Costs and Implementation of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon Constrained Future.

Professor Jacopo Buongiorno.

TEPCO Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Professor Jacopo Buongiorno

5:30 pm for 6 pm, Tues 28 January 2020. 

Venue in Sydney to be advised.


For nuclear energy to take its place as a major low-carbon energy source, however, issues of cost and policy need to be addressed.  A recent MIT study has analysed reasons for the current global stall of nuclear energy in Europe and USA.  

The research team found that nuclear energy when included in low carbon scenarios provides the lowest overall system cost of electricity. The use of renewable energy system alone requires massive overbuild of capacity especially as the level of decarbonisation increases.  Greater cost reductions in nuclear energy can be achieved by addressing how the nuclear power plants are constructed than by changes in the reactor type. The largest cost reductions can be made in the on-site balance of plant construction, custom deigning and engineering. We need a paradigm shift in how nuclear power plants are actually constructed.

About Professor Jacopo Buongiorno

Jacopo Buongiorno is the TEPCO Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the Director of Science and Technology of the Nuclear Reactor Laboratory at MIT. He teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in thermo-fluids engineering and nuclear reactor engineering. Jacopo has published over 80 journal articles in the areas of reactor safety and design, two-phase flow and heat transfer, and nanofluid technology. For his research work and his teaching at MIT he won several awards, including, recently, the ANS Outstanding Teacher Award (MIT, 2019), and the Landis Young Member Engineering Achievement Award (American Nuclear Society, 2011). He is the Director of the Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (CANES), which is one of eight Low-Carbon-Energy Centers of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI). In 2016-2018 Jacopo led the MIT study on the Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World. He is a consultant for the nuclear industry in the area of reactor thermal-hydraulics, and a member of the Accrediting Board of the National Academy of Nuclear Training.