Program

What if Nuclear Innovation Could Change the World?

Medicine
Space Exploration
AI & Robotics
Climate & Clean Energy

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Day 1
Tuesday, September 3

Headliner Session
Advancing Nuclear

4:00-5:45 p.m. ET
Fowler Hall

Keynote Speech with Dr. Rita Baranwal

Followed by a Panel Discussion moderated by Miles O’Brien

In the face of an accelerating climate crisis, nuclear power is at a crossroads. While the industry is an important source of carbon-free energy in the U.S., old plants are getting shuttered and new plants are struggling to gain financial footing. Enter next generation nuclear.

Innovations driven by advanced materials, supercomputing, and modular construction–along with government and venture funding–is making a new era for nuclear power possible. A powerful line-up of industry and government movers and shakers–as well as advanced nuclear innovators–will provide a glimpse of the future.

Dr. Rita Baranwal

Dr. Rita Baranwal

Keynote Speaker

Assistant Secretary for Office of Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

Rita Baranwal was sworn in as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy in June, becoming the first woman to lead the office.

In her new role, Baranwal is responsible for promoting research and development of existing and advanced nuclear technologies, maintaining the existing fleet of nuclear reactors, and advancing the development of a robust pipeline of advanced reactor designs and supply chain capabilities.

Annie Caputo

Annie Caputo

Panelist

Commissioner, Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Mark Peters

Mark Peters

Panelist

Director, Idaho National Laboratory

Chris Levesque

Chris Levesque

Panelist

President and CEO, TerraPower

Tomás Díaz de la Rubia

Tomás Díaz de la Rubia

Panelist

Vice President for Discovery Park, Purdue University

Jim Baird

Jim Baird

Panelist

U.S. Representative (R-Indiana)

Miles O'Brien

Miles O’Brien

Moderator

PBS Science Correspondent

Miles O’Brien is a veteran, award-winning journalist who focuses on science, technology, aerospace and the environment.

He is the science correspondent for PBS NewsHour, a producer and director for the PBS science documentary series NOVA, and a correspondent for the PBS documentary series FRONTLINE and the National Science Foundation Science Nation series.

For nearly seventeen of his thirty-two years in the news business, he worked for CNN as the science, environment and aerospace correspondent and the anchor of various programs, including American Morning.

Day 2
Wednesday, September 4

Morning Breakout Session
Next Gen Nuclear: Space Exploration

Panel Discussion moderated by PBS Science correspondent Miles O’Brien
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET
Fowler Hall

Not since the 1950s and 1960s, at the height of the Cold War-era race with the Soviet Union, has the quest for exploration beyond Earth been as starry-eyed… and urgent. NASA, along with billionaire and venture-backed startups, have their eyes set on the moon and beyond as global competition heats up. This session will focus on how nuclear energy is necessary to provide power for a lunar outpost and to propel future space missions farther and longer than ever before.

John Dankanich

John Dankanich

Panelist

Chief Technologist, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Lee Mason

Lee Mason

Panelist

NASA Deputy Chief Engineer, Space Technology Mission Directorate

Jonathan Cirtain

Jonathan Cirtain

Panelist

President of Advanced Technology Programs, BWXT

Miles O'Brien

Miles O’Brien

Moderator

PBS Science Correspondent and Executive Producer of The Nuclear Option for NOVA

Lunch Hour

on your own, many options in lower level of PMU
12:00-1:15 p.m. ET

Afternoon Breakout Session
Next Gen Nuclear: Climate & Clean Energy

Panel Discussion moderated by Jackie Kempfer of Third Way
1:30-3:00 p.m. ET
Fowler Hall

What is nuclear energy’s role in a world weaning itself off carbon? That question has become an essential element of the growing debate over how to mitigate the near- and long-term effects of global warming. A panel of leading global experts will bring important context to a debate that has become more public and more urgent.

Leslie Dewan

Leslie Dewan

Panelist

Founding Principal, Nucleation Capital

Ian Hamilton

Ian Hamilton

Panelist

Founder and CEO, Atlas Energy Systems

Chris Colbert

Chris Colbert

Panelist

Chief Strategy Officer, NuScale Power

Seungjin Kim

Seungjin Kim

Panelist

Head of Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University

Jackie Kempfer

Jackie Kempfer

Moderator

Clean Energy Policy Advisor, Third Way

Evening Headliner Event
Fukushima Forward

3:30-5:00 p.m. ET
Fowler Hall

Keynote Speech with Naomi Hirose

Followed by a Panel Discussion moderated by Miles O’Brien

In March of 2011, the most powerful earthquake ever recorded to hit Japan spawned a massive tsunami that inundated the coastline, killing thousands and sending the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on the path to meltdown. A few miles south, however, the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant weathered the catastrophe without suffering a meltdown. Why? And what lessons have been learned from the incident?

Key industry players and insiders will make a rare joint appearance to reveal what happened that fateful day, the unprecedented cleanup process at Fukushima Daiichi, and how the incident is shaping the future of the nuclear power industry.

Naomi Hirose

Naomi Hirose

Keynote Speaker

Executive Vice Chair – Fukushima Affairs
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)

Naomi Hirose served as President of TEPCO from 2012 to 2017 leading the company as it addressed a number of highly complex issues in the aftermath of the 2011 plant accident. He shares his insights on the current situation in Fukushima, lessons learned and implications from the accident.

Dale Klein

Dale Klein

Panelist

Former Chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, now Professor of Engineering at the University of Texas

Lake Barrett

Lake Barrett

Panelist

Former senior manager at the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Miles O'Brien

Miles O’Brien

Moderator

PBS Science Correspondent and Executive Producer of The Nuclear Option for NOVA

Day 3
Thursday, September 5

Morning Breakout Session:
Next Gen Nuclear: Medicine & Health

Panel Discussion moderated by PBS Science correspondent Miles O’Brien
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET
Fowler Hall

About one-third of all procedures used in modern hospitals involve radiation or radioactivity. This session will focus on the successes and challenges facing the field of nuclear medicine. How is the recent restructuring of the Tc-99m radioisotope market playing out domestically? How are nuclear diagnostics and treatments advancing personalized medicine? And how can fusion research spin out health applications?

Kara Duncan-Weatherman

Kara Duncan Weatherman

Panelist

Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Purdue University

Mychaela Coyne

Mychaela Coyne

Panelist

Ph.D. Candidate, Purdue University School of Health Sciences

Stephen Merrick

Stephen Merrick

Panelist

President and CEO, NorthStar Medical Technologies

Chad Lee

Chad Lee

Panelist

Director of Clinical Development, TAE Life Sciences

Miles O'Brien

Miles O’Brien

Moderator

PBS Science Correspondent and Executive Producer of The Nuclear Option for NOVA

Lunch Hour

on your own, many options in lower level of PMU
12:00-1:15 p.m. ET

Afternoon Breakout Session:
Next Gen Nuclear: Safety & Security

Panel Discussion moderated by Jackie Kempfer of Third Way
1:30-3:00 p.m. ET
Fowler Hall

The digital revolution–not just software and hardware, but big data, AI, and robotics as well–is transforming the nuclear power industry. Purdue University is home to the PUR-1 reactor, now upgraded with the first fully digital instrumentation and control system in the United States. In this session, leading experts will discuss how digital technology promises to revolutionize the industry.

Lefteri Tsoukalas

Lefteri Tsoukalas

Panelist

Professor of Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University

Joel Fetter

Joel Fetter

Panelist

Consultant to ARPA-E, Booz Allen Hamilton

Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Panelist

Director of Purdue’s Center for Radiological and Nuclear Security

Tom Gruenwald

Tom Gruenwald

Panelist

COO, Blue Wave AI Labs

Mitch Pryor

Mitch Pryor

Panelist

Research scientist and co-founder, UT-Austin Nuclear and Applied Robotics Group

Jackie Kempfer

Jackie Kempfer

Moderator

Clean Energy Policy Advisor, Third Way

Afternoon Session:
America’s Role in the Nuclear Future

Keynote Conversation with U.S. Senator Mike Braun of Indiana and Dr. William Bookless of the National Nuclear Security Administration, moderated by PBS Science Correspondent Miles O’Brien
3:30-4:15 p.m. ET
Fowler Hall
Mike Braun

U.S. Senator Mike Braun (R-Indiana)

Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

William Bookless

Dr. William Bookless

NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator

Miles O'Brien

Miles O’Brien

PBS Science Correspondent

Summit Closer:
5 Big Takeaways with Leslie Dewan, Jackie Kempfer, and Miles O’Brien

4:15-4:45 p.m. ET
Fowler Hall

What if… nuclear innovation could change the world?

Leslie Dewan

Leslie Dewan

Founding Principal at Nucleation Capital

Dr. Leslie Dewan graduated from MIT with a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering, with a research focus on computational nuclear materials. She also holds S.B. degrees from MIT in Mechanical Engineering and Nuclear Engineering. Before starting her Ph.D., she worked for a robotics company in Cambridge, MA, where she designed search-and-rescue robots and equipment for in-field identification of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. Leslie has been awarded a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship and an MIT Presidential Fellowship. She was named a TIME Magazine “30 People Under 30 Changing the World”, an MIT Technology Review “Innovator Under 35,” and a Forbes “30 Under 30” in Energy.

Jackie Kempfer

Jackie Kempfer

Clean Energy Policy Advisor, Third Way

Miles O'Brien

Miles O’Brien

PBS Science Correspondent and Executive Producer of The Nuclear Option for NOVA