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WN|A China Symposium November 9, 2012 Re-building public support for nuclear power in a post Fukushima world.

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Presentation on theme: "WN|A China Symposium November 9, 2012 Re-building public support for nuclear power in a post Fukushima world."— Presentation transcript:

1 WN|A China Symposium November 9, 2012 Re-building public support for nuclear power in a post Fukushima world

2 Lessons for nuclear industry Nuclear is the best – not least worst way to generate electricity! 2

3 The Great Tohoku Earthquake (followed by Tsunami) Magnitude: 9.0 on the Richter scale A tsunami of approximately 15 meters in height struck less than one hour later These are natural disasters of historic proportions 3 Occurred 2:46 PM March 11, 2011

4 Impact of Earthquake and Tsunami Huge devastation About 20,000 people dead Entire communities wiped off the map At least 332,400 buildings; 2,100 roads; 56 bridges; and 26 railways were destroyed or damaged. Electricity, gas and water supplies, telecommunications, and railway service were disrupted. The total economic loss in Japan is estimated to be about $500 billion A true catastrophe 4

5 Consequences of Fukushima Accident 5 3 deaths (industrial) No radiation fatalities Worker dose rates –Six workers exceeded total allowable emergency dose –408 exceeded the normal worker dose –Average worker dose small at 22.4 mSv Off site doses minimal No long term radiation deaths anticipated Huge social upheaval –>110,000 people evacuated from their homes –Food production –Social stigma Huge impact on Japanese electricity system and Japanese society

6 Huge impact on Japanese Society 6 What must be admitted – very painfully – is that this was a disaster Made in Japan. Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to sticking with the program; our groupism; and our insularity. (Kiyoshi Kurokawa – Chairman The National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission)

7 Huge Impact on Japanese Electricity Supply Previously Japan about 30% nuclear Now all (54) units have been shut down –Only two have been restarted (Ohi 3&4) –Others to wait until next year The future is uncertain –Public is >70% opposed to nuclear –People are afraid –Long term plan to eliminate nuclear by 2030 (maybe) –Trust in the system has been destroyed Impact –Japanese under extreme restraint on using electricity –Huge costs to import fossil fuels to replace lost capacity 7

8 The World Reacts Many markets have reviewed their nuclear programs and are confident in moving forward –US, UK, and of course - China Others are taking action to reduce nuclear dependence –Germany – complete phase out –Switzerland -Cancelled new build program and will phase out nuclear power –Belgium – premature closure of Doel –France – Closure of Fessenheim and reduced dependence on nuclear –Quebec, Canada – Closure of G2 Implications for the future –Less nuclear is better than more –Underlying belief – nuclear is dangerous 8 Power Station North of England

9 World public opinion Source: BBC World Service/Globe Scan, November Shifting opinions Agree: Nuclear Power is relatively safe/important electricity source/should build new plants %

10 Understanding the public viewpoint Germany Nuclear –Excellent safe operating nuclear power plants –No risk of tsunami or reason to believe that Fukushima can happen Organic Farming –Contaminated bean sprout farm –50 dead and 4000 sick throughout Europe 10 Why is Germany committed to closing nuclear power plants and yet there is no great concern with organic farming safety?

11 The Answer The public believes that organic farming is fundamentally safe and this was an isolated incident that can be corrected The public believes that nuclear power is inherently dangerous and Fukushima supports this belief And why do they believe this? –Because the industry taught them to……… –Even supporters often note that if we had other options we would use them, but since we dont – we need to continue to use nuclear! –there is a common belief that while nuclear power may be safe; we are safely managing doomsday machines 11 "Nuclear, of course, is dangerous and has to be treated with very, very great respect,'' he said. However, the record is extremely good. (Oxford Professor Sir Chris Llewellyn-Smith, Melbourne All-Energy Australia conference )

12 We need to build vocal public support Providing good factual information Building trust Convince a sceptical public that nuclear power is in fact, not dangerous 12 What will happen to me?

13 Changing beliefs is hard Nuclear industry believes that if we just educate the public, they will become supporters Anti-nuclear activists are often well educated Suppose an individual believes something with his whole heart. Suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief, that he has taken irrevocable actions because of it; finally, suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong; what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. (Dan Gardner – Future Babble) 13

14 The industry cannot do it alone We need 3 rd party advocates Some environmentalists are now supportive –Mark Lynas, George Monbiot, Stewart Brand Doctors and teachers We need pro-nuclear demonstrations 14 We are facing perhaps the greatest crisis humanity has ever encountered – runaway climate change – and instead of tackling the source of the problem (fossil fuels), environmentalists are attacking one of the solutions.(George Monbiot)

15 A new paradigm Nuclear power is the best, not least worst way to generate electricity –Economic, reliable, clean and safe while providing high quality jobs to the community Changing the thinking will take much effort and a long time but it needs to be done –It starts with the industry itself –We need strong global cooperation because it impacts us all 15 How can we make it so this Japanese couple is no longer afraid?

16 Thank You Milton Caplan MZConsulting Inc. - President


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