A Nuclear Comeback: Are New Reactors the Answer?

a16z Podcast

Mar 15 2024 • 47 mins

Nuclear energy accounts for 20% of the electricity in the United States, but remarkably, 2023 marked the commissioning of the U.S.'s first new nuclear reactor in over three decades. The past few years have been a story of changing public opinion, but equally, innovative startups crafting groundbreaking reactor designs and an ambitious announcement by the U.S. government to triple nuclear power production by 2050.

In this episode recorded at a16z’s American Dynamism Summit in Washington DC, a16z podcast host Steph Smith is joined by a16z General Partner David Ulevich, Doug Bernauer – CEO of microreactor company Radiant – and Dr. Kathryn Huff, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Nuclear Energy.

From energizing the country's data centers to propelling the electric vehicles on our roads or powering the factories crafting tomorrow's innovations, they discuss why expanding our nuclear capacity is a national imperative.

Stay tuned for more exclusive conversations from a16z's second annual American Dynamism Summit in Washington DC.

Topics Covered:

00:00 - The Promise of Advanced Nuclear Reactors

03:43 - Nuclear Energy's Current Landscape

07:00 - Vulnerabilities in Fuel Delivery

10:30 - Nuclear Energy's Timeline

12:11 - Portable Microreactors and Mass Production

15:06 - Nuclear Energy's Role in America

21: 24 - Government's Role in Nuclear Energy

26:08 - Challenges of Portable Micro Reactors

30:03- The Evolution of Nuclear Reactors

32:11 - Nuclear’s Public Perception and Safety

39:21 - The Global Need for Nuclear Power


Learn more about American Dynamism Summit 2024: www.a16z.com/adsummit

Find Dr. Kathryn Huff on Twitter: https://twitter.com/katyhuff

Find Doug Bernauer and Radiant on Twitter: https://twitter.com/radiantnuclear

Find David Ulevitch on Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidu

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Please note that the content here is for informational purposes only; should NOT be taken as legal, business, tax, or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security; and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. a16z and its affiliates may maintain investments in the companies discussed. For more details please see a16z.com/disclosures.