In commemoration of the second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, Civic Exchange today published a pamphlet, first of a multi-part series, to deconstruct the basics of radiation. This publication is also an important step in Civic Exchange’s years-long journey to increasing energy literacy among policy makers and members of the general public, for informed deliberation of energy issues and energy policy in Hong Kong.
Radiation and health effects – Radiation is around us all of the time, and people are worried because exposure to radiation carries a health risk. What is the ‘harmful’ radiation that we should try and avoid? How much X-ray and sunbathing is too much? What is radiation exposure and how is it related to dose levels? What are the measurement units and why are they so complicated? How much a nuclear power plant will add to background radiation level? How to manage public health risk of nuclear incidents? Are there any tips to reduce radiation exposure? These are some of the questions that have been constantly raised by different people in society, and will be addressed in this pamphlet series.
Increasing energy literacy – Hong Kong is at the crossroads when it comes to energy debate, hence it is important to take a broader perspective and look beyond nuclear. At the moment, public opinion is diverse on the right future mix among coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewables for providing reliable, safe, and affordable electricity, with high degree of energy security and minimal environmental and carbon footprint. Most people would agree to burning less coal, and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear incident made the world sit back and re-think about nuclear safety. Whatever stand people are taking on coal or nuclear or other clean energy sources, the less favourable energy options would still be around for the years to come. The more people understand about all these energy options the better.
Forthcoming publications on energy – In addition to this pamphlet series on radiation and public health, Civic Exchange will roll out five more publications on energy before the end of the year, covering topics such as Guangdong’s energy outlook, nuclear waste management, and public opinion on energy mix. Seminars and public forums on energy issues will also be organized to promote and facilitate public discussion.