The nuclear industry could do a better job telling its story says Eric Loewen, the current treasurer of the American Nuclear Society. At the December monthly meeting of the Idaho Section of ANS, Loewen who is now a senior nuclear engineer for General Electric in Wilmington, NC, told a story of how the industry's best flubbed an opportunity to get out the word to Wall Street investment bankers in August 2007.According to Loewen he received a call from Van Eck Global, a $20 billion investment house listed on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) to ring the bell for the announcement of the fund's newest offering which features nuclear energy.
His request to the ANS board to represent the organization was turned down. Loewen said he then sent email inquires to the Nuclear Energy Institute and the Department of Energy both of whom also turned him down. Finally, Loewen went to the AMEX bell ringing ceremony as a private citizen.
Lowen's frustration was evident. He complains that the "nuclear industry must get spine" to stand up for nuclear energy. He said, "we are burning dinosaurs at an increasing rate, and climate change is an increasingly important issue."Loewen should know because he spent a year learning firsthand about the policy process as the American Nuclear Society's 2005 Glenn T. Seaborg Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow in the office of Senator Charles Hagel, where he was the senator's chief advisor on climate change. Eric Loewen holds a PhD in Engineering Physics from the University of Wisconsin, where he also received a MS in Nuclear Engineering.
You would think that ANS, NEI, and DOE would fall all over themselves having a guy this credible show up and represent them. Clearly, it was a missed opportunity. The good news is that Loewen spent the day with investment bankers patiently explaining nuclear reactor physics to them. What a guy.
Eric Loewen, right, rings the bell at AMEX 08/15/07