A Warm Welcome to the Canadian Nuclear Association’s New Blog!

Developing and sustaining a strong online presence that promotes dialogue, collaboration and the sharing of information is a key pillar of the Canadian Nuclear Association’s (CNA) Social Media Strategy and our TalkNuclear brand.

In fact, earlier this year we launched our TalkNuclear Twitter, YouTube and Facebook pages. Through these platforms, we have actively launched and participated in a conversation about the nuclear industry, both at home and abroad.

As we move forward and continue to build upon our outreach efforts, launching our very own TalkNuclear Blog seemed the natural next step.

There isn’t a better time to launch the TalkNuclear blog than today – Canada Health Day. Celebrated every year in honour of the birthday of Florence Nightingale, an innovator and reformer in public health, Canada Health Day encourages Canadians to do something to promote health and a healthy lifestyle.

It is a reminder to us all that health is our most precious resource and one that must be nurtured. Today is also an opportunity to reflect on the contributions of public health and healthcare innovations to the overall well-being and quality of life of all Canadians. Nuclear medicine got its start in Canada with the first cancer treatment machines in the 1950s. Today nuclear medicine continues to contribute to the health of Canadians with medical isotopes being used to sterilize more than 40% of the world’s single-use medical devices like syringes, gowns and masks – not to mention the sterilization of everything from pharmaceutical products to cosmetics. Medical isotopes also significantly improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

I have been the CNA President for over a year now and during this time our industry has experienced tremendous growth and promise, but we’ve also had our challenges.

In March, we were faced with the tragic events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan as a result of a devastating tsunami. As an industry and as individuals, our hearts have gone out to the people of Japan as they continue down their path to recovery.  We have been working tirelessly to support our Japanese counterparts and glean any lessons learned that can apply to our systems here in Canada.

Canada’s nuclear power plants are among the most robust designs in the world with multiple, redundant safety systems.  Our facilities are located in stable areas –  both seismically and in terms of severe weather. However, this doesn’t allow us to be complacent. All our nuclear facilities are in the midst of conducting a thorough review of the lessons learned from Japan and how we might apply that to our own operations and emergency planning (PDF). We will continue to review our operations as we learn more.

On a more positive note, the Ontario Government has committed to building and refurbishing nuclear power plants, reaffirming its confidence in nuclear power as the province moves forward with its Long-Term Energy Plan.

But why do I support nuclear energy? The answer is not long or complicated. I support nuclear energy because I believe – not only as the President of the CNA – but as a Canadian, that nuclear energy is critical to our country’s future.

Nuclear has an important role to play in medicine, research, food safety, highly-skilled jobs, and it makes crucial contributions to other industries across the Canadian economy.  It is a key piece of Canada’s energy system because of its ability to supply continuous, baseload power while releasing virtually zero GHG emissions. In today’s environmentally-conscious, energy-intensive and carbon-constrained world, this last point cannot be ignored.

So welcome to CNA’s blog once again. I encourage you all to check back regularly and participate in the conversation as we have exciting topics lined up.

We would also love to hear from you: What will you do for Health Day? Leave us a comment below or email TalkNuclear@cna.ca. What does nuclear mean to you?

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