E215A: Nuclear Energy and the Environment

Electricity production from nuclear energy is highly concentrated and free of green-house gasses. The pressure to decarbonize electricity generation is leading many to think of nuclear as a near term solution. Nevertheless, public opinion remains in general skeptical of nuclear. This course aims to familiarize students with nuclear energy, the way it is produced, and its overall environmental impact. The course will cover fundamental characteristics of nuclear energy, will provide students with a practical understanding of nuclear reactors, and will review the benefits and the challenges that nuclear energy can provide.