Stanford’’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance will Co-sponsor Post-Fukushima International Workshop on Nuclear Energy Safety — in Beijing June 29-30


The Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy & Finance at Stanford is co-sponsoring a one and a half day workshop in Beijing, June 29-30, 2011 —International Workshop on Nuclear Energy Safety: Improving Safety in the Aftermath of the Fukushima Crisis —  to enhance international exchange and cooperation on technical, operational and regulatory issues highlighted by the Fukushima disaster.

The workshop will bring together nuclear safety experts from the United States, India and China, representing government, industry, non-governmental organizations, and academia to discuss the lessons learned from Fukushima and efforts by governments and industry to strengthen nuclear safety post-Fukushima.

Topics to be addressed include technical and operational improvements to strengthen nuclear safety as well as the importance of establishing a strong, independent regulatory authority.  These issues are particularly relevant in China, which has plans to dramatically expand its nuclear power resources in the next decade.

The Steyer-Taylor Center is co-sponsoring workshop along with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC);  Chinese Nuclear Society (CNS); Energy Foundation, China Sustainable Energy Program (CSEP); and the Nuclear Policy & Law Center of Peking University.

Special media briefing Thursday, June 30 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Minzu Hotel, Beijing

At the conclusion of the workshop there will be a special briefing  for the press by a panel of experts who will offer workshop highlights and insights. The June 30 media briefing is open to all international and Chinese press.

The Fukushima Context

The devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan exposed weaknesses in the planning for and regulation of nuclear power plant safety to meet extreme natural events. Even as the full repercussions of the Fukushima disaster continue to be evaluated, governments, nuclear energy companies, civil society and citizens around the world are reviewing the preparedness of nuclear power plants to withstand future natural and man-made threats, and seeking ways to strengthen regulations, systems and procedures to avoid future disasters.

These issues are particularly relevant to China, which currently has the most ambitious nuclear power expansion program in the world, targeting expansion of up to 80 gigawatts installed capacity by 2020. In the wake of the March 11 disaster in Japan, and with the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant still venting radiation, the Chinese government has suspended approval for new nuclear power plants while it reviews its safety regulations.

The purpose of this exchange is to bring together Chinese, U.S., and Indian experts on nuclear power plant safety and regulation, from government, industry, academia and civil society, to engage in an in-depth discussion and exchange on strengthening nuclear power plant safety.  Topics to be discussed include analyzing the causes of and lessons to be learned from the Fukushima disaster; actions to improve the safety of nuclear power plants to meet future extreme natural and man-made events, including physical design, spent fuel storage, backup cooling systems, and site decisions; strengthening the regulatory structure, authority and processes for nuclear safety to encourage independence and transparency; and building a culture of safety.


Steyer-Taylor Center Executive Director Dan Reicher

During the conference, Dan Reicher, executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center, professor of the practice of law at Stanford Law School and lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, will present on the topic of strengthening nuclear safety laws, regulatory structures, and nuclear accident emergency response systems. Professor Reicher will also participate in the media briefing.

Reicher was a staff member of President Jimmy Carter’s Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island; involved in the Seabrook nuclear power controversy as a Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General; worked on nuclear-related issues at NRDC; had significant involvement in nuclear matters at the Clinton-era Department of Energy as the Department’s Chief of Staff, Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, and Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; and dealt with nuclear energy-related issues as  a member of President Barack Obama’s Transition Team. In addition, the work underway at the Steyer-Taylor Center gets to the heart of some of the policy and finance issues surrounding the next generation of nuclear power plants.

About the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford

The Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford is an interdisciplinary center to study and advance the development and deployment of clean energy technologies through innovative policy and finance. It is housed at both Stanford Law School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.