Tuesday, October 31, 2006

SEJ Followup

Some bloggers from the Competitive Enterprise Institute were at the Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Vermont last week, and they took a look at some of the booth displays:

Next up are the companies represented by the Nuclear Energy Institute, which have been hoping for a while that global warming would be their savior. After all, atomic energy doesn’t generate greenhouse gases. As NEI’s own material puts it, “We need more electricity and we want clean air. With nuclear energy, we can have both.” Unfortunately, many of the same people doing climate change advocacy work today are the same ones who staffed the anti-nuclear movement of the 1970s and 80s. Global warming may be “the greatest threat facing mankind,” but that doesn’t mean the environmental movement is going to embrace nuclear. It’s just not a position an ideological fashionable person takes.

NEI’s table giveaways are among the best. You’ve got a “Nuclear: The clean air technology” luggage tag, a small coaster/miniature mouse pad, a pen, and a pellet of uranium. Well, it’s just a “simulated fuel pellet,” but it’s interesting to know that something that small could replace an entire ton of coal. They’ve also got a fascinating pamphlet on the “effects and benefits of radiation.” Anyone who is willing to engage the general public on the benefits of radiation has my admiration.
He's talking about our own Melanie Lyons and Janice Cane, who braved the hostile anti-nuke crowds at the conference. Great job.

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Given that they are roughly the right size, color and shape, I wonder if black Nibs licorice bits might be cheap and crowd pleasing "fuel pellets" to hand out at booths.

Anonymous said...

The "benefits of radiation" are discussed in NEI literature? Does NEI endorse the hormesis theory?

Eric McErlain said...

No, that's not the case.

We've dealt with this before. I've spoken with Ralph Anderson, our health physicist, and NEI's position on Hormesis is as follows:

1) Interesting theory that demands more research.

2) In the meantime, there's no basis for using it to determine regulations that protect public health and safety.

When the writer refers to benefits, I'm sure he meant materials that highlighted fields like nuclear medicine and food irradiation.

Randal Leavitt said...

I just read the article "Growing Up With Chernobyl" by R.K. Chesser and R. J. Baker in the Nov-Dec 2006 isuue of American Scientist. One quote:

"This was true for pretty much every creature we examined - highly radioactive, but physically normal. It was the first of many revelations."