U.S.-Russia Young Professionals Nuclear Forum Participants Receive Rieser Award Honorable Mention

For the first time in the history of the Leonard M. Rieser Award, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists gave an honorable mention. The honor goes to Ivan Andriushin, Cecilia Eiroa-Lledo, Patricia Schuster, and Evgenii Varseev for their essay “Nuclear power and global climate change.”  (Photo is of the authors.)


This essay, written by an a team of two Russian and two American young researchers sprung from a collaboration under the umbrella of the U.S.-Russia Young Professionals Nuclear Forum (YPNF), a project established by CISAC’s Siegfried Hecker to encourage dialogue on critical nuclear issues between the younger generations of nuclear engineers and scholars in the US and Russia.


The essay that received the Rieser honorable mention was one of a series of articles born out of the YPNF program. “Their articles are of interest because they represent the views of some of the younger generation of professionals working together across cultural and disciplinary divides,” said Hecker.  “We were particularly struck by the following comment in their essay reflects on the perceived urgency of the task at hand: ‘We are the first generation that is experiencing the dramatic effects of global climate change and likely the last that can do something about it.” 


Since its first meeting in 2016, the YPNF meets alternatively in Moscow and Stanford, with its agenda designed to promote an open-minded approach to consideration of technical and political challenges presented by the use of nuclear power in energy production and in the military realm. The participants represent not only two different countries, each a world leader in nuclear scholarship, research, and technology expertise, but also a range of disciplines from nuclear engineering to particle physics to international relations to anthropology. 


On the 4th YPNF in Moscow in November 2018, one forum exercise was on The Future of Global Nuclear Power. It was designed to have the young professionals take a close look at the benefits and challenges facing nuclear power globally and to examine and debate the role that nuclear power should play globally in this century. The backdrop for the discussion was the trend of the declining share of electricity produced by nuclear power plants in the world electricity. In the past few years, it dropped to only 11% of global electricity in spite of increasing concerns about the impact of burning fossil fuels on global climate change. This exercise was the start of the winning essay.


Read the Rest at Bulletin of Atomic Scientists