This week the online joke-news site, The Onion, is poking fun at two of Canada’s sources of pride: maple syrup and nuclear safety. Sub-in “nuclear” for “maple syrup” and you get the jist:
- Canada’s nuclear operations have a proven track record of being among the safest in the world
- The nuclear industry contributes to our economic growth and supports 71,000 Canadian jobs
- Safety is key (our back-ups have back-ups)
- We’re always looking for lessons to apply to be continuously improving.**
I guess this last point is where nuclear and maple syrup differs – because maple syrup has been pretty much perfect for a while now. Please pass the pancakes!
May 23, 2011 | ISSUE 47•21
OTTAWA—Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper addressed growing public concerns about the safety of his country’s maple syrup reactors Thursday, reassuring citizens that the sucrose fission facilities posed little risk of failure and there was absolutely no reason to be concerned.
“In light of recent global events, I want to assure everyone that our maple syrup reactors are still the safest in the world,” Harper said. “A team of engineers inspected every maple syrup reactor in Canada and found that all the backup systems and safeguard measures were in place and functioning properly.”
Harper maintained that safeguarding the production of maple syrup was crucial, as it represents 70 percent of the Canadian economy, generating more than $900 billion each year. Harper also said the nation’s 75 maple syrup reactors, which produce 7 billion gallons annually, were a considerable distance away from population centers.
“Maple syrup is still the safest form of sweetener,” Harper said. “It’s far less dangerous than molasses.”
** The nuclear energy industry is a community. All it takes is an incident at just one plant, and we all feel the impact. The more members we can get to share and communicate, the better it will be.