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Energy mix for a sustainable future to be discussed Friday

RICHLAND – The urgent need to develop a cost-efficient energy mix will be presented this Friday, Oct. 30 at WSU Tri-Cities.
 “To address any of the environmental and resource issues in debate today, a rational mix of energy sources must be achieved quickly,” said Jim Conca, director of the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring & Research Center operated by New Mexico State University’s College of Engineering. “Energy has always been directly tied to the quality of life for humans — about 3,000 kilowatt hours per person, per year is necessary for a good life. The world will require considerably more energy in the future to attain global peace and prosperity.” 
This nuclear-related engineering professional development seminar starts at 12:10 p.m. in the West Building, Room 210, at 2710 University Drive. Admission to the seminar is free and open to the public.
Conca’s presentation centers on making an investment in a “rational mix of future energy production” — about one-third each of fossil, renewable and nuclear — and includes the cost calculations for the construction, installation and operation. The cost effectiveness of each energy type will also be presented and compared.
“To achieve this third-third-third mix in the United States by 2040 will require investments of $1.7 trillion in nuclear and $2.8 trillion in renewable,” Conca said. “However, just fueling the existing United States fossil fuel fleet from now until 2040 will cost over $7 trillion.”
“If nuclear and renewables are not developed in the United States and in the rest of the world much more rapidly over the next 10 years, and to a greater degree than is anticipated, the world could face energy and environmental bankruptcy by 2060 with a resultant social chaos that will be significant — all while the planetary ecosystem teeters on the brink of collapse,” he said.
Conca has been the chief executive officer of the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring & Research Center  since 2004, handling administrative planning, daily operations, managing the scientific and technical programs, and serving as liaison with government agencies, industry and the public. He previously worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and in the 1990s owned the Richland-based UFA Ventures.
Conca earned his Ph.D. in geochemistry from the California Institute of Technology on the “Differential Weathering Effects and Mechanisms,” and received the Antarctic Service Medal of the U.S. for scientific exploration.
For more information on this and other nuclear engineering seminars, contact seminar coordinator Richard Stout at or 509-528-7023.

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