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Reassessing Nuclear Power in a Climate Sensitive World (2019 ELI-Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum)


October 22, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Omni Shoreham Hotel
Diplomat Room
2500 Calvert Street (map/directions)

Washington, DC


The event free and open to the public, but please REGISTER HERE by October 15.

  • Coffee/Networking/Registration, 3:30-4:00 PM ET. Speakers will begin promptly at 4 PM ET
  • All times noted are Eastern Time. There is no CLE or webinar option for this event. Questions?: contact mcmurrin@eli.org
  • NOTE: All registrants for ELI events need to have an ELI "account." When you click on the above Register Here link, you will be asked to log in.
  • ELI members and previous registrants have accounts. If you don't remember your password, please click on the "Request new password" tab.
  • Non-members who have previously not set up an ELI account may click on the "Create new account" tab, complete the process, and then return to this page to register. While creating this account does not confer membership, it will allow you to register for this and future events at any appropriate non-member rate that may be required.

The 2019 ELI-Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum

Historic accidents such as Fukushima, Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl have led to nuclear energy’s reputation as a significant environmental worry, mainly due to fears of potential contamination from a nuclear incident or improper disposal of radioactive waste. However, today the European Union depends on nuclear power for more than 25% of its electricity, and in the United States, nuclear-generated electricity protects the atmosphere from more than 528 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.

As climate concerns increase, many countries and businesses are reassessing the role of nuclear power in a climate sensitive future.  Questions are emerging around scheduling retirement of nuclear plants, even as barriers remain, including compliance with state and federal law, mitigating public concerns surrounding risks, and steep financial burdens such as building and operational costs. Some favor financial incentives for new nuclear capacity or perpetuating existing plants, while other note the risks, including infrastructure integrity of reactors, storage and disposal capacity, and potential environmental and health contamination risks.

What does the future of nuclear energy look like in this evolving landscape? How do the environmental challenges of nuclear energy stack up against the possible advantages from the vantage point of climate change, whether those be decommissioning reactors, disposing of nuclear waste, storage issues or others? Should nuclear energy be seen as a bridge fuel while other renewables scale up to meet energy demands, or even  as a fixed piece in a U.S. lower carbon energy mix? Panelists will engage in these questions and tackle the complex history, the multifaceted regulations, and the future of nuclear energy development. Join ELI for the Annual ELI-Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum, featuring leading experts exploring the divisive yet fascinating issues surrounding nuclear fleets in a carbon-sensitive age.

Opening Remarks: Scott Fulton, President, Environmental Law Institute

John C. Dernbach
, Director, Environmental Law and Sustainability Center and Commonwealth Professor of Environmental Law and Sustainability, Widener University Commonwealth Law School and Author and Editor, Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States
W. Mason Emnett, Vice President, Competitive Market Policy, Exelon Corporation
Sandra Levine, Senior Attorney, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF)
Granta Nakayama, S.B., S.M, Partner, King & Spalding LLP

Any speaker materials will be posted as they are received...

NOTE: ELI members will have access to materials/a recording of this session (usually posted w/in 48 hours). If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.