“A lot of things have changed over the past few years!”
Now, one can always say that without much thought and get away with it, because change happens; it’s inevitable. But using the last two VISION conferences as markers, it’s easy to defend the statement. A lot of things have changed, and for the better.
For the 2018 VISION Conference, the theme was “Doing More with Less”. Nuclear plants were closing, mostly due to higher cost of generating electricity with nuclear fusion compared to fossil fuels. Budgets were tightening; our work was characterized in large part by the need to be more efficient as a way to adapt.
Now, with the pressure of climate change and the realization that we can’t depend on “green” solutions to fully replace carbon-based fuel, nuclear plants that were scheduled to close are staying open. In a 2019 survey of the national public, for the first time in 36 years of surveys a majority of Americans said that they believe that most people in their community favor nuclear energy. While there is still plenty of debate, it is clear that if you work in nuclear, things are getting better.
The 2020 VISION Conference was characterized by the impact of a global pandemic. We couldn’t travel, attend group events, or even enter a restaurant without a mask. We postponed the conference from an original May date until November with hope we could have an in-person event at the wonderful venue we have today. In the end, we had to settle for a “virtual” event. Now we’re back to the fun, more effective venue that our conference is known for. Here again, things are getting better.
When things are getting better, it’s a good time to do better things. And there it is: the fitting theme for our conference this year: Getting Better.
To kick things off, our key note speaker, Jim Cathcart, will give us his thoughts about getting better starting where such important ideas should start: within ourselves.
Next, Richard McPherson from Idaho Energy, a deeply informed expert on nuclear energy, energy transmission and national security, will give us an update on the status of nuclear energy and related innovations now and in the near future. You will find his words encouraging.
Throughout the conference, we’ll hear from VISION users and training experts on how training and VISION are getting better:
So, starting here VISION 2022, let’s think about how we can all contribute to making things better.