Commission on Nuclear Energy and Climate Security

January 2023

The Council on Strategic Risks is pleased to announce the launch of the Commission on Nuclear Energy and Climate Security (CNECS), with a view to restoring U.S. leadership in civilian nuclear technology to meet energy, climate, and national security needs for the 21st century.    

Given the climate crisis and increasing global tensions around energy markets, this mission is both urgent and timely. Many countries around the world are looking to nuclear energy to help them reach their ambitious reduction goals for carbon emissions, expanding beyond the power generation sector to decarbonizing other industrial processes. 

Consequently, the U.S. faces a historic opportunity to re-engage with its partners around the world and exercise global leadership on nuclear energy to promote the highest standards of safety, security, and nonproliferation.1 A failure to seize this unique moment would continue to cede influence to other nations whose interests and standards may not coincide with our own. We cannot be strong abroad if we are weak at home. 

The Commission will work with the U.S. government, the private sector, and civil society to encourage the investment of significant resources toward reviving our domestic nuclear industry and position as a supplier of nuclear fuel and technology. 

The Commission is co-chaired by former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Sherri Goodman and former Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman and is comprised of U.S. leaders across key sectors including climate change, nuclear energy, defense and national security, organized labor, and foreign policy, including the following members:

  • Dr. Rita Baranwal, Westinghouse
  • Ms. Kathleen Barrón, Constellation
  • The Honorable Dan Brouillette, Former U.S. Secretary of Energy
  • Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky, Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center
  • Ms. Susan Eisenhower, The Eisenhower Group, Inc.
  • The Honorable Sherri Goodman, Co-chair, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense*
  • The Honorable Rose Gottemoeller, Stanford University*
  • The Honorable Chuck Hagel, Former Secretary of Defense
  • The Honorable John Hamre, former Deputy Secretary of Defense
  • The Honorable Shirley Jackson, former Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Dr. Marcus King, Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service*
  • Representative Elaine Luria, former U.S. representative from Virginia’s 2nd congressional district
  • Mr. Sean McGarvey, North America’s Building Trades Unions
  • The Honorable Bob Perciasepe, former Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • The Honorable Dan Poneman, Co-chair, former Deputy Secretary of Energy*
  • Admiral John Richardson, USN(Ret), 31st Chief of Naval Operations

*Also serve as CSR board members.

Full biographies of the Commissioners coming soon

[1] In this effort, we define nuclear safety to include matters of reactor design, construction, operations, and environmental protection; security to include facility protection, supply chain stability, etc; and nonproliferation goals to include technology-sharing, compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, IAEA safeguards, and other international norms, as well as the effective control of fissile materials.