How do we achieve energy security without sacrificing our climate goals?

That was the main topic when Lightbridge’s CEO, Seth Grae, convened with several other experts for a panel at We Don’t Have Time’s STHLM +50 Climate Hub earlier this year.
In an interview commencing the panel, Daniel Aegerter, founder and chairman of Armada Investment, gave his perspective on what needs to happen. “We need to rethink some things,” he said. “We need to rethink some long-held beliefs and be willing to open up to allow all technologies to contribute to solving our joint problems.”
We see nuclear as key to the green transition.
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“It’s essential,” said Seth. “It’s something that has been proven for decades. It’s something that can be deployed at all times of day. The current nuclear power plants are very large. They operate 24/7. They tend to be very expensive, take years to deploy. We’re moving now toward these smaller, modular reactors that are being designed to be built in factories or shipyards and deployed in large numbers and in many more countries – more affordable, more easily financed.”
Nuclear is non-carbon-emitting power. And along with these smaller, more affordable reactors, we have new types of advanced fuels that are more agile in their response to power demands going up and down, so they can pair with renewables on a zero-carbon grid. These more efficient nuclear reactor fuels can be used in both new and existing reactors.
With energy and war as global themes that we can now see are dangerously entangled, the need for proven, stable energy sources is clearer than ever.
“After the war [in Ukraine] ends, for sure we need to think, and we have the chance to redesign the energy system,” said Nataliya Katser Buchkovska, energy expert and a former member of the Ukrainian Parliament. “Now Ukraine is under serious attack, and a lot of our energy system is destroyed.”
“We are working to direct investments to the green transition post-war,” she said. “So first of all we need to think now about how to set up the correct system and to rebuild Ukraine in a more sustainable, green way.”
“In the long term I suppose the war in Ukraine could be a turning point toward sustainability, and it could even accelerate the transition,” Natalia said. “Let’s use this chance to create the ground for a much quicker and more efficient transition.”
Nuclear power or its expansion as an industry is often perceived as unsafe, but this is not the reality.

Sweta Chakraborty, We Don't Have Time; Seth Grae, CEO Lightbridge; Åsa Pettersson, CEO Swedenergy; Daniel Magraw, Senior Fellow Johns Hopkins Uni SAIS & Nataliya Katser Buchkovska former member of the Ukrainian Parliament (on screen)
Sweta Chakraborty, We Don't Have Time; Seth Grae, CEO Lightbridge; Åsa Pettersson, CEO Swedenergy; Daniel Magraw, Senior Fellow Johns Hopkins Uni SAIS & Nataliya Katser Buchkovska former member of the Ukrainian Parliament (on screen)

“Nuclear safety and proliferation are a major focus of the nuclear power industry and every company in it,” said Seth. “What we are doing now – in addition to better regulation and better operation of the plants – is non-proliferation and safety by design. So at Lightbridge, in our advanced nuclear technology, we are significantly advancing the safety and nonproliferation and other benefits of the technology itself. It’s like, in addition to speed limits for cars, they have air bags; they have technology that has safety.
“And as we’ve heard said throughout the day, we just don’t have time to replace fossil fuels with something that we don’t know will work. We don’t have time to wait for carbon capture from the atmosphere or from smokestacks, economically, globally, so that we can continue to use fossil fuels. We don’t have time for battery backup of cities to power Beijing at night or season to season from renewables. We do have time to massively produce much more nuclear power in these smaller, more quickly deployed units. Lightbridge is developing the fuel that will power them more efficiently with enhanced nonproliferation, with enhanced safety, and we’re trying to be the answer that says, yes, we do have time to do this and to deploy it on a massive scale.”

Watch the full Lightbridge segment in the video above, featuring Daniel Aegerter, Armada Investment founder and chairman; Seth Grae, CEO of Lightbridge; Lightbridge Board Member and President Emeritus of the Center for International Environmental Law, Daniel Magraw; Åsa Pettersson, CEO at the Swedish non-profit Energiföretagen/Swedenergy; and Nataliya Katser Buchkovska, member of the Ukrainian Parliament from 2014 to 2019.
And let us know in the comments below: How do you see nuclear as a solution in the green transition? What questions do you have for us?

  • Evangeline Wanjiru

    78 w

    The Russia-Ukraine war has been an eye-opener on the need for energy security among independent nations. Our main aims have been centered around climate change but we surely need to rethink the amicable pathway towards sustainable energy.

    • Musaad Abdullah

      90 w

      This is very debatable and we can't take it for granted, at least for now..

      • Ford Brodeur

        90 w

        @musaad_abdullah What part do you find debatable?

        • Musaad Abdullah

          90 w

          @ford_brodeur_ I believe that nuclear energy is CO2 free, however, not green per se in terms of safety and sustainability especially at small scale and household units when compared to solar and wind energy. Any mistake with nuclear energy production and supply we will have a big bang disaster.. From the other side nuclear waste is inevitable and harmful to our environment. Let's agree to promote safe, clean and green energy as one package..

        • Ingmar Rentzhog

          90 w

          Let's go fossil free!!! We Don't Have Time to wait

          • Johannes Luiga

            90 w

            Very important!

            • Adam Wallin

              90 w

              Good information. I really hope that all fossil free energy solutions are viable in the future, and we need to focus on making them so instead of combating each other. Hopefully we can then learn what are the really key energy sources for the future - right now it still seems uncertain amid campaigns from all sides of the spectrum. We don't have time for that.

              • Ford Brodeur

                90 w

                Great article!

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