EAST OF SCOTLAND association has strengthened its links with the Czech Republic with an official visit to the capital city Prague.
Purpose of the visit was for members to build a dialogue with the Czech Institution of Structural & Civil Engineers (CSSI) and with the Czech Chamber of Certified Engineers & Technicians (CKAIT), the authorising body through which Czech engineers receive clearance to practice.
Scottish executive secretary Wylie Cunningham described the dialogue as 'tremendously encouraging'.
'We met a lot of people who want to get involved and who are keen to develop a relationship, ' he said.
Cunningham, East of Scotland chairman Alex Macauley and past chairman Douglas McBeth held detailed discussions with CSSI president Miloslav Pavlik, and foreign committee chariman Jiri Plicka, and CKAIT chairman Vaclav Mach and vice chairman Bohumil Rusek.
Talks focused on the European Council of Civil Engineers' aspirations for 'advanced international relationships to mutual benefit', comparing civil engineering in the two countries.
But the visit was not all talk.
The delegation found time for a trip to the historic Bohemian city of Hradec Kralove where they met regional officials of both the CSSI and the CKAIT to discuss and study how the two organisations work at local level.
One of the highlights of the trip was the inaugural joint meeting of the ICE, CSSI and CKAIT, reciprocating the East of Scotland Association reception in Edinburgh in June last year for 45 Czech engineers and technicians.
The talk by Paisley University's Professor Peter Bartos on advances in concrete technology was attended by 120 Czech engineers.
This debate is incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial.
To support this motion is to have suicidal tendencies.
The reality of abandoning nuclear power would mean a return to a Middle Age lifestyle.
The debate is irrelevant.
Nothing sums it up better than this week's news that 5,000 a year die in Britain's hospitals. How many does nuclear kill in a year? I quote official Government statistics.
'There have been no deaths, no raised radiation levels. . .'
Not a single stiff.
Take Chernobyl; 45 died - that's all. Yes, it should not have happened. It was a disgrace to engineering. But the consequences are far less than you would be led to believe.
There is more radiation in one brazil nut than there is in eight lobsters from the Irish Sea off Sellafield. Medical Science emits 14 times more radiation than the energy industry.
Lies, distortion, scaremongering and the incompetence of the green movement is why we are here.
My 25 years in politics have shown me that economics are the most riggable things known to man. I have no doubt that Britain will turn again to nuclear when it discovers it cannot do without it. And it will happen sooner than you think.
When an energy shortage looms nuclear will become instantly economic.
And what of the alternatives? Hydro? Let's sink some more valleys and see how the public like that. Tidal?
What happens when the estuary changes? Wave?
ú1.5M ($2.1M) to power 25 houses says it all. I am all in favour of a mixed approach - but only if it is practical.
My contention is that engineers' hopes for new nuclear plants are empty and unrealistic. It is better to face reality, put the past behind us, and go into the future by looking elsewhere.
Throughout the 1970s and 80s there were similar calls for new nuclear plant, but it did not happen.
Nuclear was only thriving under the protection of the state, and with privatisation in 1990 it got found out. It was shown up as monolithic, inflexible and risky, with long lead in times and vulnerability to political change.
Financial investors do not want to take on this risk. They want energy sources that are decentralised, flexible and that arouse less popular hostility. Post privatisation there are now better alternatives - offshore, solar, and combined heat and power.
The key argument used by the pro-nuclear camp is that nuclear involves no CO 2 emissions. But consider the social reality.
A report from the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has shown that CO 2can be reduced by 60% by generating 50MW from nuclear.
This would require the construction of 30 new plants. Where are you going to put them? There would be a public outcry and city investors would run a mile.