Debate: Is Our Future Nuclear Free or Nuclear?

Solar-Active (Schools & Homes Energy Education Project Ltd.) was the primary organisation to co-ordinate the debate, in collaboration with environmental organisations and individuals in South Yorkshire. The venue was provided by Sheffield Hallam University.

The event was a success with some 80 people attending. You can hear the audio of the event. Nuclear power pros and cons were discussed. Can the UK meet its carbon reduction targets, provide a secure, affordable and safe energy supply and create sustainable local and regional jobs in Sheffield and South Yorkshire? The facts, figures and evidence were presented by both sides of the argument to allow people to make an informed opinion about how to secure our energy resources.

Presentations and questions from the audience focused on the following themes:

  • UK carbon reduction targets;
  • affordability;
  • economics;
  • safety, health & security;
  • local and regional employment


Dr Malcolm Denman – Department of Engineering and Mathematics, Sheffield Hallam University
Lecturer, researcher and energy consultant with over 30 years experience and the chairman of the South Yorkshire Environment and Energy Management Group.


David Garlovsky – MD of Solar-Active (Schools & Homes Energy Education Project Ltd.), and Recovery Insulation Ltd.

Setting the Context of the Debate:

Andrew Smith – Energy Strategist
Andrew is the founder and director of London Analytics, a consultancy specialising in pathways to a low-carbon future, in transport and energy. He has a degree in Mathematics & Statistics from Sheffield University, has built solar power stations across the empty quarter of Oman, and provides analysis and policy support to the British and Dutch governments, local and regional authorities, and the private sector.

Why nuclear power needs to be part of UK energy mix:

Michael Bayley – Sheffield Omega Group

  • Ordained in C of E 1962
  • Curate in Leeds 62 – 66
  • Diploma in Social Studies Sheffield University 66 – 67
  • Research on Mental Handicap and Community Care 67 – 72. Ph.D 72
  • Lecturer in Social administration Sheffield University 72 – 87
  • Member C of E social policy committee c.75 – 95
  • Chair of working party for ‘Not Just For the Poor’ 86
  • Independent researcher 87 – 93
  • Associate vicar St Mary’s Bramall Lane, Sheffield including co-ordinating renewal of the church and community centre from 1993 to 2000.
  • 2000 retired (sort of).
  • Founder member of Omega Climate Change Group 2006 and Plan 2050 campaign 2009.

Nuclear Power installations proposed for the UK – economics and costs of decommissioning, safety, nuclear weapons, nuclear myths, sustainable electricity and the nuclear option:

Sean Morris – NFLA (Nuclear Free Local Authorities) Secretary (Principal Policy and Research Officer).

Sean is the Secretary of the UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA). The NFLA is made up of 70 councils from around the UK and the Republic of Ireland which seek to provide an independent and more sceptical approach to nuclear power and the reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. The NFLA works closely with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki led Mayors for Peace. NFLA is opposed to new nuclear build as it believes there are more sustainable, safer and less expensive alternatives. Sean has been UK and Ireland Secretary since 2008, having been the NFLA English Secretary since 1999. He previously worked as an Emergency Planning Officer for Leeds City Council from 1997 to 2008. He has a MA in the Politics of International Resources and Development. In his role as NFLA Secretary he is responsible for producing responses to government, nuclear regulators and nuclear industry consultations and informing member authorities of all aspects of nuclear power and nuclear weapons proliferation. The NFLA is well known for its polices on nuclear issues and reached its 30th anniversary as an organisation in November 2010.

Waste is not the Issue!

Dr Russell Hand – Reader & Deputy Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sheffield

MA, PhD, MEd, FSGT, CPhys, MinstP, CEng, FHEA. Senior Editor – Glass Technology: The European Journal of Glass Science & Technology.

Nuclear Power the Philosophers Stone: the answer to all things?

John Grant BA(Hons), MSc, MPhil – Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Development and Society, Sheffield Hallam University

John began his environmental work in 1991 carrying out some of the initial research for what are now called “Eco Towns” as part of his MPhil with his supervisor Prof Michael Breheny. In 1993 he began working for the Resource Research Unit, based in Sheffield Hallam University. During his time at this consultancy, he specialised in; Sustainable Development Issues and Carbon Footprinting calculations, non-technical limitations to renewable energy development, Renewable energy scoping studies and Energy surveys and analysis of buildings. He is currently a senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University teaching sustainable planning, Environmental Impact Assessment and wider environmental issues.

Over the last five years he has made numerous presentations for such bodies as the RTPI, CIBSE, numerous schools as part of Sheffield Science Week, Bond Bryant Architects and the local media. He has a monthly radio slot on Radio Sheffield answering questions on environmental issues.

He is also working on his PhD which is studying the Sustainable responses to the projected effects of climate change on the UK housing stock and hopes to outline the challenges UK residents are going to face (especially those on low incomes) and will seek methods of both mitigating and adapting to these challenges.