This summer the DOE Energy Information Agency released its study of the McCain/Lieberman Climate Stewardship bill, concluding that the largest single effect of these carbon controls would be the construction of 145 gigawatts of new U.S. nuclear capacity by 2030, more than doubling the existing 100 gigawatts. From the perspective of the early 1990's, today's resurgent interest in nuclear energy may appear surprising. This seminar will review what changed over the last 20 years that returned nuclear energy to broad public attention today, and will discuss the range of possible nuclear energy futures and their implications for security and the environment.
Per F. Peterson is Professor and previous chair of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno, in 1982. After working at Bechtel on high-level radioactive waste processing from 1982 to 1985, he received a MS degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in 1986 and a PhD in 1988. He was a JSPS Fellow at the Tokyo Institute of Technology from 1989 to 1990 and a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator from 1990 to 1995. He is past chairman of the Thermal Hydraulics Division (1996-1997) and a Fellow (2002) of the American Nuclear Society, a recipient of the Fusion Power Associates Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award (1999), and has served as editor for three journals.
Professor Peterson's work focuses on applications in energy and environmental systems, including passive reactor safety systems, inertial fusion energy, and nuclear materials management and security. His research interests focus on thermal hydraulics, heat and mass transfer, nonproliferation and nuclear security. He is author of over 100 archival journal articles and over 130 conference publications on these topics.