Council on Foreign Relations and Washington and Lee University Announce New Nuclear Energy Project

August 28, 2006, 12:48 pm (EST)

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The Nuclear Energy Project, a new partnership between the Council on Foreign Relations and Washington and Lee University (W&L), will take the debate on nuclear power as an energy source to a new level by comprehensively and critically examining the effects a major expansion of nuclear energy would have on reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions, the safety and security of nuclear facilities, the storage of radioactive waste, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. 

As a first endeavor in this investigation, the Nuclear Energy Project is producing a major report, to be published as a Council Special Report, aimed at Congress and the administration. The report will discuss whether the United States should expand its use of nuclear energy and will offer concrete steps that should be taken. The report is slated for release in January 2007.

Following the release of the report, the Nuclear Energy Project will plan a series of events that reach out to policymakers, educators, the news media, and the general public. Roundtable meetings with experts and policymakers will promote a vigorous exchange of views on nuclear energy and national security. Additionally, W&L will present a seminar on nuclear issues, followed by an institute for educators. Dr. Frank Settle, chemistry professor at W&L, is taking the lead in organizing the seminar and institute. To further educate policymakers and the public, Dr. Charles Ferguson, fellow for science and technology at the Council on Foreign Relations, intends to write a book on the potential for international expansion of nuclear power. Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Settle are co-principal investigators of the Project.

The project is funded, in part, by generous support from Mr. H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, an alumnus of W&L. Additional funding is provided by the Carnegie Corporation, the Lounsbery Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.


: To interview Dr. Charles Ferguson, please call Lisa Obrentz at (202) 518-3460 or e-mail To interview Dr. Frank Settle, please call Sarah Tschiggfrie at (540) 458-8235 or e-mail

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