Education with Purpose

Is Nuclear Power Green? | Knowledge Labs: In the Know

April 12, 2022 | Hamilton, ON
Contributed by Goran Calic, Associate Professor, Strategic Management


As a society, our energy needs are shifting with a focus on green energy sources. A variety of energy solutions will need to be deployed to facilitate the shift to green energy. Goran Calic, Associate Professor, Strategic Management has been researching green energy, with a particular focus on nuclear power.

How Does Nuclear Stack Up?

When considering whether nuclear power is green, he considers cleanliness and safety. Nuclear has low greenhouse gas emissions and deaths resulting from air pollution and accidents, which is in line with other clean energy sources like hydro, solar, and wind.

Chart depicting the Greenhouse gas emissions, measures in CO2 equivalents, of various energy sources. Traditional sources like Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, and Biomass create much higher emissions than green energy sources like Hydro, Nuclear, Wind, and Solar. Chart depicting the Death Rate from Accidents and Air Pollution, measured in deaths per terawatt-hour of energy production, of various energy sources. Traditional sources like Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, and Biomass are considered much less safe than green energy sources like Hydro, Nuclear, Wind, and Solar.

What Stands in the Way of Adoption?

How do we explain the gap in adoption of nuclear power? Unfortunately, energy consumers are not easily able to make personal choices about what type of energy they are consuming which means preferences aren’t being reflected right away. As with any type of new technology, it can take quite a while to build out required infrastructure. We saw it early on with solar energy and we are seeing it now with new nuclear technology.  Nuclear is getting smaller, it’s getting more technologically advanced, and it’s getting better.

What’s Next for Nuclear?

Nuclear power is often miscategorized. Nuclear, like hydro, solar, and wind, is safe and it is clean. No single technology meets our energy needs. Green sources of energy like nuclear, solar, wind, and hydro meet different needs and need to be used in complementary ways. Only then can we solve the problem of affordable clean and safe energy.

Knowledge Labs: In the Know is a web series where experts from the DeGroote School of Business offer their insights into current affairs. Keep up with the series.

Interested in learning more about the the sustainable energy industry? Join professor Calic, alumni Bernadette Corpuz, BCom ’90, MBA ’91, General Counsel, OYA Solar and David Van Alstyne, MBA ’07, President, CleanTechonomics Energy Inc. for our upcoming Earth Month event.

Sustainable Energy And The Future Outlook
• April 28 | 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Register now!



Goran Calic

Goran Calic

Associate Professor, Strategic Management

Dr. Goran Calic is an Associate Professor of Strategic Management, with membership in Information Systems, at McMaster University. He holds a PhD in Strategic Management and a Post Doc. in Computational Cognitive Neuroscience from Purdue University. Goran Calic’s research focuses on understanding why some individuals are more creative and some organizations are more innovative than others. His area of research is primarily concerned with early-stage entrepreneurship. His work on creativity in organizations was awarded the 2015 Max Henri Boisot Award from the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS). He has written in a variety of academic publications, such as the Journal of Management Studies, Nature Scientific Reports, Rutgers Business Review, the Academy of Management Learning & Education, and The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Citizenship Behavior. His work is funded by a number of interdisciplinary grants and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Prior to starting his academic career, Goran Calic worked for four years in Osnabrück, Germany at Georgsmarienhütte GmbH. During this time, he was involved in activities related to market research and organizational strategy.

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