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New Leaders (first posted September 2012)

A few months ago our Future Energy edition explored who was leading the talent drive in the nuclear sector. We found lots of great examples but missed the really big push that is still needed.

As we landscaped the market we found that some organisations are driving the nuclear power agenda, the industry and careers. But you have to search them out and many of the positive things are getting lost in the chatter. There’s no real driving force. No collective vision. And nobody seems to be seizing the initiative and taking the lead in this space. There is a major opportunity to share resources, pool budgets, shake things up and for Governments, industry and educators to come together to dispel the myths and promote the benefits of nuclear energy.

Naturally collaborations are already part of the scene. The World Nuclear Association brings together companies from around the world. And the University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering is a collaboration between Canadian universities. But shouldn’t universities, Governments and energy providers all be working together on a global scale to solve the energy challenge of the future? After all, the challenge is bigger than one organisation. And the call for nuclear energy is gathering momentum in some quarters.

Support from unexpected places

As the nuclear debate is such a hot potato, many businesses and organisations prefer to remain quiet. But people can’t just close their eyes. The problem won’t just go away. The energy mix of the future is a debate that has to happen. And we’ll need to react sooner rather than later. Which is why it’s heartening that some big names are getting involved.

Bill Gates is in discussions with China to jointly develop a new and more efficient type of nuclear reactor. He’s also Chairman of an energy start-up called TerraPower. They’ve designed a reactor that can run without refuelling for decades on depleted uranium. Watch others give their views on Nuclear TV.

MIT have had a team looking at the problem of kick-starting new energy technologies including renewable and nuclear energy. Watch the video and read the book review.

Google are also taking their energy responsibilities seriously, investing in solar energy through the
Google Green Initiative. However was their supposed investment in nuclear energy just an April Fool’s joke? We’ll let you decide.

Key point:

One thing’s for sure – it’s time for everyone involved in nuclear power to come together locally, nationally and globally to engage, educate and inspire future generations. Nuclear energy shouldn’t be a fuzzy area. A clear direction is needed. And the industry needs to take the lead.
A great focal point in the UK could be Nuclear Graduates which could grow and collaborate more with industry and educators of all shapes and sizes.

2012 releases of The Future Index are available at http://www.thefutureindex.com or drop one of us a line jim.tudor@thefutureink.com, nick.brian@thefutureink.com.
We’ll soon be tweeting @thefutureindex

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