University of Pittsburgh
October 12, 2006

Pitt to Host National Nuclear Technology Forum

American Society of Mechanical Engineers Board on Nuclear Codes and Standards meeting to be held Oct. 17-19
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH- Increasingly, nuclear electric generation is viewed as an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to help abate global warming concerns. In addition, there is a recognized need to advance the development of next generation reactors for producing massive amounts of hydrogen that can serve as a new clean-energy source to diminish global dependence on the use of oil. Key developments in nuclear power technology will be the focus of an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) forum hosted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering Oct. 17-19.

The forum, titled "Technology Developments for Nuclear Codes and Standards," begins with a welcome reception at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, in the Lower Lounge, William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Leaders from industry and academia will give talks from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Oct. 18, at the School of Engineering in Room 1175 (Kresge Auditorium), Benedum Hall, 3700 O'Hara St., Oakland.

The ASME Board on Nuclear Codes and Standards meetings will be held from 1:30-6 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, 4215 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

Forum lectures and meetings will focus on global technology developments within the nuclear power industry that have a significant impact on world energy needs and require collaborative efforts by industry, government, and academic institutions to fulfill those needs.

Consensus standards development organizations such as ASME play a vital role in the formation of laws and regulations within the United States and other countries in ensuring acceptable public health and safety for many industries. The ASME Nuclear Codes and Standards consensus process, which has been under way for more than 40 years, involves representatives from appropriate industry, government, and academic institutions and is highly respected in addressing concerns about the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants around the globe.

The operating licenses for current reactors are now being renewed for a 20-year period, resulting in the continued enhancement of standards to address operation and maintenance issues, including materials degradation phenomena. At the same time, standards are needed to support next-generation reactor designs that operate at elevated operating temperatures and aggressive environments, requiring the use of new materials and advanced design methods.

The meetings are open to the public as well as to local companies and organizations involved in the nuclear industry.

The ASME/University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering forum is being conducted to serve as an example of collaborative partnerships that could be established in many areas of the United States and around the world to support the needs of the global nuclear industry.