PULLMAN, Wash. – The role of nuclear power as a long-term energy source will be discussed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, in Todd 116 as part of the Washington State University Common Reading Tuesdays lecture series.
“Nuclear reactor safety has received a great deal of attention since the events at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor site in Japan,” said speaker Don Wall, director of the WSU Nuclear Radiation Center. “This has led to renewed scrutiny of reactor facilities throughout the world, including in-depth examinations of nuclear reactor safety in the United States.”
Sign-up sheets for tours of WSU’s reactor will be available at the lecture.
Common Reading Tuesdays is the weekly faculty and guest expert lecture series that helps to localize and expand on topics raised by the campus’ Common Reading book. The text being used by thousands of freshmen in dozens of first-year courses this year is “Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines.”
Author Richard A. Muller, University of California-Berkeley professor, will visit Pullman Tuesday, Sept. 27, for the Common Reading Program’s annual invited lecture.
Wall’s presentation will describe reactor operation from the perspective of safety, especially for the WSU reactor facility and for the next generation of new reactor designs that are under construction.  He will discuss the viability of nuclear power as an energy resource in terms of its ability to meet surging energy demand in the future, including the role that nuclear waste management policy plays in both sustainability and public perception.
Wall received his Ph.D. in inorganic and nuclear chemistry at Florida State University.  He worked at Sandia National Laboratories on the U.S. Dept. of Energy Nuclear Waste Management Program and was an associate director of the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University prior to coming to WSU as director of the WSU Nuclear Radiation Center (NRC). See an earlier article here.
The WSU NRC operates the only research nuclear reactor in the state of Washington. It is one of 12 university nuclear reactors in the U.S. that operate at 1 million or more watts of power.
This fall marks the start of the fifth year of Common Reading, a program in the University College at WSU. Topics raised create a common academic ground among the students, faculty and staff. The program introduces freshmen to the value of research, the power of ideas and the various but related ways in which disciplines across the institution approach similar problems.
Visit the Common Reading website to get information about upcoming speakers and events and about the program. 
Karen Weathermon, Common Reading Program, kweathermon@wsu.edu, 509-335-5488
Media contact:
Beverly Makhani, University College, makhani@wsu.edu, 509-335-6679