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Ambassador John Ritch of World Nuclear Association to Talk About Dire Need for Nuclear Energy

Ambassador John Ritch, will give a talk titled Accelerating the Nuclear Renaissance: A Global Environmental Imperative on Wednesday, June 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater in the John W. Elrod University Commons at Washington and Lee University. The event is open to the public.

Ritch is the former U.S. ambassador to U.N. organizations in Vienna, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization. While at the U.N., Ritch was active in promoting the IAEA’s global strengthened-safeguards system and new conventions on nuclear safety. He also participated in the U.S.-North Korea nuclear negotiations and the U.N. conferences reviewing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1995 and 2000.

Ritch will argue that governments must emerge from postures of timidity to act decisively in support of the nuclear industry, which will be indispensable if humanity is to preserve the environment. The rebirth of nuclear energy is an unmistakable reality that is gathering speed and momentum on the world stage. Around the world, old-school anti-nuclear environmentalism is being eclipsed by a new realism that recognizes nuclear energy’s essential virtue: its capacity to deliver cleanly generated power safely, reliably and on a massive scale.

The talk is part of a Washington and Lee University and Council on Foreign Relations collaboration on the future of nuclear energy, and kicks off a series of closed workshops at W&L on the role of nuclear power in meeting future U.S. energy requirements. A Council special report, Nuclear Energy: Balancing the Benefits and Risks (April 2007) will serve as the basis for presentations during the workshops by a group of distinguished presenters.