Past Event

Can Nuclear Power Be On Time and On Budget: A Discussion of Nuclear

March 8, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Online Event Zoom Webinar

Historically construction of nuclear power plants has been over budget and over schedule, some materially so, leading to significant financial implications for the companies building them. This challenging nuclear construction history can provide a significant disincentive to companies and countries looking to build new nuclear power plants.

The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs will host a discussion on how the historical challenges of nuclear power plant construction might be overcome. In particular, we will focus on a recently-completed series of large nuclear industry projects at a wide number of Department of Energy sites across the U.S., including several which were completed ahead of schedule and under budget. The panel includes two leaders of major recent successes, and we will discuss how lessons learned from these projects might provide blueprints for next generation nuclear power construction. 



  • Honorable Paul Dabbar, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia SIPA, and former Under Secretary for Science, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Dr. Matt Bowen, Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia SIPA


  • Valerie McCain, Senior Vice President, Bechtel, and Project Director, Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, Hanford, WA. Former Project Manager Director of the Oak Ridge Uranium Processing Facility. 
  • Jim Blackenhorn, Senior Vice President, Head of Technical Services, Amentum, and responsible for the Oak Ridge gaseous diffusion plant nuclear project


This webinar will be hosted via Zoom. Advance registration is required. Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation email with access details. The event will be recorded, and the video recording will be added to our website following the event.

This event is open to press, and registration is required to attend. For media inquiries or requests for interviews, please contact Natalie Volk ([email protected]).

For more information about the event, please contact [email protected].


Contact Information

Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia SIPA