New energy forum series at Seminole Campus begins Jan. 11
Along with food, water and shelter, energy is among the most essential elements of human life in the modern world. It lights and heats homes, powers transportation, and is essential to commerce. Yet in the post-recession, post-tsunami world of 2012, energy faces a very uncertain future.
A distinguished group of experts will explore that future in a series of free public forums at St. Petersburg College. The first forum in the series, focusing on the future of nuclear energy, will be held from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 11 in the Digitorium of the SPC Seminole Campus, 9200 113th Street North. Titled Our Energy Future: Are Nukes Still Viable, and Do Lawmakers Get It on Energy?, the forum is presented by SPC’s Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions and co-sponsored by the St. Petersburg Times and WUSF Public Media.
Is there a future for nuclear energy? Nukes have been the focus of heated debate over safety, cost, waste and siting concerns since their inception. That debate got much hotter after the March tsunami in Japan caused the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant. Since then, Germany, Japan, Switzerland and Italy have announced plans to phase out nuclear plants.
Not in Florida. The state’s two largest utilities are seeking permits to add nuclear capacity even as the debate rages over cost and need factors and the perennial concern for safety and waste. Consumer advocates take issue with a state law that allows utilities to charge customers in advance for plants that are years down the road. They also question the need for new plants with per capita energy use declining and argue there are less expensive and less risky ways to meet energy demand. The industry defends its safety record, efficiency factor, and non-polluting benefits.
In March, the second forum in the series, will focus on renewable energy and conservation efforts. The third, in April, will assess energy policy from the 2012 session of the Florida Legislature.
The program is free, but advance registration is requested. To register, please visit our website at www.spcollege.edu/solutions. For more information: 727-394-6942
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