SEJ's Environmental Events Calendar: Featured Event

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The Promise & Perils of Nuclear Energy: A Workshop for Journalists


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.

Can't be there in person? Public events will be livestreamed.


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, Astrophysics, MU
  • Bill Miller, MU Research Reactor


9:4511:15 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