Author Archives: Richard K. Lester

A Roadmap for U.S. Nuclear Energy Innovation

This article is in Climate and Energy: The Outliers, Winter 2016

A variety of timely forces are inspiring a renewed push for nuclear energy. Here is a proposed roadmap for innovation over the next few decades. The future role of nuclear energy is attracting new attention. Several recent climate policy assessments have concluded that meeting the world’s growing appetite for energy while achieving deep reductions in […]

Energy Conundrums: New Nukes

This article is in Energy Conundrums, Summer 2006

For the next 5 to 10 years, emphasis should be on fundamental research and laboratory-scale experiments. This should be supported by strong systems analysis and extensive modeling and simulation, and should explore a broad range of reactors, fuel types, and fuel cycles. The Bush administration is pushing for early selection of particular fuel cycle technologies […]


This article is in Science and Foreign Policy, Summer 1999

Relieving traffic congestion In “Traffic Congestion: A Solvable Problem” (Issues, Spring 1999), Peter Samuel’s prescriptions for dealing with traffic congestion are both thought-provoking and insightful. There clearly is a need for more creative use of existing highway capacity, just as there continue to be justified demands for capacity improvements. Samuel’s ideas about how capacity might […]

Closing the Energy-Demonstration Gap

This article is in Has NIH Lost Its Halo?, Winter 2015

A regional approach to demonstrating the commercial potential of major new energy technologies would open up new opportunities for accelerating innovation. The high costs and risks of demonstrating new clean energy technologies at commercial scale are major obstacles in the transition to a low-carbon energy economy. To overcome this barrier, we propose a new, decentralized […]