Nuclear weapons specialist to speak at Purdue

March 22, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — An international nuclear weapons specialist will speak at Purdue University this week about the potential benefits and challenges posed by the global proliferation of nuclear power, as well as issues surrounding nuclear weapons in North Korea.

Siegfried S. Hecker, co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and Director Emeritus of Los Alamos National Laboratory, will give talks on Wednesday (March 23) and Thursday (March 24).

His talk titled "Nuclear Promise or Nuclear Peril?" is set for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. He will discuss the potential benefits and global security challenges posed by proliferating use of nuclear power and its planned expansion in China and India as a carbon-free alternative to fossil fuels amid climate-change concerns.

He will give another talk, "North Korea: Reactors, Bombs and People" at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Room 129 of the Electrical Engineering Building. Hecker will discuss discoveries uncovered in his visits to North Korea and address issues surrounding North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons.

Hecker is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences; a fellow of numerous professional societies, including the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and has received a Department of Energy E.O. Lawrence Award, the Nuclear Society's Seaborg Medal and the Presidential Enrico Fermi Award.

Hecker's visit is supported by the Purdue College of Science, College of Engineering, Department of Physics, School of Nuclear Engineering and the Global Policy Research Institute.

More information is available from David Koltick, a professor of physics, at 765-426-4945,

Writer: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709,

Source: David Koltick, 765-494-5557,

Note to Journalists: The speaker will be available for media questions. Information is available from David Koltick, a professor of physics, at 765-426-4945,