Energy & Environment Track

Debunking the Myths
of Nuclear Fission
Apr 26 - Virtual Event

Virtual Fireside Chat Open to the Public

Nuclear has been in the news even more than usual over the past few years. There are over 70 advanced nuclear projects in North America, covering 10 different new designs and types. China is committed to massive nuclear expansion (150 GW in 15 years). Diablo Canyon just received $1.1B in credits from the DOE to extend operations. And, there is progress in achieving net fusion power, real market movements about fusion power being far closer than 50 years away, announcements of new nuclear programs in countries in Asia and Europe, and new nuclear defense partnerships.  Gallup reports that 51% of Americans are in favor of nuclear power, up from 44%. Because nuclear is increasingly pervasive in our daily discourse, it is ever more important that we, from the general public to policymakers to scientists and engineers of all fields, be as well versed in nuclear physics, power and policy as in any other societal-level scientific issue.

In this talk, Prof. Short will cover some of the most basic topics in nuclear energy - physics, power, and proliferation - and debunk a few pervasive myths using fundamental materials from MIT's 22.01 course (Introduction to Nuclear Physics and Energy). He will then explore some of the most exciting nuclear developments from the past few years, from the progress and prospects of fusion power in the next two decades to why the recent net fusion energy result is so important. We will even touch upon very limited ways of modifying fundamental physical constants such as half-lives... only in the most specific of situations of course.

Please join us if you want to discover how much radiation you get by sleeping next to someone, expressed in units of ingested bananas.  😊


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Event Closed

Date and Time

Wednesday, April 26, 2023
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM PT

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Virtual Event

Primary Contact

Serena Chung


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