Geopolitics is important in many scientific endeavors, and for the energy sector this is most evident around discussions of nuclear power. Nuclear reactions can generate electricity with lower emissions of climate and health impacting pollutants, but there is a fear that the nuclear materials will be weaponized. We will discuss some of the political issues surrounding this with a focus on the recent nuclear deal with Iran.
There has been a lot of discussion nationally and globally about whether nuclear power is a pathway to a lower carbon future or whether it is a risk worth taking. France’s electricity comes dominantly from nuclear power, Germany is trying to reduce its use of nuclear for electricity generation, and Japan may be restarting some of the nuclear power plants that it closed after the Fukushima meltdown. We will present some of the viewpoints and then open the floor for discussion.