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Nuclear power: A solution to climate change or a victim of its history? - Dr Sue Ion debates the future of nuclear energy

See also...
-Athena Lecture 2006
External Sites:
-BNFL web site
(Imperial College is not responsible for the content of these external internet sites)

For Immediate Use
Friday 21 May 2004

The opportunities and challenges facing the nuclear power industry will be debated by Sue Ion, Executive Director of British Nuclear Fuels Ltd, when she presents the 2004 Athena Lecture at Imperial College London on Tuesday 25 May.

The nuclear industry is entering a period of great change, says Dr Ion, due to the role that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will play from April 2005 when it takes over responsibility for sites currently owned by BNFL and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

In her lecture, Dr Ion will discuss future directions for the industry, arguing that, as a proven carbon-free source, nuclear power has the potential to make a real difference to the threat of climate change, one of the major issues now facing the world. She will say:

"The nuclear industry has an important role in ensuring that the UK has a balanced and secure energy supply, while at the same time meeting the challenge of reducing our carbon dioxide emissions."

Dr Ion will examine public perceptions of the nuclear industry and how these have changed over time, as well as how the industry has responded. She will also look at the contribution of women to nuclear science, in particular Marie Curie and Lise Meitner, both Nobel Prize winning scientists.

In addition to her role within BNFL as executive director responsible for technology, Sue Ion OBE also serves on the European Union Science and Technology Committee and the International Atomic Energy Standing Advisory Committee for Nuclear Energy. She has recently joined the UK Council for Science and Technology, the Government's science advisory panel.

Dr Ion's lecture will take place on Tuesday 25 May at 5pm at Imperial's South Kensington campus in the Sir Alexander Fleming Building, followed by a reception in the Senior Common Room. Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial College London, will chair the event.

To confirm attendance email:

For further information contact:

Abigail Smith
Imperial College London press office
Tel: 020 7594 6701

Notes to editors:

1. The Athena Lecture is an annual event held to celebrate the achievements of women in science. Previous lecturers include Lotte Bailyn, Professor of Management at MIT's Sloan School, Dr Catherine Cesarsky, Director of the European Southern Observatory, and Dame Lesley Rees, Professor of chemical endocrinology at St Bartholomew's Hospital.

2. About Imperial College London

Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.