the criteria? Most people who favor nuclear believe nuclear is clean but struggle to defend it. Let's arm ourselves with the tools and information to spread the good word.
Dr. Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar is Associate Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Idaho State University. She has a PhD in nuclear engineering and MS in environmental engineering from Penn State University and a BS in chemistry from Cedar Crest College. Her nuclear career spans 25 years, during which time she has performed research in various aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, including waste form development, spent fuel pyroprocessing, spent particle fuel qualification for disposal, fuel and material development and characterization (pre- and post-irradiation), development of a waste minimization plan for a next generation nuclear reactor design, and fuel cycle modeling. Dr. Dunzik-Gougar’s research has led to national and international collaborations, including a year-long position with PBMR Ltd in South Africa and a consulting contract with EDF energy of France. She has served as consultant/ subject matter expert for subsequent projects coordinated by the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency. She has led multi-institutional teams of researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory and through Idaho State University. To share her expertise with a new generation of researchers, Dr. Dunzik-Gougar developed and teaches several senior/graduate level courses on the nuclear fuel cycle and radioactive waste management. Before going to graduate school she taught high school science and mathematics for 7 years in the U.S. and the U.K. In addition to her scholarly and technical activities, she has been a contributing member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) at local and national levels for 25 years. In 2019, she was elected to serve as Vice-President/President Elect for ANS and she completed her term as President in June 2021.