Meeting Luca, the first thing you notice is his welcoming Italian accent. He’s a nuclear engineer at Idaho National Laboratory, and a fan of Inter Milan FC. He’s also a nuclear advocate, an IYNC officer, and the kind of person that makes NAYGN so great.

Luca’s been a member of Idaho’s NAYGN chapter for less than a year. Although his chapter started around 5 years ago, many of the prominent members have left. Luca and a few others recognized more young people were entering INL and wanted to “re-launch” the chapter.  “We have seen a lot of possibility and momentum to establish this platform,” Luca explains.

But how do you re-launch a chapter? Luca started by reaching out to two groups last year: his NAYGN region, and the Idaho ANS chapter. He quickly found out ANS was hosting their Big Event of Nuclear Science Week in Idaho, and would love local NAYGN chapters to get involved.

Luca and seven of his NAYGN teammates decided to get engaged with the Big Event. Luca ultimately supported getting NAYGN regional funding for the event, and played a big role supporting a sneak preview of Dave Schumacher’s “The New Fire”, and even got to eat with Dave a few times during the Big Event.

“He’s a climate hero,” said Luca. “Every time we sat for dinner he was really passionate. He came into nuclear with no nuclear background, and is now very passionate about it.”

He was surprised by the great success of NAYGN’s book reading event during the Big Event. “You think a bunch of kids in 2nd grade wouldn’t want to read a book about nuclear energy, but the kids were very excited about reading Marie’s Electric Adventure and were really excited about learning how power was made.”

Luca went from a new engineer at INL to an active and energetic NAYGN member, meeting with his teammates every week leading up to the Big Event to coordinate activities.

“I’d recommend for anyone to get involved organizing this type of event, and see what would be best for giving back to their community.”

Luca and his teammates at Idaho’s NAYGN chapter continue to grow, looking for new employees and planning events to introduce their new coworkers. You can find him at luca.capriotti@inl.gov.

Written by: Lee Causey

Below: Luca Capriotti (blue shirt) poses with ANS Big Event volunteers

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