People of Sheffield debate the future of nuclear power
High profile speakers are set to get the city of Sheffield talking about nuclear power and its implications for the future this month (23 May 2012), following the Fukushima disaster in Japan last year.
The public are being invited to join experts from around the world, local representatives and academics from the University of Sheffield to discuss the safety and reliability of nuclear power and the international response to events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011.
Local representatives on the panel include Jillian Creasy, Sheffield’s first elected Green Party City Councillor, and Teresa Hitchcock, a specialist in environmental and climate law from the global law firm DLA Piper. The Sheffield DLA Piper office will also host the debate.
Dr Peter Matanle, from the University’s School of East Asian Studies, explained why people in Sheffield should come along to the event. He said: “Nuclear energy is once again in question due to the disaster at Fukushima. Although Sheffield is a long way from the disaster zone, all countries are reviewing their energy policies.
“This will have implications for fossil fuel use, and therefore climate change and the cost of energy, as well as the development of renewable energies such as wind. Everyone uses energy, so everyone is being affected in some way, and everyone should feel that they have opportunities to learn about the issues and contribute to discussions about our common energy future.
“We hope that the symposium will help to inform people in the Sheffield region of their and the UK's energy choices and the implications for the future, so that they might be encouraged to
think about the energy that they use, where it comes from, and take steps to secure a stable and sustainable future for all.”
Providing an expert insight into the decommissioning of nuclear waste will be Professor Neil Hyatt from the University’s Department of Materials Science Engineering. Professor Hyatt holds the Royal
Academy of Engineering and Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Research Chair in Radioactive Waste Management at the University of Sheffield and is a leading expert in decommissioning of UK nuclear facilities. He has provided extensive media and public comment on the Fukushima disaster.
Professor Hyatt recently visited Japan with the Government Chief Scientist, Professor John Beddington, to develop collaborative links between the UK and Japan on nuclear waste management. Professor Hyatt said: “Evidence-based policy making, based on scientific understanding of the behaviour of existing radioactive wastes, is key to securing public support for new nuclear power stations and future geological disposal of radioactive wastes.”
Fellow panel member Dr Wakako Hironaka, formerly a Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Japan, is an internationally respected speaker on nuclear power and policy. Her numerous roles in the Japanese government included State Minister and Director-General of the Environment.
Dr Hironaka has also been active internationally, among several activities she is Vice-Cha
Dr Hironaka said: “The Fukushima Nuclear Accident was a wake-up call for governments and people around the world to re-evaluate the risks and benefits of nuclear energy. In Japan, 53 out of 54 nuclear plants were stopped for inspection. Most Japanese people are against restarting these plants. Ho
wever, the resulting electricity shortage has brought worries of blackouts.
“To overcome this difficulty, individuals and enterprises around Japan are trying their best to save electricity. Investment, research and development of renewable energy have increased tremendously. Our Government's deregulation of the energy market will further boost such investments. We believe we will overcome the damage caused by the nuclear accident and the experience we gain through this process could be shared with other countries.”
The line-up will be completed by Jun Arima, Director General of the Japan External Trade Organisation in London and Shinichi Kihara, Senior Energy Analyst at the International Energy Agency in Paris.
Date: 23 May 2012.
Registration and Networking: 4.00-4.30pm
Location: DLA Piper LLP, 1 St. Paul’s Place, Sheffield, S1 2JX.
The event is free and open to the public but places must be booked in advance at: Fukushima debate
The event is being co-organised by: University of Sheffield, School of East Asian Studies
Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
DLA Piper LLP
Action for Involvement
The event is sponsored by Japan Airlines.
The University of Sheffield
With nearly 25,000 students from 125 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK´s leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
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Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 1064