Atomic Show #262: New Thinking About Nuclear Energy
It’s time – or way past time – to think and talk about nuclear energy in new ways, recognizing the importance of the topic for the future health and prosperity of humanity.
This show includes 5 forward leaning thought leaders in atomic energy. All of them are optimistic about nuclear’s future, often driven by their acceptance of the fact that abundant clean energy isn’t possible without it.
- Jessica Lovering is the Director of Energy at The Breakthrough Institute and also a PhD candidate at Carnegie Mellon studying energy policy and policy implementation.
- Caroline Cochran is a co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer at Oklo, a start-up nuclear technology development enterprise that is working on its initial product, a 1-2 megawatt compact fast reactor designed to meet the energy needs of remote areas, mining and perhaps even neighborhoods or industrial parks.
- Ashley Finan is the Policy Director for the Nuclear Innovation Alliance and the Director of Nuclear Innovation for the Clean Air Task Force
- Sarah Spath is the East Coast regional director for operations for Mothers for Nuclear, a grass roots organization started by two mothers working at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. Heather and Kristin were motivated to help people understand the importance of their work and their devotion to future generations.
- Lenka Kollar is the Director of Strategy and External Relations for NuScale Power, the leading small modular reactor development company in the U.S. NuScale filed its application for a design certification in late 2016. It was accepted and docketed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on March 20, 2017. That date is the starting point for a 42 month review that should be completed during the 4th quarter of 2020.
We talked about nuclear technology exports and the importance of untangling the bureaucratic obstacles to engaging in international commerce or even hiring non U.S. citizens that currently require an average of 400 days. We talked about new ways to talk about nuclear energy to friends and family and the importance of overcoming the nuclear industry’s reluctance to engage in consistent marketing designed to get people interested and welcoming to the capable technologies it sells.
We talked about nuclear technology systems designed to be more approachable and understandable so that they can be well accepted and integrated into community level power systems. We talked about the value of energy density as a way to provide people with abundant resources while also lightening their impact on the natural world.
It was a great conversation that made time fly. Before we knew it, we were hitting the end of our scheduled time and the busy people involved had to drop off to attend to other commitments.
Paraphrasing an established saying: If you want to accomplish something big, ask busy people to help.
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Photo Credit: Tony Webster via Flickr