NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT

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MIT study on nuclear energy in a carbon-constrained world receives support from Shell

Jacopo Buongiorno

Professor Jacopo Buongiorno was awarded a grant from Shell in support of the ongoing study, The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World.

Buongiorno, a professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE), leads the Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (CANES), one of eight MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) Low-Carbon Energy Centers. He is working with seven MIT faculty members from across the Institute, as well as two Harvard University faculty and four external consultants in this multidisciplinary effort. The goal of the study is to conduct an objective assessment of the opportunities and challenges affecting the ability of nuclear energy technologies in meeting U.S. and global energy needs in a carbon-constrained world.

“We take a broad perspective on how the energy transition will unfold in the coming decades”, says Ajay Mehta, Shell’s general manager for long range research. “We are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of all type of energy sources that will become part of the future energy mix and in turn, enable a viable pathway towards net zero emissions in the latter half of the century. This future of nuclear study at MIT provides an additional lens and expert view on the state-of-art of nuclear technology and potential technological advances that may play a significant role in determining how big a role nuclear energy plays in the future.”

This study, the eighth in MITEI’s “Future of” series of research studies, builds on the work from The Future of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (2011) and The Future of Nuclear Power(2003). This series of studies provides in-depth analysis of specific energy technologies that may play key roles in meeting growing global energy demand in a carbon-constrained world later this century. These studies also provide detailed recommendations meant to inform policy debates and development, technology choices, and future research. Past “Future of” studies — the most recent of which was The Future of Solar Energy — have proved useful to members of Congress and the executive branch of government; industry leaders; and the informed public. More information about the study can be found here.

Shell is a founding member of the MIT Energy Initiative, and a long-term sponsor of energy research at MIT.

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