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Rich Powell: The Future of Nuclear Energy and Tech

Tom welcomes a new guest Rich Powell to the show. Rich is the Executive Director of ClearPath, an advocacy group focused on advancing conservative policies around clean energy innovation. Part of that goal is developing the technology behind nuclear and zero-emission clean energy. The world is rapidly advancing and industrializing, and as a result, there are a lot of emissions that countries seek to improve.

Electric vehicles and the batteries and equipment involved in these technologies consume large amounts of crucial metals like lithium and vanadium. Countries like China dominate much of this supply chain, and there is a push to diversify supply back to the United States or expand mines to more countries.

He discusses the various ways of storing grid energy and the different time frames for recovering that energy. Today chemical storage is dominated by lithium-ion batteries, but there are many other methods. This diversity in storage methods is becoming quite impressive.

There are significant hurdles to overcome in educating the public about the risks of nuclear energy, particularly in the United States. He discusses their initiatives to advance nuclear power and the various power projects currently being built in the US.

Time Stamp References:
0:40 – Purpose of ClearPath
3:25 – US Supply chain issues.
6:30 – Grid storage tech.
12:00 – Changing public opinion.
16:25 – Making nuclear more appealing.
25:10 – Nuclear fuel, types and test reactors.

Talking Points From This Episode

  • Advancing clean energy.
  • Securing energy metal supply.
  • Grid energy storage methods.
  • Public perception of nuclear vs. the actual risks.

Guest Links:
Website & Newsletter:
Personal Twitter:

Rich Powell is the Executive Director at ClearPath and ClearPath Action, the DC-based organizations developing and advancing conservative policies that accelerate clean energy innovation. He educates policymakers on investing wisely in energy innovation, removing roadblocks to building and exporting American clean energy technology, and maintaining and promoting flexible, clean energy resources. Rich also leads ClearPath’s external advocacy and research partnerships with nonprofits, academia, and the private sector.

Rich frequently testifies before Congress on climate change and energy innovation. His work has been published in the Wall Street Journal,, Washington Examiner, The Hill, Morning Consult, RealClear Energy, and several regional publications. His views are featured regularly in national publications including the National Review, NPR, Politico, USA Today, Axios, E&E, New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes, LA Times, Houston Chronicle, MIT Tech Review, Bloomberg, Green Tech Media, Utility Dive, the Guardian, and many others.

Rich serves as a member of the 2019 Advisory Committee to the Export Import Bank of the United States. He is also on the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center’s Advisory Group. Previously, Rich was with McKinsey & Company in the Energy and Sustainability practices. He focused on corporate clean energy strategy, government low carbon growth strategy, and clean tech market entry. Rich has a BA from Harvard College in Environmental Science and Public Policy, and a JD from New York University.

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