Tag Archives: Outreach

Nuclear Outreach Nuclear Pride

UPDATE: Canada Wins at the 2011 International Nuclear Energy Olympiad

They won! Congratulations Alex and James!

The International Nuclear Olympiad, being was held for the first time in 2011 in South Korea, is a contest for university students around the world to research and develop a plan for gaining public acceptance of nuclear energy in their country.

We at TalkNUclear are very excited to have that Canada was represented by Team Steeltown – the member of which were are two of our former summer students, Alex Wolf and James Harrington. Alex and James submitted a paper outlining their research and plan which they will presented in Korea at the Olympiad.

Read the TalkNUclear post about Alex and James’ reaction to being selected

CNA Summer Students Alex Wolf and James Harrington – Representing Canada at the 2011 International Nuclear Energy Olympiad

The Olympiad will be  was held on 26-30 September 2011 in Seoul in South Korea and is was organized by the World Nuclear University and hosted by Korea Nuclear Energy Promotion Agency (KONEPA).

Among 70 applicants, 10 teams from 10 countries are were selected and the list is as below:

  • Canada (Team Steeltown)
  • India (Team Anushakti)
  • Japan (nuclear.jp)
  • Korea (Green Narae)
  • Malaysia (Serikandi)
  • Mongolia (Monnuc)
  • Romania (D2O)
  • Russia (MEPhI)
  • Turkey (NEAT)
  • USA (Lorentz Lions)

We’re looking forward to hearing from Alex and James about the experience when they return. What a fantastic opportunity to gain insights and learn about the experience of other counties — and share what potentially may become best practices for communicating the many benefits of nuclear energy.

Messages Nuclear Education Nuclear Outreach

Radiation Fears Strike Again: The Culprit? Bad Math.

An online news site based in Vancouver recently posted an article called Japan’s Fukushima catastrophe brings big radiation spikes to B.C.

The article claims that levels of airborne Iodine-131 in Canada shortly following the Fukushima accident, far exceeded the regulatory limits. It says, for example,

For 22 days, a Health Canada monitoring station in Sidney detected iodine-131 levels in the air that were 61 percent above the government’s allowable limit. In Resolute Bay, Nunavut, the levels were 3.5 times the limit.

This is, however, based on flawed calculations and a lack of understanding of the publicly available information presented on the CNSC website.

The CNA responded with this letter to the editor:

I read Alex Roslin’s article “Japan’s Fukushima Catastrophe Brings Big Radiation Spikes to B.C.” and wanted to clear up some misinformation that is presented in the article. There are many instances where it is stated that levels of airborne Iodine-131 exceeds federal limits; however this is not true according to publicly available information from the CNSC and Health Canada.

Airborne Iodine-131 from Fukushima was identified in the article as exceeding 200 milli-Becquerel per cubic meter (200mBq/m3). This value was presented on the CNSC website for the purpose of showing what certain concentrations in air meant in terms of dose if exposed for an entire year. In fact, the CNSC website states “These values should not be construed as regulatory limits set by the CNSC, but rather as reference values provided for context.” The highest recorded level in Canada occurred on March 29, at Resolute Bay in Nunavut and was measured to be 9.76mBq/m3. In this case, the concentration was only present for a single day.

Estimates for the dose to Canadians as a result of Iodine-131 from Fukushima are 500,000 times less than what has been shown to have any negative health effects. Equivalent activities that would give you the same dose include getting 1/50th of a panoramic dental X-Ray, or 6 hours worth of cosmic background radiation.

Radiation is part of our natural environment and has been present in our lives for much longer than human history, at levels that are hundreds, if not thousands of times more than what was received as a result of Fukushima. Canadian knowledge about radiation has saved and improved the quality of life of millions of people, at home and around the world in the fields of medicine and science. The article written by Alex Roslin is poorly researched and I urge all Canadians to think critically and use their own good judgment before believing false arguments.

Any readers wishing to continue this discussion are encouraged to leave a comment on our blog TalkNuclear.ca and join the conversation at Facebook.com/TalkNuclear and Twitter.com/TalkNuclear.


James Harrington
Project Researcher
Canadian Nuclear Association.

Nuclear Education Nuclear Outreach Nuclear Pride

Canada Represented at the 2011 International Nuclear Energy Olympiad

Last month we told you about the 2011 International Nuclear Energy Olympiad, an international student competition seeking innovative ways to communicate nuclear technology for public buy-in.

A total of 35 teams from 22 countries around the world applied. According to the sponsoring body, the Korea Nuclear Energy Promotion Agency,

the overall quality of the submissions was exceptionally high making it extremely hard for the Committee to select only 10 teams.

We at TalkNuclear are very proud to announce that the team of CNA summer students, Alex Wolf and James Harrington, was one of those 10 teams selected to present their plan.

Of their plan, Alex and James say: Showing people all the great things about nuclear energy is a complex task. It would be simple to provide widespread education on radiation science and nuclear safety, however not everyone has the time to devote to learning these topics. Different stakeholders have different needs, and our plan will focus on identifying these groups, listening to their specific concerns, and sharing relevant information through direct and word-of-mouth strategies.

CNA summer students Alex Wolf and James Harrington – Representing Canada at the 2011 International Nuclear Energy Olympiad in South Korea

“We’re very happy to among the ten teams selected to present a plan for gaining public acceptance of nuclear in Canada,” said Alex. “We’re also looking forward to hearing what the other teams from other countries are proposing based on their perspective and experience with nuclear,” added James.

In making their selections, WNU (World Nuclear University) and KONEPA (Korea Nuclear Energy Promotion Agency) considered

  • the clarity and creativity of the plans for conducting research on the given topic
  • diversity, both in terms of nationality of the teams taking part in the event,
  • diversity of subjects read by the candidates.

Congratulations Alex and James! Your selection exemplifies the on-going success of the Canadian nuclear community’s commitment and focus on industry renewal and knowledge transfer. Best of luck at the Olympiad in South Korea in September!

The names of the selected teams have been posted on the Olympiad website.

Meet Alex and James:

Alex Wolf  has been close to all things radiation since 2003. He currently serves as a Project Analyst at the Canadian Nuclear Association, where his primary role is in developing and marketing CNA external events, including the annual CNA Conference and Tradeshow. Prior to this, Alex worked as a tour guide at the McMaster Nuclear Reactor while completing his M.Sc. in Radiation Biology. He also received his certification as a Registered Radiation Therapist after completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Radiation Sciences in 2008. Alex has a strong interest in international energy and health policy, and is currently completing his MBA at the Schulich School of Business at York University.

James Harrington joined the CNA in May of 2011 after graduating from McMaster University in Hamilton with a B.Eng Society degree in Engineering Physics. His specializations include a broad range of engineering sciences ranging from energy systems, nuclear power and radiation and radioisotope methodology all the way to sustainable development. James’ work with the CNA is focused on the development of an education portal to increase awareness with regards to radiation and the associated health effects. The CNA recognizes McMaster University for their assistance in bringing James on board.

Nuclear Education Nuclear Outreach

2011 International Nuclear Energy Olympiad

How to get the public on board with nuclear technology for energy production. This is the task set forth to students from all around the globe. The 2011 International Nuclear Energy Olympiad (INEO) is a communications competition which will see ten teams of students, from ten countries, present a plan to improve public acceptance of nuclear energy in their country.

Team papers and presentations will be judged by an international jury who will rank teams for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes.

The 2011 INEO is organized by the World Nuclear University and hosted by Korea Nuclear Energy Promotion Agency (KONEPA).

The Olympiad will be held on 26-30 September 2011 in Seoul in South Korea, with the cost of participation, including travel expenses to and from Korea, food and lodging covered by KONEPA. Invitation letters for Korean visas will also be prepared.

Entry forms are available at the competition site and are due to the WNU Coordinating centre or KONEPA by 3 July 2011.

Get all the details you need here.

Nuclear Education

Nuclear Education: Learning can be Fun!

PopAtomic Studios uses “the power of visual and liberal arts to enrich the public discussion on atomic energy,” and we think that’s pretty cool.

Our education site is TeachNuclear.ca. What are some of the best nuclear educational resources that you’ve come across? Let us know in a comment below.

If you’re interested in nuclear education and outreach, you should attend the CNS Workshop on Nuclear Education and Outreach (NEO 2011). It is a one-day workshop that explores best practices in education and outreach; features keynote speakers, presentations, interesting panel discussions, and demonstrations. We’ll be there, will you?