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Sandia Labs expert to speak at UTSA April 19 on post-Fukushima nuclear energy

Japanese nuclear plant explosion

Fukushima nuclear energy plant explosion last month

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(April 15, 2011)--As part of UTSA Earth Week 2011, the UTSA Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute and the San Antonio Clean Technology Forum will host a lecture, "A Quake Felt Round the World: Fukushima and the Future of Nuclear Energy, Globally and Locally," featuring Andrew Orrell, director of nuclear energy and fuel cycle programs at Sandia National Laboratories.

>> Free and open to the public, the lecture will be 4-5 p.m., Tuesday, April 19 in the Frio Street Building Riklin Auditorium (1.406) on the UTSA Downtown Campus. A 15-minute Q&A session will close the event.

Before last month's 9.0-magnitude earthquake in Japan, a subsequent tsunami and an ensuing nuclear emergency at Fukushima, nuclear energy was gaining greater commercial and public support, both internationally and domestically. However, the events at Fukushima Daiichi have tempered that support, leaving the leaders of nuclear programs compelled to reflect on their nuclear energy ambitions.

Orrell will review the pre-quake global and domestic nuclear energy forecast, summarize the factors that helped alleviate or exacerbate the Fukushima situation, and examine the potential impact of Fukushima on the future of nuclear energy in the United States.

Orrell's career spans 20 years at Sandia National Laboratories and today focuses on the interlinking technical, program and policy elements of nuclear waste management and nuclear energy. He is responsible for a broad range of research and development initiatives involving the nuclear fuel cycle.

He directs programs focusing on advanced nuclear energy systems studies, small modular reactor systems, nuclear reactor severe accident consequence analysis, and nuclear transportation and storage, amongs. Additionally, he serves regularly as a government and international programs consultant for nuclear energy issues such as repository development and licensing, national policy, transportation programs and public confidence building.

Sandia's work on severe accident analysis associated with nuclear facilities is widely recognized by the international community and has been ongoing for more than 30 years. Much of this work has been in collaboration with Japan and many other countries and involves coupling large-scale experimental programs with modeling and simulation. From 1998 to 2008, Sandia Labs was cited in technical nuclear engineering literature more than any other Department of Energy laboratory, largely because of the significance of this work.

>> Learn more at the UTSA Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute website and the San Antonio Clean Technology Forum website.

>> For the schedule of the April 18-22 events, visit the UTSA Earth Week 2011 website.



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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