Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE 8011/8012 and MP 6011/6012 Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


Nuclear to address climate change and carbon reduction: why this is an exciting time to be entering the nuclear field


Mr. Greg Cullen


Energy Northwest, Vice President, Energy Services and Development


Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 11:00:00 AM   Add to Calendar


Room https://bluejeans.com/172812180


Anna Erickson


As the world increases its focus on addressing climate change, reduction of carbon emissions is the primary strategy, including a push for reduction and eventually elimination of fossil-fuel based electricity generation. But recent events in the Northwest, California, and Texas have highlighted the critical importance of maintaining a reliable and resilient grid. What is the right set of resources to meet both goals? What role could or should nuclear generation play? Can nuclear compete economically as the prices of wind, solar, and battery storage continue to decline? This presentation will explore these questions, including the results of recent studies of this topic, and discuss the US federal government’s perspectives and recent actions.


Greg Cullen joined Energy Northwest in 1993 and currently holds the position of Vice President of Energy Services and Development. In this capacity, Greg is responsible for Energy Northwest’s role in the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program demonstration projects awarded by the US Department of Energy in 2020 with the goal of building two advanced nuclear reactors by 2027. He also oversees the operation and maintenance of Energy Northwest’s non-nuclear generating plants and its instrument calibration and environmental testing labs. In addition, Greg leads the development of projects in a broad range of areas, including clean energy generation and storage, electrification, demand response, and support services. Prior to joining Energy Services and Development, Greg held a variety of individual and management roles, including regulatory affairs, performance improvement, and several positions in support of the engineering, maintenance, and operation of Columbia Generating Station, the Northwest’s only operating nuclear energy facility. Greg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics from Northwest Nazarene University and a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington. He also holds a Management Certification in the operations of Columbia Generating Station. Energy Northwest is a joint operating agency serving the needs of public power by providing reliable, low-cost electricity while promoting public power activities in the region.