WASHINGTON, D.C.—This statement commemorating National Nuclear Science Week, which begins today, was issued by the Nuclear Energy Institute’s president and chief executive officer, Marvin Fertel. Ceremonies recognizing the week are being held today in Albuquerque, N.M. Interested parties can visit www.NuclearScienceWeek.org to download curriculum for classes and ideas on how to participate in National Nuclear Science Week.
“Nuclear science has a wide variety of beneficial uses throughout the world. The United States has 104 nuclear power plants in 31 states, and nearly 450 reactors operate worldwide, with dozens more under construction.
“Globally, these reactors supply nearly 50 percent of the electricity that comes from carbon-free sources. In the United States, they constitute nearly 75 percent of this clean electricity supply. That alone is an amazing achievement.
“Eighteen million nuclear medicine procedures are performed each year in the United States, and more than 40 countries have approved the use of radiation to help preserve nearly 40 different varieties of food. Many consumer products—from smoke detectors to photocopiers, and watches to cosmetics—use small amounts of radiation. Unmanned spacecraft rely on radioisotope thermoelectric generators for the power they need for space exploration. Among industries that use radioactive materials in their processes and products are automobile and aircraft manufacturers, mining and oil companies, and construction companies.
“This myriad of applications demonstrates that nuclear science is making an invaluable contribution to the longevity and quality of life for tens of millions of people around the world. It also shows that nuclear science is a career path well worth considering and pursuing for the generations to come.”