Debunking the Myths of Nuclear Fission

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Nuclear has been in the news even more than usual over the past few years. There are over 70 advanced nuclear projects in North America, covering 10 different new designs and types. China is committed to massive nuclear expansion (150 GW in 15 years). Diablo Canyon just received $1.1B in credits from the DOE to extend operations. And, there is ( , real market movements about fusion power being ( , ( , and ( . Gallup reports that 51% of Americans are in favor of nuclear power, up from 44%. Because nuclear is increasingly pervasive in our daily discourse, it is ever more important that we, from the general public to policymakers to scientists and engineers of all fields, be as well versed in nuclear physics, power and policy as in any other societal-level scientific issue.
In this talk, Prof. Short will cover some of the most basic topics in nuclear energy – physics, power, and proliferation – and debunk a few pervasive myths using fundamental materials from MIT's 22.01 course (Introduction to Nuclear Physics and Energy). He will then explore some of the most exciting nuclear developments from the past few years, from the progress and prospects of fusion power in the next two decades to why the recent net fusion energy result is so important. We will even touch upon very limited ways of modifying fundamental physical constants such as half-lives… only in the most specific of situations of course.
Co-sponsored by: MITCNC (MIT Alumni of N Calif)
Speaker(s): Michael Short,

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