October 23, 2023 — Nairobi — Anthropocene Institute President Carl Page addressed top industry leaders, government officials, young professionals, academics, and experts at the African Youth Nuclear Summit (AYNS) 2023. He congratulated youth for choosing professions in the nuclear industry — one that is changing fast and rife with opportunities.
Page spoke about the Anthropocene geological era, the need to restore habitat, and bring down carbon in the atmosphere to safe levels: 280 parts per million (PPM). “All anybody wants to talk about is sustainability,” he said. “But what does it mean to sustain a collapse? That’s not a good thing.”
The fossil fuel alternative is like Russian roulette
He explained that 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity or clean cooking methods and that air pollution causes one in six deaths worldwide. “If anybody tells you that nuclear power is dangerous, you can tell them the alternative to nuclear power is like playing Russian roulette with a pistol because you have a one in six chance of dying from air pollution.”
Nuclear will be Earth’s future
Anthropocene’s research backs this up. In the U.S., a million people are alive today who would have been dead if it were not for nuclear power plants. He applauded France’s deployment of nuclear energy in the 1980s. He encouraged Africa to do the same, scaling quickly as the computer industry did and using safe, new, inexpensive small modular reactors. “The cool thing for a young person in the nuclear industry is it is usually a small company that will grow, so you can get a very good income,” he said. “Everything in the galaxy is nuclear. That will be Earth’s future, too. Anybody who doesn’t think so is just dragging their feet. So let’s get on the ball and save lives, stop the wildfires, stop the failure of the monsoon, make all the desalinated water we need.”
He closed by mentioning both political parties’ strong support for nuclear energy in the U.S. He expressed his appreciation and told the young African professionals, “You’ve chosen a fantastic career path.”