2019 Caring for Creation Schedule

Jan 12 at 10:15am in Borgwardt Hall
The Future of Nuclear Power in a Carbon-Constrained World
Michael Corradini, UW Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Engineering Physics

America is ambivalent about nuclear power despite its major contribution to the nation’s energy supply for seventy years without a disaster or fatality. Disasters abroad, bankrupt and dismantled plants, failed construction projects, plus fear of nuclear waste have led some to view nuclear power as a dying industry. A very different point of view is held by Professor Michael Corradini, a distinguished nuclear engineer and co-author of a major policy study on the future of nuclear power. This study concludes, “The main value of nuclear power going forward is its potential contribution to the decarbonization electrical power production” (that is, the near elimination of greenhouse gas emissions). Nuclear’s unique contribution is to provide large amounts of non-carbon “dispatchable” electricity to fill the gaps in availability of solar and wind renewables on a daily and seasonal basis. The study proves that without the balancing nuclear contribution, the way to deep decarbonization becomes prohibitively expensive. Corradini is aware that new nuclear capacity in the U.S. is currently too expensive, but the study identifies new technology (such as smaller modular reactors) which is under development. He will describe the technical, business and government action needed for our future.

Michael L. Corradini is an expert on nuclear engineering and energy policy issues.  He is a co-author of the recent study, “The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon Constrained World” with colleagues from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  This study definitively explores the potential contribution of nuclear power to the fight against climate change. Corradini is Emeritus Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin, and was Department Chair from 2001-2011 and a founder of the Wisconsin Energy Institute.  His scientific interests emphasize reactor operation, reactor safety, reprocessing, and risk assessment.  He has served on many national policy bodies including the Department of Energy Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee.

View Poster (coming soon)

Feb 23 at 10:15am in Borgwardt Hall
Preserving Special Places in Wisconsin
Mary Jean Huston, Wisconsin State Director, The Nature Conservancy

March 15 at 10:15am in Borgwardt Hall
Natural Resources Protection and Restoration under Governor Tony Ever’s Administration
Todd Ambs, Assistant Deputy Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

April 19 at 10:15am in Borgwardt Hall
Extreme Weather and Climate Change
Steve Vavrus, Senior Scientist, UW Madison Nelson Institute, Center for Climatic Research

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