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Nuclear Energy

CGEP Launches New Nuclear Power Research Initiative

NEW YORK — The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs announced today it has launched a major new research initiative focused on nuclear power. Dr. Matt Bowen will join CGEP as a Research Scholar to lead this effort, which will draw on the breadth of expertise across Columbia University to explore the nuclear sector’s role in addressing the challenges of climate change while providing safe and secure supplies of energy.

“Nuclear power is the largest source of zero-carbon energy in the United States, and the role of nuclear power in a deeply decarbonized world remains an area of critically important research. Too often, climate change scholarship approaches questions about nuclear power with a deep understanding of the latter, while national security scholars study nuclear energy without necessary climate change expertise. The Center on Global Energy Policy’s new nuclear power initiative will bring together experts in climate change, engineering and electricity markets with experts in national security, geopolitics and foreign policy, and deepen the understanding of the role of nuclear energy in a lower carbon future,” said Jason Bordoff, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs and Founding Director of CGEP.

Dr. Bowen will conduct original research that addresses the political, security, and technical aspects of nuclear technology, including advanced reactor design. He will also manage collaborative research projects across departments, contribute to the University’s wider research and convening efforts, and engage with public and private sector leaders, journalists and students on nuclear policy topics.

“I’m thrilled to join the talented team at the Center on Global Energy Policy to help inform leaders across the public, private, and non-profit sectors on the technological, economic, and public acceptance aspects of nuclear energy. As we consider what the energy transition will look like, nuclear energy plays an important role in the conversation, and I look forward to engaging on the challenging set of policy questions facing the nuclear industry today.” said Dr. Bowen.  

Bordoff added, “Assessing the role of nuclear power requires not only insights into nuclear technology and costs, but also into issues such as nonproliferation, reprocessing, and waste. Matt’s scientific background and his experience working on nuclear energy, waste, and nonproliferation policy issues will help the Center play a greater role in those vital discussions.”

Dr. Bowen served as an Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Nuclear Energy and a Senior Advisor in the Office of Nonproliferation and Arms Control at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) during the Obama Administration. Prior to working at DOE, he was an AAAS/APS Science Fellow for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He was most recently a Nuclear Policy Fellow at Clean Air Task Force and a Senior Policy Fellow at the Nuclear Innovation Alliance. Dr. Bowen has written reports on federal and state policies to encourage advanced reactor development, and has also published papers on reforming U.S. nuclear export controls. After receiving a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2006, Dr. Bowen came to Washington to work at the National Academies. There he held positions with the Board on Physics and Astronomy, the Board on Energy and Environmental Studies, and the Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences.