NPWG@UCI Winter 2016 Report

UC Irvine NPWG (NPWG@UCI) held biweekly seminars and occasional focus group meetings throughout Winter 2016 quarter. Each seminar discussion centered around different topics: planning goals of NPWG@UCI, current events, nuclear science for social scientists, and lessons learned from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference on science policy.

The focus groups remained organized around the following topics:

  1. Education and Public Outreach on Nuclear Topics and Issues (EPO)
  2. Nonproliferation and Geopolitics (N&G)
  3. Irvine’s History in Nuclear Policy (Local Policy)

The EPO focus group is creating a curriculum on nuclear science and security to perform outreach at local high schools. The N&G focus group is planning to host an event with Dr. Etel Solingen as a speaker. N&G are also planning an event titled “The 2016 Presidential Election Science Policy Debate Series” in collaboration with the Science Policy Group at UCI. The Local Policy focus group has collected articles from the Bulletin of Municipal Foreign Policy, and is currently digitizing them into the Digital Public Library of America through UCI library services. The Local Policy group is aiming to use information in the bulletin to document Irvine’s role in nuclear history. After documentation, the group will seek to implement this information into undergraduate curriculum at UCI.  The Local Policy focus group is also working with the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies (CGPACS) to convert the UCI Global Viewpoint Lounge into a space dedicated for student learning of Irvine-related history.

The NPWG@UCI toured the UCI nuclear reactor, and attended a talk analyzing Obama’s Middle-eastern policy at the Ayn Rand Institute. NPWG@UCI also attended a talk by Freeman Dyson, as well as a talk by David Jensen, Head of Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding at the United Nations.


NPWG@UCI Winter 2016 Schedule

Seminar 1: January 12

Seminar 2: January 26

Seminar 3: February 9

Seminar 4: February 23

Seminar 5: March 8

NPWG Meeting times are 5-6:30pm.

In addition to these meetings, focus groups meet as needed throughout the quarter. For more information, contact Jill Pestana at


Calendar Can be found here:

NPWG@UCI Fall 2015 Quarterly Report

UC Irvine NPWG (NPWG@UCI) began its first series of weekly seminars in Fall 2015 Quarter. Each seminar held a discussion on one decade of nuclear-related history beginning in 1940. In addition, seminar attendees formed three focus groups in order to collaboratively research topics and plan events for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year.

The focus groups are organized around the following topics:

  1. Education and Public Outreach on Nuclear Topics and Issues (EPO)
  2. Nonproliferation and Geopolitics (N&G)
  3. Irvine’s History in Nuclear Policy (Local Policy)

The EPO focus group is in the process of organizing a mock debate, and plans to outreach at local high schools and education centers in Spring 2016. The N&G focus group is planning to host an event with Dr. Etel Solingen as a speaker. N&G are also preparing to write a paper focusing on issues related to the growth of nuclear energy and push toward disarmament. The Local Policy focus group is planning to collect and organize information on Irvine’s role in nuclear policy to create material for UCI courses. The Local Policy group is also working with the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies (CGPACS) to convert the UCI Global Viewpoint Lounge into a space dedicated for student learning of Irvine-related history.

In addition to the creation of focus groups, the NPWG@UCI hosted a guest speaker, Dr. Lorraine Sadler, from Sandia National Laboratory who presented three modules on Arms Control and Verification on November 5, 2015. In addition to NPWG-specific events, NPWG@UCI attended events sponsored by CGPACS as well as the Newkirk Center for Science and Society at UCI for Fall 2015. The NPWG@UCI’s last event of Fall 2015 will be a tour of the UCI nuclear reactor.

New Communication Tool – Slack!


Liz and Richard came up with the idea to use a sharing/communication platform to facilitate conversation between NPWG focus groups and in general. Thanks for the brilliant idea!

Slack is an app and website, accessible by any device, and really easy to learn. (I just installed/setup everything in about 5 minutes)

Visit to get started, and download Slack from your app store! Note that everyone will see your username, so choose your name instead of something like “geeky223” so NPWG members can identify you and get in touch with you.

When you have everything installed check out the following:

  • Each focus group has its own #_______ name.
  • You can change the settings to determine how you receive notifications.
  • Upload a picture of yourself!
  • Feel free to add a #group if you see the need for it!



Sign up to be a Discussion Leader for Fall 2015!


Want to practice your presentation and discussion leading skills?

For the Fall quarter we will be spending about 15 minutes on the history of the nuclear age per seminar. Now, you can sign up to lead this discussion at a meeting!

There are limited spots, so sign up for your favorite decade ASAP:

Notes for Discussion Leaders:
– Keep the presentation limited to 10 minutes long so that there is enough time to discuss in addition to your presentation
– On the day you present, please come to EH 2430 at 4:50pm in order to set up
– Your discussion can be presentation-based (using powerpoint), or you can be creative and deliver content in a different way. It is up to you!
– If you do use powerpoint, you can either connect your computer to the projector, or you can bring your presentation on a USB drive. Note that using the USB drive may alter figures and/or text in your presentation (the USB will connect to my Mac for the presentation).
– I have materials for each decade that I can pass on to you. It will be your choice whether to use them or not. And I am available to answer any questions you may have.

Thanks! I really appreciate your participation!


Fall 2015 Seminar Schedule

In Fall 2015, Nuclear Policy Working Group (NPWG@UCI) meets on Thursdays from 5 – 6pm in Engineering Hall 2430.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Week 1: 10/1 : 1940-1950
  • Week 2: 10/8 : 1950-1960
  • Week 3: 10/15 : 1960-1970
  • Week 4: 10/22 : 1970-1980
  • Week 5: 10/29 : 1980-1990
  • Week 6: 11/5 : 1990-2000
  • Week 7: 11/12 : 2000-2010
  • Week 8: 11/19 : 2010 – present
  • *Skip Seminar for Thanksgiving (11/26)*
  • Week 9: 12/3 : End of the quarter NPWG celebration!
  • *No meeting during Finals Week – Enjoy your break!*



This is an image of the entrance to Engineering Hall 2430, which can be difficult to find. Follow the stairs (center of image) up and to the patio area and enter through the double doors. For orientation, Java City is to the left of this building (outside of the picture) and McDonnell Douglas conference room is on the right (outside of this picture).

Jill, the ambassador of NPWG@UCI, will send out a reminder for the seminar each week via email. The reminder will include specific topics we will be discussing. To join the email list, contact Jill at

  • Seminars will NOT be lectures. Discussions will take place involving all members. One member will lead the discussion, and one member will keep time to ensure the meeting ends in a timely manner.
  • You are encouraged to bring your laptop/tablet/smartphone to look up key information during discussions.
  • At the beginning of seminars we will discuss either current events in nuclear security, or a member will present a discussion topic relevant to the decade. Keep reading the news and bring articles to share!

San Diego American Nuclear Society (ANS) Meeting – 09/30/2015


American Nuclear Society (ANS) San Diego chapter is having a dinner meeting in Oceanside on 09/30/2015 from 6pm-9pm that we are all invited to.

Dr. Nilsson from UCI is giving a presentation titled MEETING THE FUTURE ENERGY DEMAND: RECYCLING OF NUCLEAR FUEL.

Please read the message below and RVSP by emailing Jill ( with the following information by Monday, 09/28/2015 at 4pm. Monday evening I will arrange a carpool to Oceanside with those who can attend (~45 minute drive from UCI, so we will leave from UCI around 4:50pm).

  1. Name:
  2. Email:
  3. Phone#:
  4. Dinner Choice: ($14 for students, bring cash or check) Select from: beef / salmon / chicken / vegetarian
  5. Transportation: have car and can drive others / have car and will drive self / need ride

Also, bring $5 for dues, so $19 total.

Best Regards,

Dear San Diego ANS Members and Friends

2ND CALL:   Our next San Diego ANS Dinner Meeting will be held on

Our speaker will be Dr. Mikael Nilsson, Associate Professor at
University of California – Irvine. The title of his talk is:


In the world today, nuclear energy comprises ~15% of the total
electricity mix. This power source produces no CO2 during the operation
of the plants and can provide bulk power to industry and households
24/7. Concerns about CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels (coal, oil
and natural gas) have caused the world demand of nuclear power to rise.
With increasing demand for energy, including (in some countries) nuclear
energy, we are facing a problem of sharing the readily available uranium
resources. To increase the energy utilization and decrease the
radiotoxicity of the waste advanced concepts for fuel reprocessing are
being investigated on a global scale. A successful advanced nuclear fuel
cycle require one or several chemical separations steps to fractionate
the different elements in spent fuel. In this presentation similarities
and differences in advanced fuel cycles will be discussed and
projections into the future will be reviewed.

Dr. Nilsson joined the department of Chemical Engineering and Materials
Science at University of California – Irvine in January 2009. Before
2009 Dr. Nilsson was as post doctoral research associate at Washington
State University from 2006 working on chemical separations of elements
in spent nuclear fuel within the US-AFCI scope. He received his M.S. in
Chemical Engineering in 2000 and his Ph.D. in Nuclear Chemistry in 2005
both from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.
During his M.S. and Ph.D. studies Dr. Nilsson was one of the Swedish
contributors to the European projects for partitioning of spent nuclear
fuel, PARTNEW and EUROPART. During this time he was also a member of the
Swedish reference group on partitioning and transmutation research.
Between September and November 2008 Dr. Nilsson was a visiting scientist
at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and received training and was
certified as Radworker II. In October 2010 he became a certified senior
reactor operator for the UC Irvine TRIGA nuclear reactor. His research
interests include actinide chemistry, solvent extraction fundamental
chemistry and process development, extraction and detection equipment
development, radiolysis and phase composition of organic solvents.


The Hunter Steakhouse
1221 Vista Way (intersection of I-5 and Highway 78)
Oceanside, CA 92054-6452
(760) 433-2633

The restaurant offers 4 choices for dinner:

(beef / salmon / chicken / vegetarian) Please indicate your choice in
your RSVP

The cost for members is $28.
Students get half price – $14.

The cost for non-members is $38 and includes 2014 dues of $10, after
which you are a member.
Non-member students are $14 + $5 dues = $19.

Ken Schultz, Treasurer

American Nuclear Society|San Diego Section
web: [1]