Thursday, March 4, 2010

Why I voted for Jacques Besnainou for ANS President elect

Jacques Besnainou 3The CEO of Areva North America has knowledge and experience managing the entire nuclear fuel cycle and large organizations.

Plus, he’s easy to talk to and has a great sense of humor.

Over the past few months Jacques Besnainou (right) made the rounds of several chapters of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) (bio) to talk with them about his views on the nuclear industry.

As I reported on this blog last December about his visit to Idaho Falls, he is a compelling speaker with a global view of the future of the nuclear energy industry. BTW: The Idaho Section is the largest of the local chapters and there was a good turnout to hear what he had to say. Note: he was at Richland, WA, this week. Read Kendall Miller's report about his talk there,

Breadth of knowledge and experience

course correction Besnainou will bring to the task knowledge and experience working the entire nuclear fuel cycle. He has vision and knows how to lead large organizations. Like the captain of a seafaring ship, he knows how to navigate over long distances.

Besnainou, who is an American citizen, is fond of quoting John Adams, the U.S. 2nd president, as part of a message emphasizing the facts about nuclear energy. Adams said,

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

He is a stalwart advocate about the stubborn facts of nuclear energy. Here’s what he said last July about critical issues facing the industry.

Proliferation: It can be managed. Countries representing the biggest threats of nuclear proliferation, North Korea and Iran, have never produced one megawatt of power from nuclear energy.

Energy security: Uranium fuel is well distributed in the world, including in stable countries, such as Canada and Australia. Plus, nuclear power will contribute to the electric car’s growth, thereby playing a key role in the transportation sector while helping to wean countries off foreign oil.

Cost: When everything is factored in, including recycling nuclear waste, and a price on carbon from traditional plants, and you add in the costs of handling coal waste, nuclear power is entirely competitive with other energy sources.

Recycling: It is beneficial when managed as part of a cradle-to-cradle energy solution, where 96% of used nuclear fuel is recyclable. Recycled nuclear waste also is reduced to one-fifth its original volume and one-tenth its toxicity.

power towersAs demonstrated by these comments, he will be a terrific advocate for nuclear energy in any public forum. He has vision and a practical grasp of the issues facing the nuclear industry.

Besnainou is an a businessman, a parent, and a community leader. He is an experienced executive who can be effective on day one. These qualities will serve him well to advance the American Nuclear Society’s mission and goals in the coming year.

That’s why I voted for him.

Update 03/05/10

Areva released this video on YouTube

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