Speaker: Alastair McIvor
Date: February 27th, 2019
Alastair McIvor is a 30-year veteran of the nuclear industry in the UK and Canada, including 23 years at Chalk River Laboratories. He has worked in safety analysis, communications, regulatory compliance, strategic planning, corporate affairs, and nuclear operations. He also had the opportunity to also spend some of his career in the NRU research reactor, one of Canada’s largest and most productive science facilities. Alastair enjoys stimulating discussion on nuclear technology, dispelling myths, exploring issues of waste or accidents, and enabling people to form their opinions based on facts. He currently works as a consultant.
Mr. McIvor’s presentation discussed the potential of nuclear technology to address climate change. He explained how there are only eight jurisdictions in the world with large electricity systems which are notably low carbon (more than 90% carbon free): Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Paraguay, and France. In every case, these systems use a mix from four key technologies: wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear. Despite these successful examples, there is widespread reluctance in many countries to use nuclear energy in their efforts to address climate change. Mr. McIvor then went on to discuss the complex factors behind this nuclear aversion and unpacked their validity. In short, Mr. McIvor presented the argument that, particularly with modern improved nuclear technology, concerns regarding nuclear energy are obsolete.