Role of Nuclear in a Carbon-Free Future

Climate Week NYC 2022, September 19, 2022

The recording of the virtual event, which covers the value of nuclear energy in electricity systems and other applications, and how nuclear energy compares to alternative options of achieving a zero-carbon future. Thank you to everyone who joined and contributed to the great discussion.

Event Description

What role will nuclear energy play in a zero-carbon future? Many imagine the future to be powered solely by wind and solar energy, with wave/tidal, biomass, and geothermal energy playing minor supporting roles. We will compare the properties of nuclear power with those of wind and solar power and identify needs for nuclear energy that are less apparent in early stages of decarbonization.

Wind and solar energy have shown tremendous progress over the last decades: costs have come down, and deployment is growing exponentially. Is this all we need to fully decarbonize electricity, heating, transportation, and industrial processes? Will these technologies provide enough energy to support high living standards for all people on our planet and without causing excessive harm to the environment?

We will review properties of different zero-carbon energy sources and look at system costs and environmental impacts when disallowing the pairing of zero-carbon sources with polluting power.

How are cost calculations and environmental impacts shifting once we achieve or get close to zero-carbon emissions in all sectors?

What will be certain roles for intermittent power and what will be likely roles for nuclear energy?

Following two 15 min presentations by our speakers we will open up to a discussion.

Isuru Seneviratne is a rigorous energy and climate professional with two decades’ experience in investment diligence, policy advocacy, and sustainable business development. Isuru founded Radiant Value Management in 2015 to pursue undervalued opportunities spanning energy resources and technology. In 2013 he co-founded ART Logistics, an innovative transportation business servicing blue-chip clients in Sri Lanka. Isuru is an advocate for durable and comprehensive climate policies and for reliable and affordable energy choices. He is a candidate for Masters in Sustainability at Harvard Extension School and has the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting accreditation from Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.

Eric Dawson is a writer and nuclear energy advocate in New York City. His professional experience with web design and his interest in using innovative technology to address environmental issues led him to invest in venture capital funds focused on resource efficiency. In addition, he has become involved in local, grassroots groups in New York City focused on finding bipartisan solutions to various social problems.

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