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Saturday, June 23, 2012

ANS 2012 - Preliminaries

Today, I got on an airplane (which I have not done in over twenty years) and flew to Chicago for the American Nuclear Society's 2012 Annual Meeting. Here are some notes on today's experiences.

The Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago is a fantastic venue for the convention. The cavernous recesses under the West tower (the Hyatt has two towers, separated at ground level by a street but connected by sky bridge as well as street entrances) are seemingly more than large enough to hold the meetings; I only toured a small part of them with my ANS-issued Media credential in force.

Almost immediately upon arrival I met Margaret Harding and her husband; Margaret needs no introduction to regular readers of pro-nuclear sites, blogs and Facebook pages. We later met up at the 151 Bistro in the East tower and had a great time getting to know each other a little. We agreed on just about everything and laughed a lot.

Later on, after completing the check-in for the ANS Annual Meeting, I put my badge back on and went down under the West tower again to try to find Laura Scheele. As you may or may not know, I moderate the ANS Social Media List, and as moderator my direct supervisor is Laura, whose official title with ANS is Communications & Policy Manager. Being busy, she didn't have much time, but showed me to the Media Center where I also met Paul Bowersox. Paul conducts the day to day operations over at the fine ANS Nuclear Cafe website. We were just about to talk when in walks ANS President Eric Loewen, to whom I was introduced.

Discussion was only brief at this point, because Mr. Loewen had to film a "welcome aboard" message, so I moved off to investigate more places that were open. I purchased a paper copy of the ANS Transactions for the meeting at the open registration desk. Operations at the check-in for the ANS meeting seem well organized and very efficient, as do operations at the walk-in attendee desk where onsite registration can be speeded by attendee use of provided laptops.

The media package provided by ANS is first rate. (One must remember that I wear two hats here - while I am an ANS member, and moderate the ANS Social Media List I am also attending on a media credential from ANS and am reporting on the meeting; this is why I have the media package.) There are a number of informative brochures, including "The Greening of the Nuclear Age" which is very forward looking. However, I have to say that the most impressive thing ANS has done with the media kit is to include a stack of ANS Position Statements. These papers are simply brief explanations of the official ANS opinion, or Position, on various important and timely issues facing the nuclear industry and nuclear plant owner-operators today. These would be quite valuable to any reporter or any layman who really took the time to read them; they are each small masterpieces of brevity and clarity (even though some are multiple pages.) This addition to the media kit makes the entire kit worthwhile; let's hope that any of the wider media sources that get this package will really, honestly read these papers and get the most out of them.

That's about it for today. Tomorrow promises many more chances to meet and get to know people, as well as a chance to see many (or all) of the displays that will be presented by many interested parties for this meeting. Much more tomorrow! Keep up with Atomic Power Review on Facebook, and on Twitter. APR tweets as @atomicnews and the official hash tag for the ANS Annual Meeting is #ans12.

8:50 PM Central 6/23/2012

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