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In this episode, I interviewed Bret Kugelmass, the Managing Director of the Energy Impact Center.


We covered a number of topics, including Bret’s background and what led him to focus so passionately on nuclear, his atypical entry point and tremendously successful podcast, the work he is doing at Energy Impact Center, and his ultimate vision for what Energy Impact Center can become and the mark he wants to leave on the world.


Out of all of the people I’ve met so far in my journey, Bret is the closet to my spirit animal - recovering technology entrepreneur looking to work on something more purposeful, concerned about climate change, deep dive into climate brought him to nuclear, and had many discussions and started a podcast on his quest to enter this new field without a historical background in it.


Bret put out some pretty bold, controversial viewpoints. Definitely thought provoking, and whether you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing, a worthwhile listen, for sure.


I would love to hear your thoughts after listening to the episode.


His bio here:


Bret Kugelmass is an American technology entrepreneur who's turned his focus to climate and energy advocacy. One the early pioneers in commercializing drones (Airphrame - acq. 2017) for environmental surveys and emergency response he's experienced first-hand market growth within complex technical, regulatory, and public opinion framework.


He received his Masters in robotics from Stanford and his earlier work includes designing a lunar rover controller for NASA, a concept electric car for Panasonic, and automating solar manufacturing processes for Nanosolar.


Motivated by the climate crises he moved to DC to set up a research initiative (Energy Impact Center) focused on exploring nuclear power and its role in deep decarbonization. He also hosts a podcast (Titans of Nuclear) where he’s conducted hundreds of audio interviews with experts throughout the nuclear sector communicating to a tech savvy and environmentally concerned audience the unique complexities and benefits of the technology.


In this episode, Bret and I discuss:



  • Bret’s background and what caused him to join the climate fight

  • His journey talking to scientists and experts and the three a-ha moments that led to his focus on nuclear

  • Bret’s view on the single only solution to climate change

  • A deep dive into the world of nuclear including a line by line rebuttal of all the common concerns with nuclear energy and reactors

  • Bret’s ultimate goal and definition of success with his work


I hope you enjoy the show!


You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.


Links for topics discussed in this episode:



  • Bret Kugelmass: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bkugelmass

  • Titans of Nuclear: https://www.titansofnuclear.com/

  • Fukushima: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster

  • Bret Kugelmass’s Lecture Series on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgTfjKxO_dTeFNOjWZXUCM0ghpDBVc2oO

Key points in this episode

Key Highlights

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