Power Seminar with Dr. Mark Nutt: Carbon Free Energy Generation for the 21st Century – Can Nuclear Energy Contribute?


March 5, 2024    
1:10 pm - 2:00 pm

Event Type


Title:  Carbon Free Energy Generation for the 21st Century – Can Nuclear Energy Contribute?

Abstract:  Nuclear energy has a long history of safely delivering carbon-free electricity to our nation’s power grid.  However, the industry stagnated starting in the mid-1970s with several plants being shut down, including the Duane Arnold Energy Center, with very few plants coming on-line to date.  There is renewed interest in nuclear power as a fixed source of carbon-free electricity to meet our growing energy needs.  Advanced reactor designs are under development that improve on the already high level of safety our current fleet exhibits, can compete economically with other energy generation sources, and are flexible to be a part of the 21st century power grid or to support other energy generation needs.  This webinar will discuss the range of advanced nuclear technologies that are being developed, the status of their development and deployment processes, how the different technologies could support electricity generation and other applications, and the challenges companies face to get their technologies deployed and to market.

Biography: Dr. Mark Nutt joined PNNL in September 2018 as manager of the Nuclear Energy sector, overseeing programmatic support of the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and commercial and international sponsors.

Dr. Nutt also serves as the U.S. representative and is the chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Technical Working Group for Fuel Cycle Options and Spent Fuel Management. He previously seved as the national technical director (NTD) of the Integrated Waste Management program in DOE-NE’s Office of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition Program and was responsible for planning, coordinating, integrating, and managing a team comprised of national laboratories and contractors to support the DOE’s efforts to implement an integrated waste management system for spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste.

From 2006 to 2018, Dr. Nutt served as a principal nuclear engineer in the Nuclear Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). He served as the deputy NTD of the DOE-NE Used Fuel Disposition Research and Development campaign. He was responsible for the management of that program, establishing research and development priorities related to the geologic disposal of nuclear waste, and performing technical work evaluating the performance of geologic disposal systems. He also performed research on the waste management performance attributes of advanced nuclear fuel cycles and investigated alternative disposition pathways and served as the co-chairman of the Waste Management Working Group under the U.S.-Japan Joint Nuclear Energy Action Plan.

Prior to joining Argonne National Laboratory in 2006, Dr. Nutt spent over nine years working on the DOE Yucca Mountain Project performing a variety of activities in support of DOE’s efforts to develop a license application for submittal to the NRC for authorization to construct a geologic repository. He also has assessed the performance of facility designs for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste and spent four years as a reactor support engineer at a nuclear utility.

Dr. Nutt received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in nuclear engineering from Iowa State University. He has also received management and leadership education and training, including completion of the Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.


  • Bachelor’s Degree, Nuclear Engineering, Iowa State University
  • Master’s Degree, Nuclear Engineering, Iowa State University
  • Doctorate, Nuclear Engineering, Iowa State University 

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