Office of Nuclear Energy

Challenge Accepted: Millennials Eager To Shape World's Nuclear Narrative

March 15, 2018

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Communication is one of the biggest challenges for all of our countries. We need to tell nuclear’s clean energy story.

Suzie Jaworowski
U.S. Department of Energy

Energy leaders from around the world are challenging millennials to help policy, opinion leaders and their peers to tell nuclear’s story as a clean energy source.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), along with a number of its national lab experts, recently participated in the International Youth Nuclear Congress Conference—held jointly this year in Bariloche, Argentina with Women in Nuclear Global.

A panel discussion held in Argentina about nuclear energy.
Young professionals engage in a panel discussion about nuclear with energy leaders from around the world.
Giulia Bisconti | U.S. Department of Energy

It was the perfect place to engage roughly 600 young professionals, particularly women, in joining the clean energy workforce to move the industry forward.

“We are here to revitalize international interest in nuclear,” said Suzie Jaworowski, a senior advisor with DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy. “We need young people who care about the environment to take the time to study the diverse and new solutions that nuclear energy can contribute to the clean energy systems of the future.”

Launching A New Nuclear Initiative

Jaworowski joined top energy officials from Canada and Argentina in leading spirited discussions centered on a new global initiative that ministers will launch in May at the Clean Energy Ministerial in Denmark—one of the world’s largest forums on clean energy policy.

The Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future, or NICE Future initiative, is a global effort to make sure nuclear has a seat at the table when it comes to high-level discussions about innovation and advanced clean energy systems of the future.

The initiative will be led by the United States, Canada and Japan. Twelve additional countries have already expressed interest in joining.

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A Millennial Influence

The International Energy Agency projects that nuclear energy generation needs to double by 2040 to meet global clean energy goals.

Millennials are a key demographic to move this industry forward. They can influence its success in a variety of ways ranging from advocacy to innovation. They are also the people that will manage, operate and support these future energy systems.

That’s why energy officials challenged those in attendance to submit their ideas and recommendations for the NICE Future initiative for activities they could bring to the ministerial May 22-24 in Copenhagen.

Two DOE officials pose with a representative of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation.
Department of Energy officials Suzie Jaworowski (Far Left) and Sophia Varnasidis (Far Right) with a representative of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation.
Giulia Bisconti | U.S. Department of Energy

“You are the future workforce,” said Jaworowski. “Your views can help enable new solutions and approaches to a new energy future.”

Back Here In The States ...

Nuclear currently powers 20% of the electricity generated in the United States and about 60% of its clean energy.

It supports nearly half a million jobs and is piquing the interest of new companies. Nearly 50 U.S. companies are working on new technologies, including small modular reactors that are on target to debut within the decade.

Industry is also developing innovations for both electric and non-electric applications, including advances on integrated nuclear-renewable systems.

The Office of Nuclear Energy supports early-stage research and development to help advance the nuclear industry forward.

Millennial Nuclear Caucus (U.S. Department of Energy)

It also brings future leaders in nuclear innovation together through its Millennial Nuclear Caucuses—events that feature discussions on the path forward for the nuclear industry and the role innovative technology will play.

Learn more about the Millennial Nuclear Caucuses and check out future events coming to your area.

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