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Saturday, Sep 30, 2023

Nuclear Energy Headlines Calendar of Sustain SoCal

A panel discussion taking place at Sustain SoCal’s June 1, dubbed “Nuclear Energy: Status and Future,” counts a double meaning.

Speakers will discuss the status of traditional nuclear power—fission—which may be coming back into favor after years of concerns over safety issues.

Then there’s fusion, slamming atoms together to take the world to clean, limitless supplies in an energy utopia.

“The nuclear panel is just kind of an overview,” Sustain SoCal CEO and President Scott Kitcher told the Business Journal on May 16. “There’s a pocket in our membership that wanted to get up to speed with what’s going on with nuclear.”

Kitcher will be moderating the online panel, which will include Michl Binderbauer, CEO of Foothill Ranch’s TAE Technologies, a leader in the push for clean fusion, having raised over $1.2 billion in private capital to date.

Another expert scheduled to speak is Eric Ingersoll, founder of nonprofit environmental group TerraPraxis, which cites the beneficial impacts of “beautiful nuclear.”

They will look at “where the industry stands today and where it is going.”

UCI Ties

Sustain SoCal, a nonprofit organization located at the University of California, Irvine, supports numerous forms of sustainable growth backed by clean technologies, including energy, transportation and water.

Kitcher is the only employee of the organization, officially called Sustain Southern California, and previously known as Cleantech OC and Sustain OC. He works out of the UCI Beall Applied Innovation center.

Sustain SoCal’s 28-member board includes Errol Arkilic, the chief innovation officer and executive director, at UCI Beall. Another board member is Bob Stephenson, managing director, Roth Capital Partners LLC, according to the Sustain SoCal website.

Sustain SoCal along with various experts and leaders will examine transportation on June 22, water issues on Aug. 24, and ESG—environmental, social governance—on Sept. 26.

The 14th Annual Energy Event will take place on Oct. 19, and is one of the biggest in the Sustain SoCal calendar, officials say.

Kitcher, who has been involved in the clean-tech space for over 20 years, says that in general stainability efforts are “going very well.”

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