Friday, May 16, 2008

Simona De Silvestro, Off and On the Track

Simona De Silvestro —and the industry—gets some nice pub with the lead story on today's ClimateWire,

A stunning Swiss blonde parked her racecar in the most unlikely of places: a hotel ballroom in Chicago filled with nuclear industry representatives at an annual conference.

The 19-year-old Simona de Silvestro was fresh from winning the Atlantic Championship season opener in Long Beach, Ca., driving the sleek, 300 horsepower Swift 016, powered by a modified Cosworth engine. Now she was entering a competition of a different sort. The vehicle, which is emblazoned with the phrase "Nuclear Clean Air Energy," is part of a racing team backed by actor Paul Newman.

De Silvestro and her car's pro-nuclear message are both being used by the nuclear power industry to turn heads, but not just at the track. The industry plans to show off her car and its message on university campuses.

NEI recently provided partial sponsorship of Newman Wachs Racing -- de Silvestro's movie star-supported team -- in exchange for the right to brand her vehicle on the racing circuit and take her on multiple campus visits to generate interest in nuclear power. Entergy, the second largest nuclear power operator in the United States, also is a sponsor of the campaign.
Full article is available here (sub req'd.)

Simona will seek to maintain her position as points leader in the Atlantic Championship Series at this Sunday's race at Laguna Seca in Monterey, CA.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Every time a rock star or movie actor or other celebrity makes an ANTI-nuclear statement, they get blasted here for interfering in political matters (and usually made fun of in the process). Why the double standard for pro-nuclear sports stars?

The answer is obvious: because they agree with you. But it's still logically inconsistent.

David Bradish said...

Anon, show me where Simona is interfering in political matters. All I read here is the promotion of an NEI ad on her car.

If an actor thinks cooling towers are a complicated issue, then I think it's fair game to correct him. Likewise, if you read a comment from a pro-nuclear actor that you think is wrong, I fully expect you and all the critics here to comment on it.

Joseph Somsel said...

Glad to see this public relations outreach.

I've been advocating something this for 25 years. Race fans are a natural constituancy. They are impressed by power and by technology and by results. All three factors are a fit with the US nuclear power industry.

DV8 2XL said...

I'm with Joseph on this one: It's long overdue.

The industry needs a younger, sexier image and Simona de Silvestro is a great start. That she's part of a sport where high risk and no-compromise safety is integral, doesn't hurt ether.

gunter said...

Well, here's another example of the connection between the nuclear and fossil fuel industry.

David Bradish said...

How does a nuclear ad on a race car connect the two industries? Your comment doesn't make sense.

Matthew66 said...

In point of fact there are a lot of connections between the fossil fuel industry and nuclear industry, and all the alternatives. NEI is constantly arguing in favor of a diversified energy portfolio that gives an appropriate emphasis to all forms of energy.

Personally, I think it is wasteful to use fossil fuels for electricity generation, I think that they are better deployed elsewehere. I look forward to a day when most electricity is generated from nuclear stations. I would also like to see most ships using nuclear propulsion, and most if not all trains using electricity from the grid, energized by nuclear power.

I also think that it is important to continue to develop solar and wind applications for energy production. I remain to be convinced that biomass isn't better composted and returned to the earth as fertilizer, and the idea of using corn for ethanol while people go hungry is a criminal waste - especially when there is a surplus of sugar cane in places like Brazil and Australia.

Norm Moreau said...

With Mr. Newman gone will become of this initiative. I heard about this during the Nuclear-Gen International Conference 2009 and believe it as an excellent outreach.