Career Development : Calendar

The Promise and Perils of Nuclear Energy

01/28/16 - 01/29/16     Columbia, MO

In some ways, nuclear power has never looked better — or worse. In an age of climate change and growing energy demands, the world needs low-carbon fuel sources, and nuclear delivers electricity without the greenhouse gas emissions of fossil fuels. Can nuclear power be considered a form of "green" energy? In the wake of Fukushima, Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl, can it be reliable and safe?

The Missouri School of Journalism invites journalists who cover energy, business, health, and the environment to a workshop covering the risks and benefits of nuclear energy for healthcare, research, and power generation.

Attendees will:

  • Tour the MU Research Reactor, the largest research reactor on any university campus, to hear about research in healthcare, agriculture, archaeology, epidemiology and other fields.

  • Get a behind-the-scenes tour of the nearby Callaway commercial nuclear reactor operated by Ameren.

  • Listen to national experts, newsmakers and journalists on topics such as safety, emissions, waste, water use, and the economics of energy.

  • Attend a public screening of the provocative documentary, “Pandora’s Promise,” and discuss it with a panel of experts.

Not only will journalists find sources and story ideas, they’ll go home with a better understanding of the science and strategies for telling complex stories. The journalists have been selected but some sessions are open to the public and will be live streamed:

Sessions Open to the Public

Live-streamed #nuclearworkshop   

Thursday, Jan. 28

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. - “Nuclear 101: How nuclear energy works, from the Big Bang to today.” Got science? We’ll blast into space with a talk on the origins of the universe and come back to Earth for a primer on nuclear energy.

Moderator: Sara Shipley Hiles, Missouri School of Journalism
Angela Speck, MU Astrophysics
Bill Miller, MU Research Reactor

9:45 – 11:15 a.m. - “Hot issues in nuclear energy: Key players discuss where nuclear is today.” Climate change has changed the conversation. Where will we get our energy in the future? A panel of experts discusses nuclear vs. renewables, the impact of the Clean Power Plan and COP21, and the economics of energy.

Moderator: Kari Lydersen, reporter, Midwest Energy News

John Keeley, Nuclear Energy Institute

David Lochbaum, Union of Concerned Scientists

Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear

Scott Burnell, Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Friday, Jan. 29

8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – “Nuclear safety in a post-Fukushima world.” Incidents at Fukushima, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl raise concerns about nuclear safety. Experts will address the state of nuclear safety today along with radiation health effects, waste storage and the consequences of aging plants.

Moderator, Roger Witherspoon, independent journalist

David Lochbaum, Union of Concerned Scientists

John Keeley, Nuclear Energy Institute

David Ropeik, Harvard

Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear

Larry Criscione, former Callaway employee and whistleblower

Scott Burnell, NRC