As Germany completes the closure of its last nuclear power plants, Sweden is looking to build new nuclear in light of climate change and energy security concerns. In this talk, Jessica will discuss the unique role that nuclear energy can play in balancing a low-carbon electric grid and decarbonizing the global energy system. This talk will focus on both the opportunities and challenges of new nuclear technologies, and explore how policy can bring down the costs and expand access to the benefits. Jessica will close with a discussion of the environmental justice concerns around nuclear energy and how they could be more meaningfully addressed.
Jessica was hired at the Breakthrough Institute when she graduated to focus on nuclear policy as part of their Energy & Climate program. From 2012–2019, Jessica developed expertise in advanced nuclear technologies and nuclear economics. In 2015 she became Director of Breakthrough’s energy program, and expanded her scope to look at decarbonization and energy policy more broadly. Jessica returned to graduate school in 2017 to complete a PhD at Carnegie Mellon University in Engineering and Public Policy.