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Re: [cdn-nucl-l] Nuclear energy: friend or foe, Sat Oct 21 4-6 PM
Yesterday I attended the Cafe Scientifique on Nuclear Energy.
I must say attending nuclear events where they serve beer is definitely an experience I think should be incorporated into all public nuclear events.
Ok but seriosuly I thought that this was an absolutely wondeful event!
The format was as follows: First, Tom Adams of Energy Probe spoke for 10 minutes. He focused on three key areas: Cost (Claiming 70 million + in subsidies for aecl), Safety (focusing only on the nuclear liability act), and finally on weapons proliferation.
I was quite suprised, actually, based on my familiarity with Mr. Adams' past speeches and writings....he was quite reasonable in his delivery and even acknolowedged that nuclear is a near emisison free generator over the life cycle.
Then Ron Oberth took the stage and gave a similar ten minute address. This was the first time I had heard Dr. Oberth speak and I must say I was very impressed...his calm, focused and factual delivery about all things nuclear (we are all familiar with the pro's) was, in my impression, well received.
After a short break the floor was opened up to comments and questions. An audience member would stand and speak...the presenters would have a chance to respond first and then any audience members wishing to repsond to the comment had a chance. The cycle then repeats with another audience member asking their question.
I must say this session was, in comparison, a breath of fresh air. The audience seemed to reserve judgement on the issue and there was precious little fanatisicm. Even the questions that were "against" nuclear were, for the most part,
fair and balanced (and not in the fox news way!).
In other words they were, in my opinion, valid questions that focused on the real con's of nuclear power (we all know that every energy source has a downside) and not on the "perceived risks" that are mostly out to lunch.
Since they were fair questions Ron was able to answer all of them most satisfactorily. Even if the information was not enopugh to shift them into the nuclear camp I think they definitly will stop and look even more closely!!!
There were two exceptions: one, an eccentric former "medical" dude who claims he worked in the hospital (here in Toronto) when Chernobyl happened and measured radiation was twice normal background. Using (I assume) LNT he claimed 200 000 deaths.
I don't think much weight was given to his comments by any in attendance.
The saddest part of the evening was a woman from Oshawa. She has two family members who have been unfortunate enough to contract Thyroid cancer. She has made the emotional connection to the plants. And we, of course, can't prove otherwise and even if we could she probably wouldn't be convinced. One audience memeber (not me!) made a statistics comment but mostly the question was left alone.
Also of note was an animated icelandic gentleman... who is actually a supporter of nuclear but not CANDU...an argument we are all becoming increasingly familiar with!
Ok, I am tired of typing.... but I would call this a success for the nuclear industry...Ron spoke to an educated and interesated crowd who came with opened ears and opened mind and I am sure they all walked away with a more favourable position of nuclear than they walked in with (except me, of course).
) is a science education
series hosted by the Ontario Science Centre, held on the third Saturday of
each month at the Rivoli Tavern, downtown Toronto (334 Queen St. West - a
quick streetcar ride West from Osgoode Subway station.) This Saturday,
October 21 from 4-6 PM will be a debate entitled "Nuclear Energy: friend or
foe?" featuring Ron Oberth of AECL and Tom Adams of Energy Probe. Admission
is absolutely free. All are welcome to attend - please send the invite
along to everyone with interest.
Nuclear Energy: friend or foe?
• Dr. Ron Oberth
Director of Marketing, Atomic Energy of Canada
• Thomas Adams
Executive Director, Energy Probe
Saturday, October 21, 2006, starting at 4 pm
Rivoli, 334 Queen Street
No ticket required - drop in!
Café Scientifique in Toronto is hosted by the Ontario Science Centre and is
held the third Saturday of each month at the Rivoli tavern. To receive
notification of upcoming Toronto events, send an e-mail with your name and
e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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