Jessica Lovering

Jessica Lovering


Before starting a PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Colorado Boulder, Jessica 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.

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

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

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

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

Advanced Nuclear Tech in a Decarbonized Energy Future: Feasible or Fantastical?

Research and development is underway on new designs for nuclear reactors that seek to completely change the paradigm for nuclear energy.

July 20, 2020