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Anthropocene Institute’s Founder Addresses the Nuclear Energy Assembly (NEA)

May 23, 2022

Anthropocene Institute’s Founder Addresses the Nuclear Energy Assembly (NEA)

Nuclear Powered Future: Our Basic Responsibility and Innovation Agenda

WASHINGTON DC — Our Founder, Carl Page, delivered the keynote address at this year’s Nuclear Energy Assembly to an audience of leaders throughout the nuclear, energy and climate communities. He discussed the severity of the impacts of climate disruption, from melting glaciers to ocean acidification, and emphasized the need to set far higher goals and be more aggressive than reaching net zero by 2030, while still making abundant energy. “If you need to take a step and you take a half step, that's called a faceplant,” he said.

The political will and the funding to make progress are there. However, not every strategy is effective. Germany, for example, decarbonized using primarily solar, but the strategy fell short because of the country’s frequent cloud cover, making Germany vulnerable and dependent on Russian oil and gas, according to Page. 

We need to control our own energy supply and make it safe and domestic. We need to bring greenhouse gasses down from 440 PPM to 280 PPM. Nuclear is key to achieving both these goals, alongside strategies like putting a solar panel on every rooftop. 

Page noted that nuclear is the energy that powers the galaxy but capitalizing on it will require new innovation to further the existing fission technology developed in the 1960s. Startups, more than big corporations and governments will lead the charge. “Startups can concentrate on a task and bring a product to market with a lot of focus. They don't have the distractions of big institutions,” he said.

He added that if we had done what France did in the 1980s — decarbonize using hydro and nuclear across the power grid — we would have avoided many of the problems we are facing today, from wildfires to intense hurricanes and droughts.

Page thanked everyone in the nuclear industry for saving so many lives by providing clean energy. He also noted that nuclear energy is renewable, just like solar and wind. There are 450 million tons of uranium in the ocean that are easy to extract in an economically viable way, he explained. Page believes converting coal plants to nuclear power is another promising option. 

We all have to work together, from organizations like EcoAmerica to The Nature Conservancy and companies pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere. Above all, nuclear energy in all its forms (fission, conventional fusion, and solid-state fusion energy) should be adopted and advanced. Page closed with his excitement about solid-state fusion energy and extended an invitation to ICCF-24 Solid-State Energy Summit in Mountain View, CA, which Page will chair.

 

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