NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT


MIT Energy Conference panel discusses prospects for integrating nuclear and intermittent renewables

Three NSE graduate students (Ruaridh Macdonald, Uuganbayar Otgonbaatar, and Aditi Verma) organized a panel at the 2014 MIT Energy Conference entitled “A Nuclear-Renewables Partnership: The Prospects for Integrating Nuclear and Intermittent Renewables” A commitment to clean energy has led federal and state governments to embrace policies for promoting renewable energy sources via tax credits, portfolio standards and feed-in tariffs. But are these instruments actually achieving cleaner air and energy security? Can nuclear and renewable power sources operate well together? How can a longer-term vision of a low carbon grid be realized?

The panel brought together a group of five experts to probe these questions. The hour long discussion examined how power sources may be combined to meet long term greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and how policies and technology development need to come together in order to achieve this goal.

The panelists were:

  • Ray Rothrock (moderator), partner emeritus at Venrock and former President of the National Venture Capital Association
  • Dr. Charles Forsberg, principal research scientist in MIT NSE and director of the Fluoride Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Reactor Project
  • Phil Giudice, CEO of Ambri, a Cambridge-based liquid-metal battery company that grew out of Prof. Donald Sadoway’s lab at MIT
  • Dr. Ralph Izzo, president and CEO of PSEG, a New Jersey-based utility that owns and operates a diverse range of electricity production facilities, including five nuclear reactors at two sites
  • Prof. Ignacio Perez-Arriaga, a visiting professor at MIT who has served as a regulator in several EU countries.

The student-run MIT Energy Conference drew over 750 participants from the energy industry, academia and public policy.

Department of Nuclear Science & Engineering

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 24-107
Cambridge, MA 02139