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Weston Roundtable Lecture - More Nuclear Power: Should We Risk It?


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Thursday, February 20
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Speaker: Dr. Charles D. Ferguson, Director, Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

1153 Mechanical Engineering

Lecture/Seminar/Talk


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Erin Smith

Operating nuclear power plants emit almost zero greenhouse gases and thus appear to be "clean" sources of electricity that help to mitigate climate change. However, concerns persist about how to manage safely and securely the radioactive waste from these plants. Also, increased global nuclear power use could raise the risk of nuclear war by spreading the means to produce weapons-usable fissile materials across more countries. While several nuclear power plant designs offer reduced risk of nuclear proliferation, other design choices could pave the way to a world awash in highly enriched uranium and plutonium – potentially available for use in making nuclear weapons. Can we have more nuclear power while managing these proliferation risks? Dr. Ferguson is the author of the book Nuclear Energy: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2011).