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October 20, 2014

Mtg: Nuclear Innovation for the 21st Century

by @ 4:07 pm. Filed under ALL, Electrical/Power

THURSDAY November 6, 2014
SCV Power & Energy and Industry Applications Chapter
– low-carbon, scalable, innovation, hybrid systems, choices …
Speaker: Prof. Richard Lester, Head of the Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT
Time: Networking and dinner at 6:30 PM; Presentation at 7:30 PM
Cost: $35 for IEEE members (use code IEEE1106); $45 for non-members
Place: Xerox PARC, 3333 Coyote Hill Road, Palo Alto
RSVP: from website

Nuclear energy will be essential for achieving deep, rapid reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions.  Today it produces almost two-thirds of all low-carbon electricity in the U.S.  Nuclear power technology is highly reliable, easily scalable, and orders of magnitude more compact than other energy sources.
But new nuclear plants are costly, risky investments and cannot compete with gas-fired electricity at todayâ??s low natural gas prices.  Many of Americaâ??s 100 commercial nuclear power plants are likely to shut down over the next two decades, and there are no plans to replace them.
In this talk, Professor Lester will discuss the role of innovation in making an energy source — already much safer than it was 40 years ago — less expensive, more secure and safer still, while developing new approaches that are designed  to meet the rapidly evolving capabilities and limitations of electric power grids.
What new developments seem most promising today?   Can innovations in nuclear power and fuel cycle technologies, as well as in nuclear governance and education, unlock the potential of nuclear power to help drive the global transition to an affordable, reliable, low-carbon energy system?  Professor Lester will describe some of the advanced technologies under development at MIT.  Examples will include hybrid nuclear-renewables systems, nuclear air-Brayton combined cycle systems, new reactor siting strategies and off-grid applications.
Finally, he will describe the choice facing the US
— become a 21st century nuclear also-ran, or lead the development of a new generation of nuclear technologies?  He will outline a new approach to large-scale nuclear innovation, designed to tap into Americaâ??s formidable industrial capabilities and entrepreneurial strengths.


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