Friday, October 20, 2006

NIRS Debuts Beyond Nuclear

We knew it was only a matter of time before the anti-nukes started some high-profile organizing to fight the resurgence in nuclear energy. The result: "Beyond Nuclear" a Web site/fundraising tool that debuted on the Web today courtesy of our friends at NIRS.

They've got a rather impressive array of actors and other artists serving as the backbone of the campaign, including Ed Asner, Ed Begly, Jr. and James Cromwell.

There isn't much there right now, but I'm relishing the opportunity to have the nuclear professionals here at NEI Nuclear Notes go head to head with a bunch of actors.

Let the games begin!

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20 comments:

Brian Mays said...

"I'm not an expert on nuclear science and technology, but I play one on TV."

Lovely. This would be laughable, except that too many out there in the public don't know the difference between the two.

Kirk Sorensen said...

I went to the site and posted a comment, but I haven't seen it show up yet. Some of the actors on the site I had never heard of, and had to look them up on IMDB.

Where's Christie Brinkley? I thought she was a nuclear expert...didn't she testify before Congress? ;-)

Brian Mays said...

Eric, if you want to fuel debate, then give a link to their blog. Happy blogging everyone!

GingerMary said...

Seems actors are not the only ones that love the sound of their own voices ...

Alex Brown said...

Hmm, lets see, both my parents have degrees in nuclear engineeing and they think that nuclear power is a good thing. But then again these actors are more famous than my parents, surely I should trust them instead? I mean, acting school teaches you all you need to know about engineeing and nuclear power right?

Anonymous said...

"About me: I'm a wife and mother..."

...and therefore I'm mortally afraid of anything that I don't understand and that could conceivably be a threat to my precious child.

'nuff said.

Paul Primavera said...

"...and therefore I'm mortally afraid of anything that I don't understand and that could conceivably be a threat to my precious child."

One wonder why that doesn't include the pollution from coal fired power plants whose use nuclear can obviate.

30000 dead per year from coal. Zero from nukes.

Kirk Sorensen said...

...still waiting for my comment to post over there...

Maybe she saves electricity by only checking comments to her blog once a week. Or maybe there's a filter on pro-nuclear comments.

Anonymous said...

Has the nuclear industry ever used any celebrity appeals?

GingerMary said...

No they haven't Anonymous. But I suppose it's easier to critisize someone else that have your own opinion and lobby for your own support. Until recently I have been supportive of the nuclear industry.Suppose by personal experience I have found them to be cowardly and not able to stand up and run their own campaign. Why are we forwever reading on here that there is critism being levied against others instead of writing your own books, taking your own stand and not only commenting. What happened to having guts, being men and women who can truly go out there and say " I am not afraid". Are you guys scared of actors, or mere girls writing books. I suppose my personal experience of cowardice in the nuclear industry should not taint my opinion but I only see reaction and not action. I am not a nuclear engineer but perhaps it will take more than a nuclear engineer to stand up and be counted. Seems mere actors are giving you a run for your money. Shame on you guys. At least do something other than just critisize. How about your own campaign. How about being men / women? Suppose I could be critisized for being a pain now like some anonymous people on here. At least I dont dissapear when the going gets tough!!

KenG said...

gingermary,

There is no shortage of pro-nuclear information availble. All you have to do is check any industry or university related resources (NEI, ANS, MIT, etc). Also, I have a shelf full of books supporting the pro-nuclear viewpoint. Unfortunately, they don't have inflammatory titles and tend to be relatively technical and fact based which may not make the most riveting reading.

The frustration that sometimes comes through here probably reflects the media coverage. All the good work done by engineers and physicists get's no recognition while off-hand statements by actors, economists, and political scientists make the news.

Anonymous said...

I think it is time to use the language of the anti-nukes against them. The problem is obviously how to do that.
Now it seems to me it is very simple to take your standart "anti nuclear rant in book form" and copy edit it into a pro nuclear rant.
In other words keep the structur of the book the feeling, the drive and just switch out the contend.

I am not certain that everybody can pull this of but in essence it is less difficult than to write a book starting with a blank page of paper. Doing it in this manner is more like doing your english homework.

And obviously while their main style choice is to instill fear ours should be the opposit - hope.

Now another point is the question of organisation. As long as there is no real cheerleader for nuclear power you do not have a real answer to greenpeace et al.
And make no mistake national industrial lobby groups have not the same impact as a non profit organisation that has an international overlay many national branch offices + local support networks and a constant drive for publicity stunts. THAT is a totally different beast.
But the good thing is that it is actually easier to build such a structure now than it was in the past - mostly because of the way information flows today.

As long as the supporters are not able to define the positve narrative and to match the aggressiveness of the anti nukes it is not possible to shift the nuclear renaisance into high gear.

So let us just say it as we know it: nuclear power plants save lives and are a symbol of hope for a better future for us and our children - at home and abroad.


Or as Eisenhower said:

(http://www.iaea.org/About/
history_speech.html)

(...) "Experts would be mobilized to apply atomic energy to the needs of agriculture, medicine and other peaceful activities. A special purpose would be to provide abundant electrical energy in the power-starved areas of the world." (...)

"So my country's purpose is to help us to move out of the dark chamber of horrors into the light, to find a way by which the minds of men, the hopes of men, the souls of men everywhere, can move forward towards peace and happiness and well-being.

In this quest, I know that we must not lack patience. I know that in a world divided, such as ours today, salvation cannot be attained by one dramatic act.I know that many steps will have to be taken over many months before the world can look at itself one day and truly realize that a new climate of mutually peaceful confidence is abroad in the world. But I know, above all else, that we must start to take these steps - now." (...)

Alex Brown said...

We'll, here is where I have to differ from som people here. I guess my views would be considered "whimpy", but hear me out. Personally, I am decidendly AGAINST people starting grassroot campaigns to lobby the government for stuff except in the extreme cases. It annoys me how often our policies are controlled not be experts in the field, but by political groups with much less knowledge about a subject, but many more votes. Personally I am not in favor of the legislature supporting the nuclear industry, nor making laws against it. I think that the descision should come down to people who actually know what they are talking about, not people who THINK they know alot, but are often misguided. The fact is that while I think the supporters of nuclear power are pretty well informed about it, very few of us actually know enough to make any really informed descision. I mean, I think breeder reactors are a good idea, but I don't have the first clue what the REALLY entails in terms of costs and reliability. The descision whether or not to build breeder reactors should not come from a government ban, nor from a government sponsorship, it should be left up to energy companies that actually understand the risks and rewards involved.

gunter said...

Greetings,

Hey, maybe Homer Simpson can do an ad for NEI on nuclear safety. Or how about Mr. Burns and NEI Chairman Anthony Earley, Jr. in a PSA on the coal and nuclear alliance for "clean air" energy policy. Right?

Gunter

Kirk Sorensen said...

Hey, maybe Homer Simpson can do an ad for NEI on nuclear safety. Or how about Mr. Burns and NEI Chairman Anthony Earley, Jr. in a PSA on the coal and nuclear alliance for "clean air" energy policy. Right?

Grow up, Gunter. Or better yet, get a degree in nuclear engineering and come say it to my face.

gunter said...

Kirk,

Hey, only a suggestion. Where's your sense of humor? Geez, I thought "The Simpson's" was adult entertainment?
Besides, I stopped growing at 6'7", luckily as door jambs can already be a problem.

But what's your point and what's "your face" got to do with it?

I am not going into nuclear engineering as is the case with most engineering students these days and for the past couple of decades. That's another part of the commercial power industry's still unaddressed problems.

My point stands. You mention nothing of the irony of NEI's disingenuous "clean air" ploy being chaired by a coal man.

What's Earley's position on mountain top removal, anyways, do you know?

Gunter, NIRS

Kirk Sorensen said...

Okay Gunter, now we know you have no nuclear engineering background. Does anyone at NIRS have a nuclear engineering degree? I'm really curious now...

Kirk Sorensen said...

http://www.nirs.org/about/staff.htm

Hmm, here's the NIRS staff page...don't see any nuclear engineering degrees. Italian literature, environmental science, biology, but no nuclear engineering.

Wait, I thought this was called the "Nuclear Information and Resource Service"???

Where's the people who actually know something about nuclear energy to share?

PS Gunter, at least NEI will post your juvenile jabs at them. That's more than I can say for well-composed counter-arguments over at "Beyond Nuclear".

Gunter said...

Kirk,

Thanks for your attentiveness to our website. Did you look over the Oyster Creeaak license extension challenge currently underway?

It' a good example of how NIRS routinely works with experts in a number of fields including nuclear engineering, stress engineering, corrosion mechanics, etc. etc. etc.

Gunter, NIRS

Beyonder1 said...

"Juvenile?" Wow Kirk you'd better read the rest of your own blog here first. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
Apparently you all entertain enough arrogance to believe that the only people allowed to comment about nuclear power are engineers. This reminds me of tussles I had with racists from South Africa during the apartheid years who insisted no one could pass judgment on their regime who had never been to the country. Luckily people who had never been there drew their own intelligent conclusions that apartheid was wrong and Mandela DID become president.
I suppose you would in turn argue that since you are not a Holocaust survivor or former SS guard, you can't be sure that the Holocaust ever took place.
The point you are missing is that human beings have inate intelligence - even those of us who are not engineers! The capacity to research and learn is a human trait. To deny it - as you are doing here - is a frightening position but personally one I am glad you have decided to make public.
A world in which all technical decisions were dictated by engineers would be a pretty frightening place. Here's a quote from Marcel Pagnol who you've probably never heard of (and won't find on imbd) because you don't believe in studying literature and then holding an opinion on science.
"My advice is look out for engineers. They begin with sewing machines and end up with nuclear bombs."
Luckily, some of us can arrive at a set of moral values through intelligence and learning, and even yes, degrees in subjects other than engineering. You'd be amazed to find out what you can learn - even about nuclear power - beyond the confines of engineering school. Try life. It's an amazing university. Having a shred or two of humanity is also pretty cool and highly recommended.