BY OLIVIA MILNE, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
At a press conference tonight in the Boston Park Plaza Hotel’s Stuart Room, the Historical Atomic Energy Council (2011) attempted to make its case for why the general public should begin to trust nuclear energy again.
With the Council already having debated the topic of atomic energy’s bad reputation at length, the Council seems to be coming to somewhat of a consensus regarding how to fix this problem. After the devastating Fukushima nuclear disaster, public trust of nuclear energy, despite its many positive uses, still remains at an all time low. For the past two days, the Council has been brainstorming solutions and writing resolutions to enhance public perception. Nuclear energy’s benefits are numerous, from medicinal uses to creating alternate sources of power.
The safety of nuclear energy, however, is still debated. Several members of the Council defended nuclear energy at tonight’s conference. The delegation from Canada was specifically asked why we should trust nuclear energy in light of the recent crisis. His response began with the phrase, “Because science.” The delegate then held up his watch for the room, explaining how nuclear energy causes it to glow in the dark. The delegate stated that he wears this watch every day, and that we are in fact exposed to health risks from nuclear energy every day of our lives. He said, however, that this only exposes our chances of health risk remotely. “Radioactivity is not an unknown monster, we know what it does to our bodies,” the Canadian delegate said.
Tanzania also provided support for the safety of nuclear energy. The delegate cited atomic disasters like Fukushima as the exception, not the rule, regarding the nuclear energy’s risks. Tanzania said that a public campaign was part of the Council’s plan for improving perception of nuclear energy, with a large focus on targeting mass and social media. This media campaign will expose people to positive energy about nuclear programs and their numerous benefits. China also commented on a proposed plan for collaboration between developed and undeveloped nations in regards to sharing information about atomic energy. These proposed plans would determine who needs what, and will disseminate knowledge and materials in order to conduct nuclear programs in a safer manner across nations.
Although the delegates in tonight’s press conference provided convincing support for the benefits of expanding and supporting nuclear energy programs, the safety of these programs is still not determined. It will be unclear if the public can truly trust nuclear energy until specific plans are put forward to prevent future nuclear disasters like Fukushima. Although the Historical Atomic Energy Council is working diligently to change nuclear energy’s bad reputation, it is still to be determined if that reputation is unjustly deserved.