Before starting a PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Colorado Boulder, Jessica (she/her) lived and worked in Alaska helping fight wildfires. Spending her free time backpacking around Alaska and Western Canada, she was struck for the first time by the tangible impacts of climate change: record summer heat, melting permafrost, retreating glaciers. Realizing her passion lay in solving problems down here on earth, Jessica switched into a graduate program focused on environmental policy, with a focus on energy. Although her coursework focused broadly on renewable energy, Jessica was struck by the lack of coverage of nuclear power considering it made up such a large share of global clean energy. To remedy this curriculum gap, Jessica developed and co-taught a graduate seminar looking at nuclear power from an interdisciplinary lens.
Around this time, the Breakthrough Institute was looking to expand their expertise in nuclear energy and hired Jessica when she graduated to focus on nuclear policy as part of their Energy & Climate program. From 2012–2019, Jessica developed expertise in advanced nuclear technologies and nuclear economics. She also developed policies to accelerate nuclear innovation and commercialization of new designs. In 2015 she became Director of Breakthrough’s energy program, and expanded her scope to look at decarbonization and energy policy more broadly.
Wanting to deepen her understanding of nuclear policy, Jessica returned to graduate school in 2017 to complete a PhD at Carnegie Mellon University in Engineering and Public Policy. Her research focuses on how commercial nuclear trade affects international security standards and how very small nuclear reactors could be deployed at the community level. She is also a Fellow with the Energy for Growth Hub, looking at how advanced nuclear can be deployed in emerging economies.
Our thoughts and impressions of two films with nuclear themes: "The China Syndrome" (1979) and "Silkwood" (1983).
Executive Director Jessica Lovering visited Japan and engaged with high-level decision-makers about their nuclear industry
An illustration of our understanding of the concerns Americans have about nuclear energy and actions that can address them
A written discussion of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2022 publication
Jessica Lovering speaks at the Nuclear Innovation Alliance's launch of its Fission Vision, a call to action to double U.S. nuclear energy production by mid-century
Jessica Lovering shares an overview of advanced nuclear energy as West Virginia lawmakers consider lifting the state's restrictions against nuclear at a West Virginia Rivers Coalition convening
A policy report exploring where small modular reactor (SMR) technology could support environmental justice communities that relied on coal
Jessica Lovering discusses Good Energy's founding principles, nuclear energy financing policy needs, and siting challenges and opportunities
As Congress nears a peak in negotiations over a federal Clean Energy Standard, lawmakers should make sure to include nuclear energy
To align the nuclear sector with the broader Justice40 initiative, federal policies should center communities and address past injustices
The former Michigan Governor supports advanced nuclear tech, environmental justice and cross-agency collaboration
Lovering's Keynote Speech from the 2020 American Nuclear Society Annual Meeting
Jessica Lovering gives her predictions on nuclear energy policy through the 2020 U.S. presidential election and recovery phases of COVID-19.
Why nuclear technology might finally be a match for community-scale energy systems
Recommendations for advanced nuclear technologies as part of the U.S. climate change response
Jessica Lovering and Rachel Slaybaugh discuss research and development underway on new designs for nuclear reactors that seek to completely change the paradigm
Jessica Lovering comments on Last Energy's deal to build small modular reactors in Europe.
Jessica Lovering, alongside her co-author Håvard Halland, argues that multilateral development banks must reconsidertheir nuclear energy policy.
Part II: Jessica Lovering discusses the importance of nuclear energy's role as a safe carbon-free complement to renewables.
Jessica Lovering joins Bloomberg's The Big Take podcast with Shoko Oda to discuss the benefits of nuclear energy.
Part I: Jessica Lovering discusses the importance of nuclear energy's role as a safe carbon-free complement to renewables.
Jessica Lovering discusses the community approval aspect of coal-to-nuclear opportunities.
Jessica Lovering comments on the permitting reform discourse.
Jessica Lovering: Many progressive critiques of nuclear energy are valid, but given the reality of climate change, the need for independence from Russian fossil fuels, and increasing energy demands, there is now a moral imperative to invest in all of our clean energy options—and that includes nuclear.
Jessica Lovering discusses the U.S. governments effort to support African countries adopting nuclear energy.
Jessica Lovering discusses the large variation in land use amongst clean energy technologies, and how that should influence energy system planning.
Jessica Lovering explains why a source of electricity is crucial to the safe operation of nuclear power plants.
Jessica Lovering discusses the many climate benefits of converting coal power plants to nuclear power plants.
Jessica Lovering joins KPCC's AirTalk program to discuss California lawmakers' vote to extend the life of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.
Jessica R. Lovering and Todd R. Allen: "[Advanced] reactors are intended for deployment in many novel scenarios, including being closer to population centers...This means that community engagement and approval likely will be critical for project success."
Jessica Lovering reflects on governments reconsidering early nuclear plant retirements in light of the global energy crisis driven by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Jessica Lovering: "Personally and symbolically, I love policies that lump nuclear and renewables, and don’t like policies that pair nuclear and gas together, because I think it just cements in people’s mind of nuclear being a different kind of fossil fuel."
Jessica Lovering co-authors an op-ed arguing that the solution to dependence on Russian energy is democracies collaborating, innovating, and embracing interdependence to design robust energy systems—especially for nuclear power.
Jessica Lovering discusses the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, and the future of nuclear energy and its potential to combat climate change.
Jessica Lovering talks about the disparities between different generations of nuclear reactors and explains why nuclear energy might appeal to some communities as a source of energy and jobs.
Jessica Lovering explores the benefits and challenges of microreactors for microgrids.
Jessica Lovering provides some realism on the timelines for commercial nuclear fusion but says it could still prove important as energy consumption continues to increase after 2050.
Jessica Lovering co-authors an op-ed about the vital role nuclear energy can play in addressing climate change.
Jessica Lovering provides a primer on nuclear energy in conversation with the host of Changing the Climate.
Jessica Lovering talks about the motivations and repercussions of Germany's phase-out of its nuclear power plants.
Jessica Lovering talks about new community ownership models of nuclear and how advanced nuclear could help reduce manufacturing emissions.
Jessica Lovering joins KPCC's AirTalk program to discuss how advanced nuclear paired with renewables will help countries meet their climate goals.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail covers the Jan. 18 event on the feasibility of nuclear for West Virginia, citing Jessica Lovering's presentation.
The Dominion Post writes about the Ohio River Valley Institute's Jan. 18 event on advanced nuclear that featured Jessica Lovering and a bill to open West Virginia to nuclear energy.
Jessica Lovering speaks on The Rational View podcast about Good Energy's origins and how the nuclear industry can earn the public's trust.
Jessica Lovering shares with The Economist how today's climate activists reflect a new pragmatism toward nuclear energy.
Jessica Lovering explains how advanced nuclear technologies can be well-suited to repower former coal sites, whose surrounding communities are familiar with operating energy infrastructure.
Jessica Lovering co-authors an article on her research into how the U.S. can best strengthen global nuclear security—and what role microreactors could play.
The environmental movement has expanded its focus to addressing issues of equity and justice. Jessica Lovering & Suzanne Hobbs Baker wonder if nuclear power can become part of the egalitarian future they envision?
Los Angeles Times reports on California's energy future and speaks with Jessica Lovering about GEC's nuclear justice policy memo and nuclear legacy issues.
NPR takes stock of what happened at Fukushima and speaks with Jessica Lovering about nuclear energy in the context of climate change.
In the face of climate change, some environmentalists are fighting not to close power plants but to save them
Storage and Distributed Energy Technologies Key to a Clean Electricity System’s Resilience
As the climate movement works toward decarbonization, where does nuclear energy stand? Listen to Dr. Jessica Lovering, Co-founder of Good Energy Collective, a progressive organization dedicated to creating new policy and creating a bridge to the social science impacts of nuclear. Check out her predictions on nuclear energy policy through the 2020 U.S. presidential election and recovery phases of COVID-19.
The founders of Good Energy Collective tell their story and share their plans to modernize nuclear energy products, projects and perceptions.
Advances in technology have politicians on both sides of the aisle rethinking nuclear power.
Jessica Lovering of the Good Energy Collective talks about the advantages of small modular reactors and why she is working to engage young climate activists.