Nuclear Barbarians

A podcast about nuclear, energy, and possibility.

About the show

Emmet Penney talks to experts, workers, journalists, and scholars from all over the world about nuclear energy, energy issues, culture, and society. Subscribe to the substack to get the newsletter and the podcast sent directly to your inbox:


  • Episode 33: Why Save Pickering Is Popping Off ft. Dr. Chris Keefer

    November 5th, 2022  |  47 mins 23 secs

    Dr. Chris Keefer swung by to talk about all his big moves in Canada and why the Save Pickering campaign is popping off.

  • Episode 32: Nuclear Austria ft. Dominic Wipplinger

    October 6th, 2022  |  35 mins 38 secs

    Austrian nuclear advocate Dominic Wipplinger joined me to talk about how nuclear support has changed, and what got him interested in nuclear. And he gives me an education in Austrian nuclear history. I learned a lot and I hope you do too!

  • Episode 31: Synthetic Fuels Rundown Pt. II ft. Noah Rettberg

    September 23rd, 2022  |  47 mins 51 secs

    Noah Rettberg joins me again to talk about synth fuels. This time we go deep into hydrogen production. I love having Noah on as I always learn a ton.

  • Episode 30: Fishin' for Nukes ft. Fission Phil

    September 6th, 2022  |  52 mins 5 secs

    Phil Ord, who's been advocating for nuclear for way longer than I have, joined me to talk about how he became a "nukebro." We also talk about climate change, renewable propaganda, and how the nuclear movement has grown since Phil got into it.

    Note: we recorded this a week before Diablo Canyon was saved.

  • Episode 29: Synthetic Fuels Rundown Pt. I ft. Noah Rettberg

    July 1st, 2022  |  38 mins 7 secs

    Noah Rettberg joined me to talk about synthetic fuels. I learned a ton--and there's so much more to learn we're going to do a follow up!

  • Episode 28: Door-to-Door Nukepilling ft. Amelia Tiemann

    June 16th, 2022  |  32 mins 49 secs

    Nuclear advocate, UC Davis grad student, environmentalist, and barbell squatter Amelia Tiemann joined me to talk about convincing people of nuclear, the Beautiful Nuclear Report, and more!

    Check her out on Twitter:

    Subscribe to Grid Brief:

  • Episode 27: Why *Won't* Australia Build Nuclear? ft. James Fleay

    May 19th, 2022  |  38 mins 47 secs

    My friend James Fleay, founder of Down Under Nuclear Energy (DUNE), joined me to talk about what's stopping Australia from building nuclear. We talk about the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal, electricity spot market, economic complexity, human capital, Australian economic history, and more!

  • Episode 26: Fire2Fission pt. II ft. Mark Hinaman

    May 12th, 2022  |  44 mins 58 secs

    Mark Hinaman joined me again to talk about his vision for the Fire2Fission fund, nuclear regulation, the value of human capital, what the fossil fuel and nuclear industries can do better, and more!

  • Episode 25: A CANDU Attitude

    April 28th, 2022  |  29 mins 44 secs

    Dr. Chris Keefer, the host of the Decouple podcast, stopped by to update me on the incredible progress being made in Canada for nuclear energy.

  • Episode 24: From Solar King to Nuclear Barbarian ft. Brian Gitt

    April 21st, 2022  |  49 mins 35 secs

    Brian Gitt was once a true Amory Lovins all-renewables believer. But then, as he spent time in the industry, things stopped adding up. We talk about his journey towards the radiant light of nuclear and what renewables advocates leave out when they make their case.

  • Episode 23: Fire2Fission Pt. I ft. Mark Hinaman

    April 14th, 2022  |  48 mins 37 secs

    Mark Hinaman, who grew up in an oil and gas family and found great success in fracking, is now turning towards nuclear for a vision of the future.

    In this first episode in a two-parter, Mark and I dove into his background, what nuclear can learn from O&G, realistic energy transitions, and so much more. I absolutely loved talking to him and am looking forward to part 2.

  • Episode 22: Hanging with @NuclearHazelnut ft. Jenifer Avellaneda

    April 7th, 2022  |  27 mins 13 secs

    Jenifer Avellanada is one of my favorite new Twitter follows. She's a young Nuclear Risk Analyst for Westinghouse whose been passionate about nuclear since she was a kid and who does a great job of communicating nuclear safety to the public. We had a fun chat about her background and our mutual love of nuclear.

  • Episode 21: The Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam ft. Wiliam Davison

    March 31st, 2022  |  49 mins 30 secs

    Wiliam Davison of Crisis Group joined me to talk about GERD. It's a hugely informative episode about the hurdles developing countries face in scaling up the energy ladder. 

  • Episode 20: Fossil to Fission ft. Madi Hilly

    March 10th, 2022  |  26 mins 27 secs

    Madi Hilly of the Campaign for a Green Nuclear Deal joined me to talk about her organization's latest report on repowering retiring coal plants with nuclear reactors. We talk about giving energy communities a chance to choose their future, preserving American industrial ability, obstacles to repowering, and much more.

  • Episode 19: Who's at the Wheel? ft. Robert Bryce

    March 3rd, 2022  |  39 mins 3 secs

    Return guest Robert Bryce joined me to talk about the NRC’s decision to rescind its license extension to Turkey Point in Florida. The conversation then turns to the dismal state of current energy policy, Biden’s State of the Union, the problem with how most people (especially those in the media) think about energy, what we can do about it, and some of my weird theories about how the internet has deeply changed our polity

  • Episode 18: Africa4Nuclear ft. Princy Mthombeni

    February 17th, 2022  |  23 mins 47 secs

    Princy Mthombeni from Africa4Nuclear sat down with me to talk about how she ended up becoming such an amazing advocate for nuclear, the obstacles to building nuclear in Africa, overcoming energy poverty, and more!