Complex Thinking for Complicated Times
Join us on September 9, 2020 for the third installment of the "Nuclear Power in a Global Clean Energy System" series of virtual conference panels: "Shaping the Dialogue on SMR Deployment."
Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) could lead to a new era for the nuclear industry - a paradigm shift in energy economics, markets, environmental footprint and the way nuclear energy is deployed. These fundamental changes provide an opportunity to cast SMRs in a different light to 'conventional' nuclear, creating a new conversation about nuclear. Presently the dialogue remains as a projection of the previous experience with conventional nuclear; Is that the best way forward? If not how should the nuclear industry and governments be communicating about SMRs? What are the best practices in communicating the benefits of nuclear energy and how can those be applied to communications about SMRs? And could a new dialogue bring about new challenges and if so how can they be avoided? In this session we discuss all these questions to develop an approach to a dialogue about SMRs that accurately portrays their benefits.
Neil Alexander is a seasoned nuclear industry executive with experience in leading commercial organizations, industry associations and academic institutions in all aspects of nuclear technology including SMRs, isotope production and decommissioning and waste management. He includes leading the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation and the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries amongst his career responsibilities.
As the principal consultant of his company, Bucephalus Consulting, he is using his experience and expertise to advise on the successful deployment of SMRs with a focus enabling success by making the ground fertile. An early proponent of SMRs he has written and presented extensively on the issues and is an active contributor to LinkedIn discussion platform.
Neil is a graduate of the University of Birmingham in the UK and has a PhD in metallurgy and materials science. He lives in southern Ontario.
Callum Thomas is the founder and CEO of Thomas Thor Associates, a recruitment, executive search and HR consulting organisation dedicated exclusively to the global nuclear industry and with offices across Europe, North America and the Middle East. He supports governments, regulators, operators, engineering companies, equipment manufacturers and research organisations in building and sustaining a competent nuclear workforce. His expertise is in attracting, recruiting and retaining the workforce required to build, operate, maintain and decommission nuclear facilities. Having worked in the nuclear industry across more than 30 countries, Callum has a global perspective on human resources and capacity building within nuclear. He is passionate about achieving inclusion and diversity in the global nuclear workforce and is co-founder of Diversity & Inclusion in UK Nuclear.
Callum also works as a consultant for the IAEA in the areas of Human Resource Development and Knowledge Management and sits on the UK’s Next Generation Nuclear Industry Council. He has been involved in initiatives for member states with existing nuclear power infrastructure as well as member states developing new nuclear power programs.
Lenka Kollar strives to create a future that is better for everyone and the environment that we live in. While studying nuclear engineering at Purdue University, Lenka quickly realized that many of the issues with nuclear technology were not easily solvable by engineering. In her career, she set out to improve the way that the nuclear sector does public engagement and communication. She worked on nuclear nonproliferation and international safeguards issues with the US government and then started a blog and consultancy, Nuclear Undone. After obtaining an international MBA from INSEAD, Lenka worked at the International Atomic Energy Agency during the crucial time of the climate change negotiations that led to the Paris Agreement. Since then, she has spoken at several high-level events, including the climate change talks, COP22 and COP23, along with forums hosted by Women in Cleantech and Sustainability and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute. At NuScale Power, Lenka worked to bring the discussion of nuclear energy into mainstream conversations on clean energy and climate change while empowering her colleagues to conduct public outreach. She is now bringing her expertise in communication and entrepreneurship to the wider nuclear industry with her consulting company, Helixos. Lenka is based in Sydney and enjoys spending time outdoors and hiking the beautiful Australian coastline.
With more than 40 years in the nuclear industry, Milt Caplan specializes in advising governments and utilities on how to increase confidence and reduce risk for large energy projects with a focus on managing projects for success. Of the many projects in his career, he is currently providing independent oversight of the Darlington Refurbishment Program to the Ontario Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. Milt was also a senior member of the Economics and Finance working group for the Canadian SMR Roadmap issued in late 2018 and continues to provide strategic advice to stakeholders on SMR development and deployment.
Milt is the chair of the World Nuclear Association (WNA) Economics Working Group and teaches nuclear economics and nuclear plant structuring and financing for the World Nuclear University (WNU) and is the author of a pro-nuclear blog addressing issues of interest to the industry.
Todd Allen is a Professor and Chairof the Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences Department at the University of Michigan. He began his professional career as a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy where he learned the practical applications of operating a nuclear power plant as well as how to take a submarine to periscope depth. Following active duty, he built on that practical Navy experience by earning a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering with specific focus on how radiation changes the physical properties of metals. He has worked in national research laboratories, think tanks, and as an academic. He is the author of over 200 technical publications, many of which are readable. Todd has degrees in nuclear engineering and management information systems. He is a native of Michigan and tries very hard to find ways to watch baseball. His best summer ever (2016) was 64 different stadiums across the U.S.
Richard Deakin is the Director of the Low Cost Nuclear Challenge at United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI). He previously managed programmes relevant to the design and delivery of small nuclear reactors in the UK and USA, including as the Director for the ‘First of a Kind’ Validation Programme of a Small Modular Reactor for NuScale, the design for which was approved by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2020. He also led the Rolls-Royce business responsible for the design and supply of Nuclear Reactors to the Royal Navy. Prior to his appointment to UKRI he served as a Policy Advisor in the Advanced Nuclear Technologies Group at BEIS where part of his responsibility was to represent the UK Government at international events. He was recognised in Fellow of the Nuclear Institute in 2020.