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Science café

Nuclear energy, a technocratic response to society’s quest for abundance

In our first science-café in English, we will discuss the future of nuclear energy at the Centre de ressources de langues de la Faculté des sciences économiques et de gestion (PEGE), on Tuesday, May 22nd, 12-2pm.

Nuclear technology can be used for nuclear energy or warheads. Even though the dismantling of nuclear weapons and the partial recycling of used fuel rods may provide additional fuel for the reactors, the problem of radioactive waste storage will continue to haunt us for a long time.

Seemingly invisible or suddenly explosive, the future of nuclear energy is once again questioned after the latest accident in Fukushima. Japan and Germany have decided to phase out nuclear energy completely, while France is strongly promoting a new generation of nuclear reactors worldwide and quietly prolonging the lifespan of its ageing park of nuclear reactors at home.

What role should public opinion take in determining future energy policy? As an abundant source of both energy and problems, can humanity afford to abandon nuclear energy? Should nuclear energy research continue to be a priority? Can renewable energy sources replace nuclear energy? What are the tradeoffs?

Bring your own lunch. Coffee and tea will be available to fuel the debate.