"It is sheer folly to reject the great advantages of civilian nuclear electric power, as the world's other energy resources are diminished." Richard Wilson, professor of physics, told an audience of students and faculty members last night.
Wilson spoke on "Nuclear Power: The Problem or the Solution" in the fourth of a series of science lectures for non-specialists sponsored by the Science Center executive committee.
Wilson, speaking in favor of establishing nuclear power plants throughout the world, said that electric power produced from nuclear fission energy is less expensive, more efficient, cleaner and safer than power produced from coal or oil energy sources.
Utility companies, interested in promoting nuclear power, recently employed Wilson to speak for the establishment of nuclear power plants in the United States, Diane Rolinski, Wilson's secretary, said yesterday.
Utilities hire Wilson through the pro-nuclear public relations firm Reddy Communications, of which Wilson is a "counseling faculty member," Pam Goodman, counseling faculty coordinator for Reddy Communications, said yesterday.
Goodman would not name the utility company that "invited" Wilson to speak for nuclear energy in Ohio this year, two weeks before voters there defeated a proposed moratorium on the construction of nuclear power plants.
Wilson's speech in Ohio "probably swayed the election," Goodman said.
Wilson could not be reached for comment on his activities with Reddy Communications.
But in yesterday's speech Wilson said that utility executives "are interested in making a profit" and "would not actively campaign for the establishment of nuclear plants until convinced that they would make money."
He said the disadvantages of nuclear power are minimal, adding that the widespread presence of nuclear plants would not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, if countries install proper safeguards against theft of nuclear materials.
Wilson said however that any country, "if it really wanted to, could make a bomb, and there's nothing we can do about it."