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CARLSBAD, NM, August 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Dr. Jim Conca, expert in earth and environmental sciences and a popular contributor to Forbes Magazine, will be one of the keynote speakers at the Carlsbad Department of Development's second annual National Nuclear Fuel Cycle Summit, scheduled for Oct. 14-17 in Carlsbad, N.M.
The focus of this year's summit will be "Balancing Policy with Science," and the event will take a comprehensive look at the nation's nuclear history and paths forward to cleaning up the nation's nuclear waste.
"We have a unique and historic window of opportunity to solve the nuclear waste conundrum that has plagued this country for half a century," said Conca. "We have the knowledge, the experience, the technology, the workforce and the infrastructure to handle, store and dispose of any and all nuclear waste. And we now have the perfect 15-year track record of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site to satisfy even the most die-hard skeptic that the United States can handle its nuclear legacy and can handle a fully nuclear-powered future."
Panelists at the summit will include top academic, industry and government experts from all phases of the nuclear fuel cycle. The summit will take place at the Walter Gerrells Performing Arts & Exhibition Center and the Pecos River Village Conference Center, both in Carlsbad. Limited tours of WIPP, the Department of Energy's permanent disposal site for defense-generated transuranic (TRU) waste, will also be available.
Throughout his 31-year career as a scientist, Conca's professional focus has been in the geologic disposal of nuclear waste, energy-related research, subsurface transport and environmental clean-up of heavy metals. He began blogging (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/) with Forbes in 2012 and his columns typically draw hundreds of responses. He is also the co-author of "The GeoPolitics of Energy: Achieving a Just and Sustainable Energy Distribution by 2040."
"In his Forbes articles, Dr. Conca has frequently addressed the overlap of societal issues and science," noted Dave Sepich, CDOD president. "He's made the point that an understanding of science and public perception are both needed to solve issues such as sustainable energy development. He'll be an ideal speaker at this summit."
Conca is the Director of the Center for Laboratory Sciences on the campus of Columbia Basin College. He previously served as Director of the New Mexico State University-Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center, the independent and academic monitoring facility for WIPP. He previously worked with Los Alamos National Laboratory and at Washington State University Tri-Cities. Dr. Conca holds a Ph.D. in Geochemistry (1985) and a Masters in Planetary Science (1981). He received a Bachelor's of Science in Geology/Biology from Brown University in 1979.
"The upcoming Nuclear Summit in Carlsbad, New Mexico, will lay the vision of a path forward out in detail and should be attended by everyone seriously involved with nuclear and energy issues," Conca concluded.
For more information on the National Nuclear Fuel Cycle Summit, visit www.NuclearFuelCycleSummit.org.
The Carlsbad Department of Development promotes the economic and general welfare of the citizens of the City of Carlsbad and South Eddy County, New Mexico.
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