Abstract: Fission energy is currently the largest source of zero-carbon electrical power in the United States, but expanded use has stalled due to high construction costs, long schedules, and lack of policies that credit the low carbon emissions from nuclear power. This talk will broadly review questions relevant to the future use of fission power, including challenges to achieving deep decarbonization without nuclear, cost drivers for fission energy, options for advanced reactor technology, and management of nuclear wastes.
Bio: Per F. Peterson holds the William and Jean McCallum Floyd Chair in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also Chief Nuclear Officer for Kairos Power, where he guides nuclear technology review and advises on scientific and technical topics for KP-FHR technology development and licensing. At UC Berkeley he performs research related to high-temperature fission energy systems, as well as studying topics related to the safety and security of nuclear materials and waste management. His research in the 1990's contributed to the development of the passive safety systems used in the GE ESBWR and Westinghouse AP-1000 reactor designs. His 2003 Nuclear Technology article with Charles Forsberg and Paul Pickard identified salt cooled, solid fuel reactors as a promising technology, today called fluoride salt cooled, high temperature reactors (FHRs).
His current work and research focuses on enabling and accelerating advanced nuclear energy technologies.