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Nuclear & Plasma Sciences Society

The fields of interest of the NPSS include Nuclear Science and Engineering (including radiation detection and monitoring instrumentation, radiation effects, nuclear biomedical applications, particle accelerators, and instrumentation for nuclear power generation), and Plasma Science and Engineering (including plasma dynamics, thermonuclear fusion, plasma sources, relativistic electron beams, laser plasma interactions, diagnostics, and solid state plasmas). The NPSS sponsors seven conferences and two peer reviewed journals.

Learn about NPSS

The IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society (NPSS) originated in 1949 as the Professional Group on Nuclear Science within the IRE. At about the same time, the AIEE formed two committees, one on nucleonics, the other on nucleonic and radiation instruments. In 1963, the IRE and AIEE merged to form the IEEE. This resulted in the creation of the Nuclear Science Group. In 1972, Plasma Science was added and the group was promoted to a society. The NPSS is composed of eight technical committees, and a Transnational Committee, with a common interest in advancing nuclear and plasma sciences.

NPSS Brochure

NPSS Poster to download and print

IEEE is ...

  • The most prolific technical publisher worldwide.
  • The largest technical/scientific professional organization.
  • International with activities in all regions of the world and offices in Asia and Europe.
  • Organizes the most number of technical meetings and has the highest aggregate attendance.
  • The professional organization with the broadest technical scope with 38 Technical Societies.

NPSS is ...

The IEEE Technical Society that covers the fields of Fusion Technology, Nuclear Medical and Imaging Sciences, Particle Accelerator Science and Technology, Pulsed Power Systems, Radiation Effects, Radiation Instrumentation, Plasma Sciences and Applications, Standards for Nuclear Instruments and Detectors, and Computer Applications in Nuclear and Plasma Sciences.

  • Organizes and supports many symposia, conferences and workshops each year.
  • Publishes three Transactions (one in collaboration with three other societies).
  • Publishes a Newsletter that reaches all members three times a year.
  • Presents awards each year to recognize major contributors to the field.
  • Access to publications through IEEE Xplore™ on-line.
  • Save on conference registration.
  • Keep in touch via the NPSS Newsletter (worth more than the dues by itself!).
  • Support the growth of the profession.
  • Get involved in the affairs of NPSS and help direct and further promote our profession and make further valuable contacts.

Message From The President

Photo of Janet BarthWelcome to the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society’s website. The Society strives to make it current and useful to you. If you are an engineering or scientific professional working in the areas of

  • radiation instrumentation,
  • medical imaging sciences,
  • radiation effects,
  • plasma sciences,
  • fusion technology,
  • pulsed power,
  • particle accelerators,
  • nuclear power and technology, and
  • computer applications,

the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society is your local home in the larger IEEE community.

As you explore the NPSS website, I invite you to volunteer to support the NPSS. If you have regularly participated in NPSS conferences, volunteer to work on the organization of a future conference in that series or on a Technical Committee of your choice. If you publish in NPSS Transactions or Journals, consider helping with editorial responsibilities. If you are beginning your career, consider the opportunities in our Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) activities. If you are interested in IEEE policy or in helping with the details that make our Society run, contact me (jbarth@ieee.org).

In these times we face exciting dynamic changes. One very important agent of change is globalization of the IEEE. As a consequence, our membership diversity and demographics are ever-changing; thus, catering to the needs of our members around the world is of prime importance. The NPSS Administrative Committee continues to work hard to promote our activities in as many regions of the world as possible and to serve our members through conferences, publications, educational resources, member recognition, and funding chapter activities. Consider helping to further extend our international activities by serving on the Committee of a conference held in an international location or perhaps through our Transnational Activities Committee.

In the following pages you can experience the breadth and depth of the NPSS, and, I believe, you will find a reason to become a member. If you are already a member of NPSS, you are already enjoying some of these benefits. In that case, I invite you to tell your colleagues in the next office, or in the lab next door, about some of what the NPSS means to you. The probability is high that what matters to you will be significant to him or to her as well: share the opportunities.

Sincerely,

Janet Barth 
NPSS President

NPSS Fields of Interest

The fields of interest of the Society are the nuclear and plasma sciences. The Society shall devote itself to publication or other dissemination of original contributions to the theory, experiments, educational methods and applications of these fields, and to the development of standards. Areas of technical activity shall include but not be limited to the following:
Nuclear science and engineering, and plasma science and engineering, including computer applications in plasma and nuclear science, nuclear medical and imaging sciences, particle accelerator science and technology, pulsed power science and technology, radiation effects, and radiation instrumentation.

These fields of interest include instrumentation for research; detection and measurement of radiation; nuclear biomedical applications; radiation monitoring and safety equipment; particle accelerators; magnetofluid dynamics and thermionics; plasma dynamics; gaseous electronics and arc technology; controlled thermonuclear fusion; electron, ion, and plasma sources; space plasmas; high-current relativistic electron beams and accelerators; laser-plasma interactions; diagnostics; plasma chemistry and colloidal and solid state plasmas, z pinch drivers, nuclear instrumentation development for reactor systems; effects of radiation on materials, components, and systems; and applications of radiation and nuclear energy to other than utility power generation.

History of NPSS

The first activity of record in this field was the formation of a Nuclear Studies Committee in the IRE in 1947, to determine the proper role of the IRE in this new technical field. Subsequently, in 1949 a petition was filed for the formation of a Professional Group on Nuclear Science, and it was approved on April 5, 1949, with L. R. Hafstad as Chairman. On April 29, an organizational meeting was held, the membership at that time consisting of 54, increasing to 970 by the end of the year.

The new organization became visible on a number of fronts in the early 50′s. In 1953, the PGNS formed an Atomic Energy Policy Committee, which fielded a strong effort to have the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 modified. These efforts came to fruition in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. Early in the 50′s the PGNS became a co-sponsor of the Scintillation Counter Symposium, which has now merged into the Nuclear Science Symposium. Also in 1954 the first issue of the Transactions on Nuclear Science appeared. In 1956 the number of issues of the Transactions was increased from one a year to four.

At essentially the same time as the Professional Group on Nuclear Science was formed in the IRE, the AIEE formed a number of committees and subcommittees to work in this area, the most important being the Nucleonics Committee and Committee on Nucleonic and Radiation Instruments. With the merger of the IRE and AIEE on January 1, 1963, to form the IEEE, procedures were begun to merge the like-interest groups of the former societies. The IRE Professional Group on Nuclear Science merged with the AIEE Nucleonics Committee and the Committee on Nucleonic and Radiation Instruments on October 29, 1963, to become the Nuclear Science Group of the IEEE.

In 1972 two major events occurred for the Group. Midyear the scope was widened to include the plasma science field and in September the group was given Society status. The augmented group became the Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society. March of 1973 saw the debut of a second publication, the Transactions on Plasma Science. NPSS thus has the distinction of issuing two publications, in addition to a newsletter.

Over the years the Society has inaugurated or assumed responsibility for a number of conferences. Every year the Society sponsors conferences on Plasma Science, Radiation Effects, and Nuclear Science. Conferences on Particle Accelerators and Engineering Problems in Fusion Research and Data Acquisition in Nuclear and Particle Physics are sponsored every other year. In addition, other conferences such as Symposium on Nuclear Power systems are co-sponsored by the Society.

Lou Costrell produced a record of the early history of the NPSS

Merry Keyser created a spreadsheet of the History of NSS

NPSS Nuclear Power Initiative

There is resurgence in interest in nuclear power throughout the world as a result of the exponentially growing demand for energy and the simultaneous concerns for production of green house gases from conventional fossil-fuel power plants. Global electricity needs are expected to double well before 2050 with the largest fraction of that new generation of power coming from coal. Nuclear power is a rapidly growing element in the global energy mix, with some projecting the number of nuclear plants in the world growing by as much as a factor three, to 1200 plants, by 2050.

The IEEE NPSS Nuclear Science Symposium (NSS) originated in the early 50’s and has been held annually since. The symposium concentrated on the detectors and electronics for high-energy and nuclear physics and is recognized as the premier meeting for leading developments in these fields.

The IEEE NPSS reintroduced the topic of nuclear power into the NSS program in 2008. Future NSS conferences will include sessions on Nuclear Power to cover this broad subject area. Participants working in the field of nuclear power will benefit from the scientific contributions presented in the other well-established NSS sessions on Nuclear Measurements and Monitoring Techniques, Neutron Instrumentation, Radiation Damage Effects, and Safety Instrumentation / Homeland Security, among others.

NSS sessions on Nuclear Power consider the inclusion of papers on the topics of:

  • The resurgence of nuclear power in the world
  • Next generation nuclear power systems
  • Instrumentation and control systems for nuclear power systems
  • Detector technology for nuclear power
  • Non-proliferation measurement systems
  • Modeling and simulation for nuclear energy
  • Plant life management and extension
  • Fusion in the Energy Context
  • ITER
  • Predictive simulation of fusion plasmas
  • Strategic Planning for a broader U.S. fusion program

Suggestions, comments, … should be sent to: Richard Kouzes

Contact the NPSS WebMaster

The NPSS WebMaster is Richard Kouzes.