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All Episodes


Ep 01: Michael Shellenberger - President, Environmental Progress

Jan 8, 2018
1) Michael Shellenberger’s personal evolution from a solar to nuclear advocacy
2) Common misconceptions around fukushima including the media’s role
3) We touch on concepts such on technocentrism, human consciousness, even question energy inevitability,
4) And then we review which arguments are more or less influential in readjusting the public's position...

Ep 02: Per Peterson - Chief Nuclear Officer, Kairos Power

Jan 17, 2018
1) The true cost drivers in plant construction and operations
2) Civil nuclear energy from the perspective of non-proliferation
3) Public misunderstandings around nuclear waste
4) Opportunities to borrow learnings from the success of the revitalization of the private space industry...

Ep 03: Todd Allen - Professor, University of Wisconsin

Jan 24, 2018
1) The function of national lab system in prototyping reactors
2) Turning points in the history of commercial nuclear development
3) Todd's contribution towards shaping policy at Thirdway
4) The concept of prize based incentives and how they might apply to nuclear space...

Ep 04: Eric Loewen - Scientist, GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy

Jan 31, 2018
1) Eric’s personal path through various nuclear institutions, work on climate change with congress, and current efforts
2) GE’s role in America’s nuclear history
3) A deep dive into the PRISM project and technology behind fast reactors
4) The hormetic effect of radiation and the effects of low dose...

Ep 05: Rachel Slaybaugh - Program Director, ARPA-E

Feb 7, 2018
1) Rachel’s introduction to nuclear science and technical expertise
2) The genesis of the world’s first nuclear startup accelerator
3) The need to use computation thoughtfully to replace or supplement experiments
4) Her recent appointment as an Arpa-E program director...

Ep 06: John Wagner - Nuclear Science & Technology, Idaho National Labs

Feb 14, 2018
1) John’s early experience at Oak Ridge National Labs and expertise on understanding how radiation moves through matter
2) The basics of spent fuel management and the status of Yucca Mountain.
3) The five different divisions that fall under the Nuclear Science Directorate
4) The concept of transients and how INL tests them...

Ep 07: Hans Gougar - Advanced Reactors, Idaho National Labs

Feb 21, 2018
1) How Hans became interested in nuclear energy
2) How to lay the foundation for commercializing new technologies
3) The role INL plays as an independent auditor and fuel qualifier
4) The difference between pebblebed and prismatic reactors...

Ep 08: Shannon Bragg-Sitton - Space Nuclear Systems, Idaho National Labs

Feb 28, 2018
1) Her entrance to the Nuclear field at an incredibly young age
2) An overview of space nuclear reactors
3) Nuclear energy as an Industrial heat source and how it fits into broader energy ecosystem
4) Laboratory scale model validation of the worlds future integrated energy systems...

Ep 09: George Griffith - Small Modular Reactors, Idaho National Labs

Mar 7, 2018
1) What it’s like to live in the community around and to work at a Nuclear Power plant
2) His work with the Light Water Reactor sustainability program and how they extend the life of the existing fleet
3) The role that Small Modular Reactors play in the future of the nuclear power industry
4) INL’s role in hosting a demonstration version of this technology and others...

Ep 10: Emma Redfoot - Fellow, Idaho National Labs

Mar 14, 2018
1) How Emma’s personal experiences abroad developed her interest in energy issues and her dual participation in both technical research and social advocacy
2) Developing nuclear fuel model simulator Cyclus and Emma’s efforts to evolve this model to incorporate a hybrid energy ecosystem as well
3) The role hybrid energy systems play in transforming the world
4) What happens when energy is made affordable...

Ep 11: Jessica Lovering - Director of Energy, Breakthrough Institute

Mar 21, 2018
1) Jessica's start in Astrophysics, transition to Energy, and how she joined Breakthrough
2) Deployment timelines and how to make nuclear innovative
3) The importance of fuel reliability, export control, and security considerations
4) Canada's efforts on licensing advanced reactor technologies...

Ep 12: Jeff Harper - Vice President of Strategy, X-Energy

Mar 28, 2018
1) Jeff's earlier career as an NRC vendor inspector
2) The relationship between NRC and Industry including the balance of health and safety against cost and schedule
3) An alternative safety approach to redundancy and defense in depth
4) The X-energy team composition and its founder Kam Ghaffarian ...

Ep 13: John Kotek - Vice President, Policy, Nuclear Energy Institute

Apr 4, 2018
1) John's career at the DOE, the National Labs, as an ANS congressional fellow, and in the private sector
2) NEI's national nuclear energy strategy: Preserve, Sustain, Innovate, and Thrive
3) Pros and Cons of various mechanisms the government can use to support the industry
4) How SMRs alleviate some of the market problems nuclear faces today...

Ep 14: Mark Peters - Laboratory Director, Idaho National Labs

Apr 11, 2018
1) Mark's background in geology and how that ties in to spent fuel disposal
2) New technologies that help bring advanced reactors to fruition
3) How the various contributions of the national labs work as a whole system
4) The importance of multidisciplinary learning and Mark's insight looking towards the future of technology ...

Ep 15: Richard Powell - Executive Director, Clearpath

Apr 18, 2018
1) The origin story of Clearpath and politics role in the climate divide
2) Leveling the playing field" for zero emissions standards
3) Refocusing the Department of Energy's R&D efforts with moonshot initiatives
4) Energy's role in international political relationships...

Ep 16: Don Wolf - Chief Executive Officer, Advanced Reactor Concepts

Apr 25, 2018
1) The ARC origin story through resurrection of a decades old nuclear prototype EBR-2
2) A technical discussion on "closing the fuel cycle", "breeding", "electrochemical refining"
3) A discussion of sodium and "pool type" vs "loop type" design
4) Nuclear economics and how to balance economies of scale vs diseconomies of scale...

Ep 17: Rita Baranwal - Director, GAIN Program

May 2, 2018
1) Rita's start in Materials Engineering at MIT, her transition into the space research world and her work at Westinghouse in their fuel fabrication facility
2) Scouting "Game Changing" technologies across robotics, advanced reactors, advanced chemical engineering, advanced manufacturing, digital instrumentation and control
3) GAIN initiatives: Vouchers, Workshops, Facilitating industry work with the labs
4) Fuel testing for advanced reactors and...

Ep 18: Josh Freed - Vice-President, Clean Energy, Third Way

May 9, 2018
1) Josh's journey from American political history to Nuclear advocacy
2) Third Way's focus areas, clean energy policies, and how they found advanced nuclear
3) Questioning the role of public perceptions' influence on the industry
4) Across the aisle legislative efforts enabling the next generation of nuclear...

Ep 19: Amy Roma - Lawyer, Hogan Lovells

May 16, 2018
1) Amy's work at the NRC's atomic safety licensing board on waste and interim storage.
2) How the "Gold Standard Provision" affects enrichment and reprocessing access.
3) The implicit understanding behind "atoms for peace" initiative and the inverse correlation between energy production and weapons production.
4) Collaboration between nuclear developers (new and old) and climate-driven acceptance....

Ep 20: Jim Conca - Writer, Forbes

May 23, 2018
1) Jim's start as an extraterrestrial scientist and coordinator of shuttle activities.
2) A comparison between the future of China and the US' nuclear industries.
3) Dilution as a waste mitigation strategy, discussion of Fukishima and Tritium.
4) Waste disposal methods, political contentions, and the power of the Constitution. ...
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