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Nuclear reaction


My heart sank when I read several pieces in NCE last week which appeared to promote nuclear power as a solution to our energy challenge. It sank further when you revealed 74% of civil engineers have already been persuaded that this is the case.

You can therefore imagine my delight when I read your column (Comment NCE 6 October), where I think you sum up the situation nicely, and for me, come to the right conclusion.

Any thinking person must know that we are facing some very hard choices as to how we shape our civilisation and hard choices are seldom cut and dried.

Engineers instinctively take the high ground as 'experts' having the answers. It is not our fault: our whole training is about solving technical challenges.

Our inclination is to find ever more technological 'fixes'. But I prefer your way of thinking - it is as much about 'touchyfeely' responses; social justice, fear and hope, as it is about engineering.

My only criticism of your piece is your apologies for 'irrational fears'. The loves of your life are - in an engineering sense - also irrational, but I bet you never apologise for them!

Value your instincts, it is what makes you a person, as well as an engineer. Let's hope we can do the right thing, and that we will do it in time!

Stuart McIntyre, Oreada, 3 Bon Accord Square, Aberdeen AB11 6TT

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