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Nuclear Facts and Opinions
A collection of nuclear facts and opinions that are interesting, informative and just plain handy for keeping things in perspective.
  • Facts and Figures. Brought to you by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). A world view.
  • Myths and Realities. Brought to you by the CNA (Canadian Nuclear Association). No grand-standing, posturing and empty bluster here - just the plain facts - and all of them supportable.
  • Did you know that ... being single is downright hazardous?
  • One world, one village ... Makes you think.
  • Who speaks for the poor? - perhaps the single best article on where nuclear energy fits in to the global context. Required reading. Just in case the link should disappear in the future, here is a pdf version of the article.
  • Nuclear Energy in Context (pdf 169kb) - a personal view. Listen to and view a 15 minute presentation (exe 5.2Mb) given to students on 2004.11.30.
  • Quantification of energy issues, a must read for those wishing to make informed decisions - an essential book that is free in pdf form:
    Sustainable Energy - without the hot air Sustainable Energy - without the hot air
    by David MacKay
  • Colour Nuclear Power Green, an article by OECD secretary-general, Donald Johnston, Globe and Mail, Thursday, November 16, 2000.
  • The Hunger Site - Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger, 75% of them are children. Now, what was your problem again?
  • The Prisoner's Dilemma - This is a site that includes an interactive game inspired by Prisoner's Dilemma game theory as described in the book The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. Discover the difference between enlightened self-interest and selfishness. Such musings on the fundamental nature of humans are important to the nuclear world.
  • U.S. tragedy shows peril of bad globalization by David Crane, columnist, The Toronto Star, 2001.09.12 - "A small band of terrorists struck with deadly precision at the most visible symbols of American capitalism and American military power. This was a different kind of globalization, but a powerful warning that the tensions between the spread of western civilization and other societies and civilizations could be a source of growing conflict in the years ahead. ..." Indeed, how can we truely win when others are losing?
  • World's poor can change their own lot by Jim Travers, columnist, The Toronto Star, 2002.04.20 - "Mixing classical economic theory with painstaking, primary research into the complex, hidden structures that control informal economies, de Soto reaches the startling conclusion that the poor are not poor. Their problem, unlike those in industrialized nations, is that they can't access the capital needed to turn what little they have into more. ... Stripped of numerology, that delivers an unambiguous, mostly unwelcome message to those who think of themselves as in control. [Egyptian President] Mubarak, a quasi-democrat trying to hold together an ancient, proud and —— that word again —— poor country, has remarkably few economic levers. The informal sector is bigger than the formal, illegal buildings outnumber legal and, most important, ordinary people are living by their own rules." Just in case the link should disappear in the future, here is a pdf version (18kb) of the article.
  • Searching for a Sustainable Energy Future by Dr. Patrick Moore (bio, pdf 84kb), co-founder of Greenpeace, Canadian Nuclear Association Winter Seninar, Ottawa, Ontario, February 23, 2006. Just in case the link should disappear in the future, here is his presentation (pdf 6.6Mb) and his talk (mp3 11.8Mb). View the presentation while listening to his talk. This is dynamite stuff.
  • Personal Commentary (Bill Garland): I got into nuclear many years ago precisely because of my concern for the environment. Many of us have been plugging away for years doing the best we can to promote and implement the use of nuclear. I have been concerned for many years about pollution and the many other footprints we make. But we need to acknowledge the good progress that has been made over the years. We do see all too frequently, a frenzy over the fear of the moment where some fear mongers feed into peoples' emotions to create (along with media's help) unbalanced perceptions. Logic and rational thinking are necessary but not sufficient conditions. Ie, we need the facts and we need to keep things in perspective. These facts and balanced perspectives help mitigate fearful (as opposed to prudent) behaviour. I personally believe that these fear mongers are actually impeding real progress in making this planet a better place. The developed world is already aware of environmental issues, thanks to the environmental movement from the 60's onward. We understand. We get it. There is a general widely held perception that humankind had better tread softly. I fully agree. But let's be clear. It is ONLY BECAUSE we are relatively well off that we have the luxury to care about the environment and the power (both the societal kind and the energy kind) to provide solutions. We need to make many more people well off so that they too are empowered to act. For every one of us who can afford to reduce our carbon load (as an example), there are 100 who, by necessity, will have to increase theirs dramatically to better their life. I cannot, ethically, deny them that right. So if I really do care about the planet and its inhabitants (present and future), I should focus on the bigger issues first. One person dead of hunger every 3.5 seconds. Aids. 3rd world conflicts. China and India ramping up in coal usage at 10% (?) per year ...... Simple compassion compels me to help the people in immediate need in whatever small way I can.