On behalf of the Accelerator Applications Division of the American Nuclear Society I welcome you to this ninth meeting of the Division´s topical meeting series, AccApp´09. Ours is the youngest division of the ANS, having been approved as a formal division only ten years ago. A prime driver behind the Division´s formation was the research being done at that time in accelerator-based technologies high-level nuclear waste transmutation. We can see from this meeting´s program that, a decade later, this is still an active area of research. But our Division´s scope extends well beyond this important application. It promotes the use of particle accelerator technologies for nuclear and other applications, with a focus on production of neutrons and other particles, and utilization of these particles for scientific or industrial purposes. As evidenced by the broad spectrum of topics covered in this meeting, applications span the fields of energy production, medicine and health, materials science, national security, as well as basic science.
The first AccApp topical meeting was held in Albuquerque, USA in 1997. The proceedings from that meeting had 70 papers, and over the intervening decade the size of the meeting has grown about three-fold. This is the second time the meeting has been held outside the US, the last being AccApp´05 in Venice, Italy. I think I speak for all meeting participants when I say we are grateful that the IAEA is hosting this meeting in the equally beautiful venue of Vienna. The Division is pleased to note that with each successive meeting there seems to be greater emphasis on the word "International" that appears in the meeting title. The last meeting, held in Pocatello, USA and hosted by Idaho State University, had 230 participants from 26 countries. The large international component was due in no small measure to the IAEA´s sponsorship of a number of participants from less developed countries.
Let me say a few words about the American Nuclear Society. It is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to promoting the awareness and understanding of the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology. Its 11,000 members in 46 countries come from diverse technical disciplines ranging from physics and nuclear safety to operations and power, and from across the full spectrum of the national and international enterprise, including government, academia, research laboratories, and private industry. The Society has 18 professional divisions (including the Accelerator Applications Division), 54 local sections (including 7 overseas), and 34 student sections at universities. Membership is open to anyone working in nuclear science and engineering or related fields. If you are not already a member, I encourage you to consider joining the ANS.
A review of this meeting´s program is a testament to the widespread utilization of accelerators to advance human health and welfare, as well as that of the environment. On behalf of the ANS I wish to thank the Scientific Secretaries for their efforts in organizing this meeting, the IAEA for hosting it, and also the participants for your important contributions. Already the planning has started for the next AccApp meeting, which we will hear more about from Dr. Phil Cole in the closing session. I wish you all a productive and successful meeting.