James Conca

 
Articles by James Conca:

James Conca: "I have been a scientist in the field of the earth and environmental sciences for 31 years, specializing in geologic disposal of nuclear waste, energy-related research, subsurface transport and environmental clean-up of heavy metals.

"I have found that important societal issues involving science and technology are rarely made on the basis of science, but on people's perception of science. Science is necessary but insufficient. It seems to be more important to understand Fareed Zakaria than Stephen Hawking, although you better understand both if you want to solve issues like sustainable energy development.

"Prior to my present position, I was Director of the New Mexico State University Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center, the independent and academic monitoring facility for the Department of Energy's WIPP site, a little-known deep geologic nuclear repository for bomb waste.

"I came to NMSU from Los Alamos National Laboratory where I was Project Leader for Radionuclide Geochemistry and its input into the Yucca Mt Project. Before that, I was on the faculty at Washington State University Tri-Cities. At the California Institute of Technology, I obtained a Ph.D. in Geochemistry in 1985 and a Masters in Planetary Science in 1981. I received a Bachelor's in Science in Geology/Biology from Brown University in 1979."

By James Conca at Forbes

thorCon500mwIt’s been 30 years since America built a really new nuclear power plant, but we haven’t been idle over this time. A slew of new designs have emerged and, thanks to advances in computing capabilities and the understanding that smaller is better, many of these are ready to be built economically.

This is important. Over the last several years, there has been a growing consensus among climate scientists that nuclear energy is critical for mitigating the worst effects of global warming. States are shifting from Renewable Energy Mandates to technology neutral Clean Energy Standards that include nuclear energy.

So it is good that the development of new nuclear technologies is speeding along faster than most people think. Many new nuclear start-up companies have emerged in the United States, China and Canada, especially those designing small modular reactors (SMRs).

Importantly, all are walk-away-safe, which means the reactor just won’t melt down or otherwise cause any of the nightmares people think about when imagining the worse for nuclear power. It just shuts down and cools off.

Click to read entire article at Forbes

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