The year 2020 will forever be remembered for the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant impact on our social and economic lives. Large in person social gatherings, including engineering conferences, are by necessity transitioning to virtual events. In fact, the Nuclear Engineering Division (NED), along with our partnering Nuclear Society colleagues; Japanese Society of Mechanical Engineers (JSME), and the Chinese Nuclear Society (CNS), just hosted a very successful completely virtual “ICONE 2020: ASME's Nuclear Engineering Conference.” This event, which was powered by our long-standing International Conference on Nuclear Engineering (ICONE), offered a global platform for professionals who wanted to stay current on new technology, industry trends, and developments in nuclear technology.

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Clayton T. Smith, P.E., PMP

ASME is leading the transitional charge by launching an “ASME Anywhere” online initiative to enable our multifaceted nuclear community contributors to stay connected, present research papers, participate in committee work, take courses, and attend our industry-focused summits or student events, and all the other ASME activities that were typically conducted face to face. ICONE 28, which will be held later this year, will support this new virtual format. Simply stated, “ASME and NED is committed to the health and safety of our community as our top priority, while also ensuring that the important activities of the Society can continue in a time of great uncertainty about in-person attendance at events and meetings due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The availability of high-quality technical articles, papers, and information has never been more critical. This premier Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science founded in 2015 by NED is becoming the blue-chip benchmark for technical excellence through the leadership of its Editor in Chief, with support of associate and guest editors, and reviewers. The most important elements for the past and future success of this Journal is the quality, loyalty, and commitment of the technical content contributors and you, the loyal reader and end user.

The NED is firmly committed to addressing the need for clean energy and reducing the global carbon footprint. The use of Nuclear Power along with other low carbon power generation such as wind, sunlight, oceans, biomass, hydropower, and geothermal resources, are the key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. NED is a founding supporter of the Advance Clean Energy Summit (ACES), which crosses traditional power generation silos, to create a collaborative environment and provides attendees the tools and knowledge to help their organizations overcome challenges and shape the future of clean energy around the world. This summit was first held in 2019 and is held annually; offering a mutually supporting setting for “Achieving the Clean Energy Promise.”

As the NED chair, it is my highest honor to recognize the contributions and thank ASME Staff, the present and past NED members, especially the members and past chairs of the Executive Committee, for their foresight, prudence, and commitment, which has positioned the NED to be well equipped to embrace the ever changing opportunities, and contend with unprecedented COVID-19 challenges facing us today. I cordially invite all of you to participate and support any NED activities. Together, we will succeed and continue the success of our great division as well as the Nuclear Community as a whole.