Zachary Deziel submitted 2020-08-16

You guys are awesome. Any opportunity to help random kids off the street fight of trying to learn in the depreciating value of the education system.

Also let’s get the generic thing about “wow, I’m going to push myself”, “wow, I want to get super smart”, or my favorite “wow, I overcame a some deeply traumatic thing that I struggled to overcome so take pity on me” shtick that you see in practically every scholarship essay. A quick googling of my name or looking on LinkedIn would show you what I’ve done and what I want to accomplish.

I like to think that I am an aspiring nuclear engineer. On this path I found out about the value of competing in contests. In fact, a few months back I was competing in a contest known as the Nuclear Olympiad where I was invited to give a lecture at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s headquarters on radiopharmaceuticals and the public perception surrounding them. While on this journey I found out about the very interesting story about Molybdenum-99.

In case you need a quick refresher this fancy shmansy radioisotope is the leading workhorse isotope in nuclear medicine for diagnostic imaging. You don’t need your fancy pieces of paper from school to understand how important that is with some 50000 people relying on daily according to the NNSA in 2016.

While on my journey I found out about the curious case of the Moly-99 shortage. This came about from the nuclear industry shooting itself in the foot not from the public fear of radiation

Excuse me one second, I need to sneeze. Allergy season and all. Oops, I just released 14 million radioactive carbon-14 atoms. You aren’t running away? Funny how that works :P

Anyways, my goal as the current American Nuclear Society’s student of the year runner up is to fix this rhetoric and be able to actually solve the global warming issue instead of listening to those evil people who think littering the ground with solar panels will solve the energy crisis. News flash will all that money you are stealing from Americans in the idea of subsidies you are actually decreasing the overall standard of living. Socialism works, just ask Venezuela

But one side affect of this would be the increase in the total availability of this coveted material. Especially when the material can behave like melting ice-cream on a hot summer day. You are going to constantly need to replenish the supply or else it will disappear due to its short half-life.

So, fix the supply chain by fix the over regulations causing you to increase the availability and you can fix the problem.

Depending on how politics goes the next couple of years, we may switch over to a nationwide healthcare system. Whether you are for or against it, if it does happen and private healthcare is considered illegal, then there will be a greater need for a larger quantity of the material and the locations it is produced or risk even further nationwide shortages when clients are unable to receive the material in a timely manner.

This means that if you care about saving lives and not about saving imaginary ones then you are going to have to care about Molybnum-99 and increasing its availability.

As a student though I have not been blind to the disgusting political climate. I can already see challenges such as that first amendment workaround known as cancel culture. What happens if someone takes something I said or have done from X years ago and takes it out of context under the illusion of racism, or sexism or whatever the go to hate speech word is as a means of cutting off whatever lifeblood financial support mechanism I have at that moment.

Trying to learn the facts and making the best decisions based on them is what I need to. It may be a challenge when many people believe that facts are considered opinions and opinions are considered hate speech and hate speech is considered violence and violence is considered evil.

The only way I can see to avoid this is by educating myself on how to be independent and by slowly writing my papers that random people may stumble on so I can rally people on my side to strive for the same mission of building a nuclear power plant from concept to criticality in under 2 years to act as a means of providing actual clean energy, a tolerance for nuclear practices and an overall increase in the global standard of living allowing more people to live happy healthy and prosperous lives.