A Month of Personal Milestones
April was a pretty exciting month for me. While I usually don't blog about myself, two of the three "milestones" in my personal life have a nuclear connection, so I thought it was worth sharing some recent news.
First, my father turned 95 early in the month--and was even able to travel to my house for a visit. While there is no direction connection to things nuclear, I think that's a pretty special milestone and deserves a mention.
The second event was that my book, "Nuclear Firsts: Milestones on the Road to Nuclear Power Development," was published as an e-book and is available on Amazon. I should note that it has been significantly updated, with a chapter covering Fukushima, and with the tables and other information updated to reflect recent plant start-ups and closures. In addition, since the publication of the hardcover book in 2010, I have learned about a couple of firsts that I hadn't know about before, and I have added them in the updated e-book.
I'm pleased that I've already gotten good feedback on the changes. I know that a number of nuclear engineering professors were using the hardcover edition in some of their classes, and I hope that the e-book will make the contents more accessible for students, researchers, and others. I am also asked, from time to time, if the book is suitable for a non-technical audience. I think it is. The focus is on the historical events themselves, and touches lightly on the technical underpinnings involved.
The final event of the month was the most exciting for me. On April 28, President Obama nominated me to serve on the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, an independent organization within the executive branch responsible for providing advice and recommendations to the President and the Secretary of Energy regarding public health and safety issues at Department of Energy defense-related nuclear facilities.
As some readers may know, this is a position that requires confirmation by a vote of the whole Senate. Therefore, I am not yet serving in the DNFSB position and will not do so until such time as the Senate acts on my nomination. I am currently beginning the process that will hopefully lead to a vote of confirmation by the Senate.
It is a great honor to be selected by the President for nomination to such a post, and of course, it will be even more of an honor to be confirmed by the Senate, so I am looking forward to undergoing this process in the weeks ahead.