Franco-British nuclear energy seminar hailed as a success
In collaboration with the Maison française d’Oxford and the University of Cambridge, and with EDF Energy’s support, the French Embassy’s Nuclear Department organized a Franco-British seminar in Oxford on 15 May devoted to the human, social and ethical dimensions of nuclear energy.
The objective was to hand the floor to young researchers from various backgrounds (the social sciences, geography, engineering etc.) so they could present to an audience of academics and industrialists the fruits of their discussions on issues such as the interaction between nuclear energy and the energy transition in the context of climate change; nuclear energy and the trend to decentralize production; the role of Euratom and its resonance with the other European treaties; how the risks and consequences of nuclear accidents are perceived according to gender and social class; the regional socio-economic impact of decommissioning projects etc.
Feedback from the audience was positive. One industrialist appreciated the open discussions about complex issues, and for the speakers it was a chance to meet other researchers interested in related subjects. The event provided an opportunity to discuss, through the unique spectrum of the social sciences, important issues which can inform energy policies and companies’ strategies but which are rarely discussed rationally and dispassionately in the public arena.
The seminar’s success has encouraged the organizers to make this bilateral initiative a regular event, and they are already thinking about a second, more wide-ranging conference bringing together young researchers and recognized experts in the sector.