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Aspects of Sustainable Development: Nuclear Science and Society

Alex C. Mueller (ACM Consult GmbH, Mainz, Germany)

11h00 GANIL Guest House

a coffee will be served 15mn before



The future of our planet will critically depend on the sustainability of all on-going developments. The seminar will present the definition of sustainability, and the fact that societal choices have to rely on an underlying scientifically sound analysis. Then are recalled the tremendous benefits of nuclear science in many areas of daily life, and that are presently accelerating. The concept of life-cycle analysis (LCA), as a condition to assess the sustainability of any future technology is presented.   Examples of recent  LCA data are shown in the context of electricity production and use. A number of facts appear that that show that the energy transition ("transition énergétique, "Energiewende") is a rather complicated issue. Indeed, presently perceived or advocated strategies are seem to be far from straight-forward.

From this, the prime importance of better scientific education of the general public and the political decisions makers is advocated. The central responsibility for that relying on the scientists themselves, it is concluded, that for many key subjects, physicists and in particular nuclear scientists have the appropriate background. The concluding plea is that nuclear scientists should take these issues very serious and be much more proactive in the daily interaction with society, for the profit of all citizens.



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