Jessica Lovering

Jessica Lovering

Co-Founder & Executive Director

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.

Areas of Interest:

  • Advanced Nuclear Technologies
  • Coal-to-Nuclear
  • Deep Decarbonization
  • Economics of Nuclear
  • International Policy

Good Energy Reflects: "Silkwood" and "The China Syndrome"

Our thoughts and impressions of two films with nuclear themes: "The China Syndrome" (1979) and "Silkwood" (1983).
December 15, 2022

Good Energy Reflects: Jessica Tours Japan with the Santa Fe Leadership Program

Executive Director Jessica Lovering visited Japan and engaged with high-level decision-makers about their nuclear industry
November 9, 2022

Interim Nuclear Justice Roadmap

An illustration of our understanding of the concerns Americans have about nuclear energy and actions that can address them
October 31, 2022

Good Energy Reflects: "Understanding the Societal Challenges Facing Nuclear Power"

A written discussion of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2022 publication
October 5, 2022

NIA Webinar: Fission Vision (Video)

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
April 13, 2022

WV Rivers Coalition Panel: Feasibility of Advanced Nuclear in West Virginia (Video)

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
January 19, 2022

Opportunities for Coal Communities Through Nuclear Energy: An Early Look

A policy report exploring where small modular reactor (SMR) technology could support environmental justice communities that relied on coal
December 22, 2021

Toronto Global Forum Panel: Small Modular Reactors: The Goal to Reach Net Zero (Video)

Jessica Lovering discusses Good Energy's founding principles, nuclear energy financing policy needs, and siting challenges and opportunities
November 23, 2021

We Need a Clean Energy Standard with Nuclear

As Congress nears a peak in negotiations over a federal Clean Energy Standard, lawmakers should make sure to include nuclear energy
July 29, 2021

A Policy Pathway for Nuclear Justice 

To align the nuclear sector with the broader Justice40 initiative, federal policies should center communities and address past injustices
April 27, 2021

Jennifer Granholm Set to Lead the Clean Energy Transition as Secretary of Energy

The former Michigan Governor supports advanced nuclear tech, environmental justice and cross-agency collaboration
February 25, 2021

What’s In Store for Nuclear in a Biden Administration

Lovering's Keynote Speech from the 2020 American Nuclear Society Annual Meeting
December 8, 2020

Webinar: Rethinking Nuclear Policy from the Ground Up (Carnegie Mellon University's Scott Institute for Energy Innovation)

Jessica Lovering gives her predictions on nuclear energy policy through the 2020 U.S. presidential election and recovery phases of COVID-19.
November 5, 2020

Microreactors for Microgrids?

Why nuclear technology might finally be a match for community-scale energy systems
August 2, 2020

Our Progressive Policy Agenda for Advanced Nuclear Energy

Recommendations for advanced nuclear technologies as part of the U.S. climate change response
August 2, 2020

Duke U Panel: Advanced Nuclear Tech in a Decarbonized Energy Future: Feasible or Fantastical? (Video)

Jessica Lovering and Rachel Slaybaugh discuss research and development underway on new designs for nuclear reactors that seek to completely change the paradigm
July 20, 2020

Last Energy Signs Deals Worth $19 Billion for Nuclear Plants

Jessica Lovering comments on Last Energy's deal to build small modular reactors in Europe.

March 20, 2023

Development Banks Must Embrace Nuclear Energy

Jessica Lovering, alongside her co-author Håvard Halland, argues that multilateral development banks must reconsidertheir nuclear energy policy.

Project Syndicate
February 28, 2023

Nuclear Roundtable, Part 2

Part II: Jessica Lovering discusses the importance of nuclear energy's role as a safe carbon-free complement to renewables.

The Chris Cuomo Podcast
February 28, 2023

Nuclear Power’s Revival Reaches the Home of the Last Meltdown

Jessica Lovering joins Bloomberg's The Big Take podcast with Shoko Oda to discuss the benefits of nuclear energy.

February 27, 2023

Nuclear Roundtable, Part 1

Part I: Jessica Lovering discusses the importance of nuclear energy's role as a safe carbon-free complement to renewables.

The Chris Cuomo Podcast
February 21, 2023

Smaller, Safer, Cheaper? Modular Nuclear Plants Could Reshape Coal Country

Jessica Lovering discusses the community approval aspect of coal-to-nuclear opportunities.

The Washington Post
February 19, 2023

The Process is What Matters

Jessica Lovering comments on the permitting reform discourse.

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
February 1, 2023

Should Governments Reinvest in Nuclear Power to Fight Climate Change?

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.

The Nation
November 12, 2022

U.S. Ramps Up Nuclear Energy for Africa in Showdown with Russia, China

Jessica Lovering discusses the U.S. governments effort to support African countries adopting nuclear energy.

The Africa Report
November 9, 2022

Land Use Matters as Communities Cut Carbon Emissions

Jessica Lovering discusses the large variation in land use amongst clean energy technologies, and how that should influence energy system planning.

October 6, 2022

Why Do Nuclear Power Plants Need Electricity to Stay Safe?

Jessica Lovering explains why a source of electricity is crucial to the safe operation of nuclear power plants.

Popular Science
September 16, 2022

Coal to Nuclear is Smart Climate Policy

Jessica Lovering discusses the many climate benefits of converting coal power plants to nuclear power plants.

The Honest Broker by Roger Pielke Jr. Substack
September 15, 2022

Diablo Canyon, Paid Family Leave, Funding Abortion And More: What Bills Are Vying For Newsom’s Signature?

Jessica Lovering joins KPCC's AirTalk program to discuss California lawmakers' vote to extend the life of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

September 1, 2022

Social License in the Deployment of Advanced Nuclear Technology

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."

Nuclear Newswire
September 1, 2022

Governments Are Rethinking Nuclear Power

Jessica Lovering reflects on governments reconsidering early nuclear plant retirements in light of the global energy crisis driven by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

August 30, 2022

The EU Just Decided Natural Gas Is ‘Green’ (???)

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."

July 9, 2022

Russia’s Nuclear Power Hegemony

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.

Foreign Affairs
June 8, 2022

Should California Keep Generating Nuclear Power?

Jessica Lovering discusses the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, and the future of nuclear energy and its potential to combat climate change.

KQED Forum
June 1, 2022

To Nuclear or Not

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.

Earthlings Podcast
March 18, 2022

Could Micro-Nuclear Reactors Power Microgrids in Emerging Markets?

Jessica Lovering explores the benefits and challenges of microreactors for microgrids.

Energy for Growth Hub
March 7, 2022

A Hole in the Ground Could be the Future of Fusion Power

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.

MIT Technology Review
February 23, 2022

Nuclear Power Is Critical for the World’s Climate Crisis

Jessica Lovering co-authors an op-ed about the vital role nuclear energy can play in addressing climate change.

Bloomberg Law
February 8, 2022

Changing The Climate: Jessica Lovering

Jessica Lovering provides a primer on nuclear energy in conversation with the host of Changing the Climate.

Changing the Climate Podcast
January 29, 2022

The Morning Dispatch: Germany Drags Feet On Ukraine

Jessica Lovering talks about the motivations and repercussions of Germany's phase-out of its nuclear power plants.

The Dispatch
January 25, 2022

Everyone’s Least Favorite Climate Fix? Nuclear Power Gets Fresh Look.

Jessica Lovering talks about new community ownership models of nuclear and how advanced nuclear could help reduce manufacturing emissions.

Christian Science Monitor
January 21, 2022

Nuclear Power Is Making Technical Strides, But Does It Have A Place In A Greener Future?

Jessica Lovering joins KPCC's AirTalk program to discuss how advanced nuclear paired with renewables will help countries meet their climate goals.

January 20, 2022

Senate Committee Advances Bill Lifting Restrictions on Nuclear Power Plant Construction

The Charleston Gazette-Mail covers the Jan. 18 event on the feasibility of nuclear for West Virginia, citing Jessica Lovering's presentation.

Charleston Gazette-Mail
January 19, 2022

Experts, Legislators Explore Allowing Advanced Nuclear Plants to Come to West Virginia

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.

The Dominion Post
January 18, 2022

Dr. Jessica Lovering is Changing Public Perception of 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.

The Rational View Podcast
January 8, 2022

Will the Climate Crisis Force America to Reconsider Nuclear Power?

Jessica Lovering shares with The Economist how today's climate activists reflect a new pragmatism toward nuclear energy.

The Economist
November 8, 2021

A New Frontier for Nuclear: Partnering With Utilities on Decommissioned Coal Sites

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.

Morning Consult
August 30, 2021

As US Nuclear Exports Decline, Experts Fear International Safeguards Will Too

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.

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
August 27, 2021

Can Nuclear Power Go Local?

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?

Issues in Science & Technology
May 24, 2021

California’s Next Climate Challenge: Replacing its Last Nuclear Power Plant

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.

Los Angeles Times
May 18, 2021

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster: 10 Years Later

NPR takes stock of what happened at Fukushima and speaks with Jessica Lovering about nuclear energy in the context of climate change.

National Public Radio
April 29, 2021

The Activists Who Embrace Nuclear Power

In the face of climate change, some environmentalists are fighting not to close power plants but to save them

The New Yorker
February 19, 2021

At the Grid’s Edge

Storage and Distributed Energy Technologies Key to a Clean Electricity System’s Resilience

Morning Consult
December 18, 2020

Webinar: Good Energy Collective - Rethinking Nuclear Policy from the Ground Up

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.

Carnegie Mellon University's Scott Institute for Energy Innovation
November 5, 2020

Atomic Show #283

The founders of Good Energy Collective tell their story and share their plans to modernize nuclear energy products, projects and perceptions.

Atomic Insights
October 10, 2020

A New Kind of Nuclear Option

Advances in technology have politicians on both sides of the aisle rethinking nuclear power.

Capital and Main
July 29, 2020

The Power Hungry Podcast: Season 1 Episode 6

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.

The Power Hungry Podcast
July 28, 2020