About the Energy Symposium

Conference Overview

Climate change is a potential threat to the welfare of mankind and its mitigation is becoming urgent. Nuclear energy, which provides one-fifth of U.S. electricity generation, is currently the leading utility-scale, carbon-free baseload power source in America.  But it is expensive, controversial, and regulated in a way that poses challenges to technological innovation. So how does nuclear power fit into U.S. climate change mitigation goals going forward?   

In what way can nuclear power be a major factor in the portfolio of options being considered to lower greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change? With the rapid growth of natural gas production in the United States, how has the economics of nuclear power changed?  What are the social, policy and technological challenges to nuclear power in the United States? What are the challenges to developing and deploying new technologies and designs? 

In September 2016, the University of Michigan, a global leader in nuclear engineering research, will explore the various obstacles to the wider deployment of this carbon-free energy source.  From regulation to reactor design, speakers will discuss the economic, safety, security, policy, and social issues that will define nuclear power’s future role as a climate change mitigation tool. 

Key messages:

  1. As greenhouse gas policies are developed and implemented, and intermittent sources such as wind and solar expand, nuclear technology could play an even greater role as a carbon-free baseload source of electricity. However, a variety of economic, technological, societal, environmental, regulatory, and security issues must also be considered.

  2. With experts from across global nuclear research and policy, U-M – a global leader in nuclear engineering education and research – will host a major symposium exploring the myriad viewpoints around the future of nuclear power’s role in climate change mitigation, producing a series of technological, policy, and social recommendations after the event.

About UMEI

The demand for economically and environmentally sound energy solutions is urgent and global. At the Energy Institute, we build on the University of Michigan’s strong energy research heritage at the heart of the nation’s automotive and manufacturing industries to develop and integrate science, technology and policy solutions to pressing energy challenges. Energy solutions are a problem more complex than any one discipline. From biofuel research to policy development to green building, the University of Michigan is home to over a hundred energy faculty affiliates- leading thinkers and researchers in energy-related fields. Explore our research foci here.

About NERS

Nuclear and radiological technologies have played a major role in medical treatments, national security and carbon-free electricity generation. Our top-ranked department encompasses nuclear engineering and radiological sciences, nuclear medicine, plasmas for applications such as space travel and water purification and the use of radiation to create materials with new capabilities. The broad-based excellence of the university offers students opportunities to build expertise in complementary areas and gives our faculty access to high-level collaborators of all stripes for interdisciplinary research. Our research cuts across the boundaries of disciplines to find solutions to real-world problems in four major areas: sustainable energy, nuclear security and defense, environment and health, and enabling scientific discovery. Read more about Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences here.

Steering Committee


Susan Fancy, Event Manager, sfancy@umich.edu, 734-763-8803

Media Inquiries

Amy Mast, Marketing & Communications, amymast@umich.edu, 734-615-5678

Sponsorship Opportunities

Conference sponsorship offsets fees for food, logistics, speaker travel and other direct event costs. Sponsor logos will be displayed in alphabetical order on all conference materials. Thank you!

Please click here for sponsorship information.