We know how to generate tons of electricity without pumping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, using a technology that’s already mature, widespread, and competitive with fossil fuels -- and also, very controversial: nuclear power. In this episode of TILclimate (Today I Learned Climate), Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno, Director of the MIT Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems, sits down with host Laur Hesse Fisher to explore how nuclear power works, why even some climate advocates don’t agree on using it, and what role it can play in our clean energy future.
Jacopo Buongiorno is the TEPCO Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the Director of Science and Technology of the Nuclear Reactor Laboratory at MIT. He is also the Director of the Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (CANES), which is one of eight Low-Carbon-Energy Centers of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI).
Season two of TILclimate focuses on our global energy system, its relationship to climate change, and what our options are for keeping the lights on while creating a clean energy future. We're partnering with the MIT Energy Initiative, which will air longer interviews with each guest to take a deeper dive into these topics.
For more episodes of TILclimate by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, visit tilclimate.mit.edu
For related energy podcasts from the MIT Energy Initiative, visit:
For the MITEI podcast episode on the Future of Nuclear Energy, visit:
For the full MITEI report on the Future on Nuclear Energy, visit:
For a deeper dive into nuclear energy, check out Prof. Buongiorno’s course on edX:
To get a sense of the USA’s energy mix, visit:
If you want to know more about how nuclear fuel is stored,visit:
For a comparison of the safety of different energy sources:
For the landmark report on Chernobyl mentioned in the episode, written by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), visit:
For more details on the 2011 Fukushima accident, check out the official Fukushima Prefecture report:
- Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Producer
- David Lishansky, Editor and Producer
- Jessie Hendricks, Graduate Student Writer
- Aaron Krol, Contributing Writer
- Darya Guettler, Student Production Assistant
- Skyler Jones, Student Production Assistant
- Music by Blue Dot Sessions
- Artwork by Aaron Krol
Produced by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.