Christian Nuclear Fellowship
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Meeting at American Nuclear Society events since 1976
The Christian Nuclear Fellowship (CNF) is an informal, interdenominational group of evangelical Christians who work in the field of nuclear science
and technology and who want to encourage each other to faithfully follow Jesus Christ in both their private and public lives (including in their professional activities).
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Advisory Committee






Report on CNF Events at June Meeting of the American Nuclear Society

The Christian Nuclear Fellowship conducted two events in conjunction with the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Nuclear Society at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta June 14-18. Here’s a brief summary of those two events.

Jim Hardeman and Andrea Pepper, who led a lively and stimulating discussion group Monday evening
Dr. Rae Mellichamp Picture.png
Rae Mellichamp, our guest speaker at the Wednesday prayer breakfast

CNF Advisory Committee members with the speaker following the Wednesday prayer breakfast (L to R: Vic Uotinen, Bob Wilson, Carl Mazzola, Rae Mellichamp, Nolan Hertel and Steve Binney)

Bonnie Rumble leading in prayer

Charley Rombough and Andrea at the breakfast table

Opening remarks

Alan Waltar at Plenary

Carl Mazzola

Howard and Vic

Rob Hayes

Bob Wilson



The Christian Nuclear Fellowship conducted two events at the 2009 Winter Meeting of the American Nuclear Society in Washington, DC.  In addition, several CNF people participated in a special ANS session on “Ethics in Professional Engineering” that had been organized by Rob Hayes.

The CNF “Power Breakfast” -  The group that gathered for the breakfast meeting Monday morning heard an excellent talk by Carl Mazzola on “Seeking Wisdom in Times of Uncertainty.” Carl pointed out that the need for Godly wisdom has never been greater than it is in today’s politically tense and technologically complex world; and drawing on many passages of Scripture, he explained how worldly wisdom is just not able to give satisfying answers or lasting solutions. Carl encouraged us all to ask and seek for the wisdom God freely offers to all who ask for it in faith.

The CNF “Roundtable” Discussion Group  -  Bob Wilson kicked off the discussion by sharing some thoughts related to “the fear of the Lord” being the beginning of wisdom. A stimulating and rewarding discussion followed and we all took home some gems of biblical wisdom shared by various members of the group. We also heard the very interesting personal testimony of Rob Hayes and spent time sharing what God has been doing in our lives and praying for each other. The evening together was once again, as Alan Waltar put it, “like an oasis in the desert.”

ANS Panel Session on Ethics in Professional Engineering – The ANS Radiation Protection & Shielding Division sponsored a panel session on “Ethics in Professional Engineering,” organized and moderated by Rob Hayes. This session was not organized by the CNF, but among the speakers/panelists were CNF Advisory Committee members Howard Shaffer, Charley Rombough and Vic Uotinen. Other CNF members took part actively in the question and answer session and offered many valuable observations and insights on this important topic. The session was very well attended and served as an excellent forum for promoting high professional ethics standards for all ANS members. Many thanks to Rob Hayes for planning and conducting a very interesting and worthwhile session at the Washington ANS meeting.

Praying that we will all keep on being “salt and light” within the ANS – and also that we’ll seek and exercise godly wisdom in all we do, remembering always that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

(1)   MONDAY EVENING JUNE 15th DISCUSSION GROUP   –   Jim Hardeman and Andrea Pepper, long-time members of ANS and also members of the CNF Advisory Committee, led a lively discussion on the topic: "Coming Together to Focus on the Big Story."  Andrea and Jim used some ideas from the book “The Blue Parakeet” by Scot McKnight (Zondervan) as a springboard, and the discussion focused on the central core of orthodox, biblical truth that evangelical Christians from many different denominations agree on and around which we can enjoy genuine fellowship in Christ, in spite of our honest differences on various other "secondary" topics. It was noted that C. S. Lewis called this central core of truth “Mere Christianity” and that this has been the basis for our fellowship within the CNF ever since its inception. It was also acknowledged that such unity among Christians from various traditions is in itself a powerful witness to our unbelieving friends and colleagues within the ANS (“By this all people will know that you are my disciples….” – Jesus in John 13:35). Many thanks to Jim and Andrea for leading a lively, stimulating and edifying discussion.

(2)   WEDNESDAY JUNE 17th CNF POWER BREAKFASTOur breakfast speaker was Dr. Joseph McRae (“Rae”) Mellichamp, Emeritus Professor of Management Science in the Manderson Graduate School of Business at the University of Alabama where he served as a faculty member from 1969 to 1994.  Dr. Mellichamp did his undergraduate work at Georgia Tech and his graduate work at Clemson. He has been actively involved for many years (through Campus Crusade for Christ and independently) in encouraging and coaching Christians employed in academia concerning “how they, as Christians, can individually and corporately impact students, colleagues and the institutions they serve for the cause of Christ.”

Mellichamp’s breakfast talk was entitled, “The Calling of Christian Professionals.” He started out by pointing out that in order to have a “calling” there must be a “Caller” and then Rae reminded us of Os Guinness’ definition of the word calling:  “Calling is the truth that God calls us to Himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion lived out in response to His summons and service.” Our primary calling as followers of Jesus Christ is “by him, to Him, and for Him;” and our secondary calling is that we should “….everywhere, and in everything think, speak, live, and act entirely for Him.”  Rae mentioned William Wilberforce as an outstanding example of someone who sought to live out these principles not only in his private life but also in his public life.  We were all challenged by Rae’s talk to seek to do likewise – i.e., to do all that we do to please God and entirely for His glory – both in our private lives and in our professional lives as nuclear technology professionals. To the extent that we do so, we will effectively fulfill our Lord’s command to be salt and light in our workplaces, within our professional society, and in our communities.

At the prayer breakfast, we also heard written greetings (read by Andrea Pepper) that had been sent specifically to the CNF gathering at Atlanta by three of our absent colleagues – Bob Long, Alan Waltar and Howard Shaffer.  Many thanks to these CNF Advisory Committee members for their personal greetings. Attached is a new “CNF Interview Flier” that was prepared for distribution at this conference.

Kay and I enjoyed seeing many of you in Atlanta, and we hope to see many of you again in Washington, DC in November!  Grace and peace.


We encourage you to visit the new CNF web site at Many thanks to Gary Duarte of US Nuclear Energy for working with us to host the CNF web site.

A Brief Report on Christian Nuclear Fellowship (CNF) events and activities at the Winter Meeting of the American  Nuclear Society in Reno, Nevada November 9-13, 2008

 A group of conference attendees from academia, government laboratories and agencies, and various segments of the nuclear industry,  gathered Monday evening for a stimulating and rewarding time of sharing, discussion, prayer and fellowship. CNF Advisory Committee member Bonnie Rumble (NISYS Corp.) gave a brief talk about the life and work of British author George MacDonald (1824-1905), whose books have had a strong impact on her own life.  Bonnie was introduced to the writings of MacDonald while an undergraduate physics major at Taylor University. We enjoyed reading and reflecting on some choice MacDonald quotes – e.g., “It is our best work that God wants, not the dregs of our exhaustion” and “The best preparation for the future is the present well seen to.” We find that these and other quotations have direct application to our daily work and provide sound guidance to us as we endeavor to more effectively integrate our faith and our daily work.  We also shared a few favorite quotations from another British Author, G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)   Both of these authors were committed to the foundational principles of “historic Christian orthodoxy” (as is also the CNF), and both sought to move their drifting relativistic culture back to thinking “Christianly” about all of life. (Interestingly, both were also influential in the conversion and spiritual formation of C. S. Lewis, who, after his conversion from atheism to Christianity, became arguably the best selling Christian writer of the 20th century, referred to by Chad Walsh as  ”The Apostle to the Skeptics” in his 1949 book by that title.)


In addition to discussing the works of MacDonald and Chesterton, we heard a presentation by Carl Mazzola of Shaw AREVA MOX Services (also a member of the CNF Advisory Committee) about his rewarding involvement in an inner-city ministry in Augusta, GA – a ministry that is meeting a variety of needs – material, educational, social and spiritual. Carl’s presentation provided an example of how we, as followers of Jesus Christ, can be God’s agents in transforming our communities for His glory. We trust some of us will prayerfully consider doing something similar in our own communities.  The meeting concluded with a time of prayer concerning topics and situations brought to the table by various attendees. The Monday evening meeting proved once again to be a refreshing “oasis” for this group of committed followers of Christ during their attendance at an otherwise quite “secular” scientific conference.

Dr. Alan Waltar

PAST ANS PRESIDENT WALTAR ADDRESSES WEDNESDAY CNF “POWER BREAKFAST” – Dr. Alan Waltar, past-President of the American Nuclear Society, spoke at the Wednesday morning CNF prayer breakfast on the topic, “Thanksgiving – Through a Christian Lens.”  Alan, who has been on the Advisory Committee of the CNF for many years,  spoke about the importance of "seeing" God's loving attention in our lives......”seeing” that we have so many reasons to be thankful to God.....”seeing” that God has been (and continues to be) involved in the day-to-day details of our lives. Reflecting on Alan’s talk --- as men and women whom God has called to work professionally in the field of nuclear technology, may we “see” and acknowledge – and welcome - God’s involvement also in our professional activities – that we might seek always to perform our work for His glory, with the highest degree of integrity and professionalism, relying on His wisdom and guidance in all we do. That is something the CNF has sought to promote ever since its inception in 1976 – that we would recognize our “secular” jobs as opportunities for us to glorify God. Others who participated in leadership at the prayer breakfast were Nolan Hertel (GA Tech), Bob Wilson (DOE), Charley Rombough (CTR Tech. Svcs), Andrea Pepper (GA Perimeter), Carl Mazzola (Shaw AREVA MOX Services) and Vic Uotinen (AREVA – retired).  We also appreciated the reading (by Andrea) of written greetings sent in by Bob Long, Steve Binney, Howard Shaffer and Jim Hardeman – who for a variety of reasons, were not able to attend last week’s meetings. We greatly appreciate these Christian colleagues, who have played an active and important role in both the American Nuclear Society and the Christian Nuclear Fellowship for many years; and we pray that God will grant them health, peace, continued productivity and joy, and that they will be able to meet with us again at future meetings of the CNF.  Finally, copies of several “CNF Interview Fliers” were distributed at the conference, containing interviews of some members of the CNF Advisory Committee, in which these colleagues tell about their work as nuclear professionals and also about their faith in Christ and what their faith means to them and how it impacts their lives, including their professional activities.

A special word of appreciation to Rob Hayes
(National Security Technologies), who served as Technical Program Chair for this major ANS conference for a job very well done! In spite of his extremely demanding schedule as Technical Program Chair, Rob found time to attend the Monday evening CNF discussion group. Thanks, Rob, for setting such a fine example for all of us concerning choosing our priorities!

We look forward to meeting again at the June 2009 ANS meeting in Atlanta. Look for more specific announcements as the date for that conference gets closer.

“I find that doing the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His plans.” – George MacDonald

Thankful for the continuing support of all of you,
Vic Uotinen, CNF Coordinator


Christian Nuclear Fellowship Activities at June 2008 ANS Meeting in Anaheim, California.

The Christian Nuclear Fellowship (CNF) organized two events at the June 2008 meeting of the American Nuclear Society in Anaheim, California.  (Here’s a brief summary and some pictures.)

Carl Mazzola

Rob Hayes, John Hendricks, Vic Uotinen

Jim Hardeman



Report on Christian Nuclear Fellowship Activities at November 2007 Washington DC Meeting

The Christian Nuclear Fellowship (CNF*) held two events at the joint International Meeting of the American Nuclear Society/European Nuclear Society November 11-15, 2007 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. In addition, copies of several “CNF Interview Fliers” were distributed, containing interviews of some members of the CNF Steering Committee, in which these colleagues tell about their work as nuclear professionals and also about what their faith in Christ means to them and how it impacts their lives, including their professional lives.

Howard Shaffer

NOV-14 2007 CNF Power Breakfast

CNF Prayer Breakfast Our speaker at the prayer breakfast (also known as the CNF Power Breakfast”) was CNF Advisory Committee member, Howard Shaffer (Nuclear Consultant). His topic was “The Great Nuclear Debate – and a Christian.” Howard was appointed as a 2001 AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Congressional Fellow, serving on the House Committee on Science, Energy Subcommittee. He did his undergraduate studies at Duke University and his graduate work at MIT. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer in Nuclear Engineering in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Illinois.

Howard is not only a distinguished engineer and a recognized nuclear power expert. He’s also a devoted follower of Jesus Christ and has been an active lay leader in his home church. Based on his Christian worldview, Howard is convinced that “energy from the atom is a good gift from God, as is everything.”  Based on that same Christian worldview, he also believes that building toward and achieving full sustainability is a moral imperative, and that God’s good gift of nuclear energy can and should be used to help us achieve that goal.  He says, “I have come to understand that every issue needs to be analyzed in a Christian framework, including the issues of energy, environment, climate change and sustainability.”

In his talk, Howard outlined how his methods and approaches to advocating and debating for nuclear power have changed over the years, even as he himself has matured as a follower of Jesus Christ. His earlier argumentative, antagonistic and confrontational approach has gradually given way to a more respectful approach, in which he agrees with opponents concerning some of the points they make (those points that have validity), and tries to dispel misconceptions and correct misunderstandings about the nuclear energy option by conveying the facts in a calm and thoughtful (but persuasive) way. Howard believes that as Christians, we should not resort to using the crude confrontational tactics of the “world” to convey truth, but rather we should always conduct ourselves in a manner that pleases and glorifies God.  Persuading and changing the minds of opponents will not be an easy task. It will require both patience and persistence. Howard’s closing questions and final exhortation to us were: “So how do we keep at the struggle?  Where do we find the strength?....Pray in all things, pray every day, pray without ceasing.  Be open to the Holy Spirit.  Turn to All scripture, not just the verses that are convenient for what we want to do.”

The text of Howard Shaffer’s CNF Power Breakfast talk and a scholarly article by Shaffer that was published in the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law in 2006, are available on the PAPERS & HANDOUTS page.

CNF Roundtable Discussion - The presenter at the CNF Monday evening roundtable discussion meeting was CNF Advisory Committee member, Steve Binney (Professor, Oregon State University). Steve earned an undergraduate degree from OSU and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley. Steve shared with us some lessons learned over the past 10 months as he has been walking, trusting in God’s faithfulness, through a serious health crisis. Many of us have been praying for Steve and we were delighted to have Steve and Laurie once again participating in CNF activities. Steve opened by acknowledging that “The steps of a man are directed by the Lord” (Psalm 37:23) and talked about the importance of living “honorably” before unbelievers and striving to be a model of how a believer in Christ should walk through a difficult situation. Steve’s presentation served as a springboard into a great time of sharing and discussion concerning how God has been at work in and through the lives of many of us through various events and circumstances since our last meeting. We left the Monday evening meeting refreshed and encouraged, thanking God for His goodness and faithfulness, and eager to serve Him in our daily lives, wherever He has placed us.

"The CNF thanks Gary Duarte and US Nuclear Energy for kindly hosting the launching of this website."

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