A video published by the NB Media Co-op about the plans by NB Power, the provincial government and two nuclear companies to develop more nuclear reactors for New Brunswick has won the annual Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award.
The Conservation Council of New Brunswick presented the award to Susan O’Donnell at the organization’s Annual General Meeting on Nov. 27. O’Donnell is the lead researcher on the RAVEN (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) project at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.
The Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award has been presented annually since 2015 by the Conservation Council’s South East Chapter in recognition of in-depth reporting and thoughtful coverage of environmental issues in New Brunswick. Beth McLaughlin, a founder of the Southeast Chapter, was a teacher, writer, social activist, and active citizen.
O’Donnell’s winning video is a recording of her presentation to the New Brunswick Environmental Network in January this year. In her presentation, she analyses the links between the two proposed nuclear reactors (SMRs) for New Brunswick and the climate crisis, radioactive waste, and financial risks.
You can watch the 30-minute video here:
In her acceptance speech, O’Donnell said she started researching this topic because of the climate crisis, recalling the IPCC reports including the most recent in August this year, that the United Nations called “a code red for humanity.”
“We need to rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions now using proven energy technologies and not new designs for experimental technologies that may never work to generate energy,” she said.
When accepting the award, O’Donnell offered a recommendation for the New Brunswick government and NB Power: “Stop pumping out nuclear industry sales and promotional material about the proposed nuclear reactors, and instead provide us with credible analysis by independent experts, including the significant environmental and financial risks that we will be exposed to if these projects go ahead.”
O’Donnell is a regular writer for the NB Media Co-op, on labour, environmental and political issues. You can read all her stories here.
Update, on Nov. 30, Fredericton South MLA David Coon congratulated Dr. O’Donnell in the New Brunswick Legislature, video here.
Further update: the NB Media Co-op and partners invite you to a zoom panel moderated by Susan O’Donnell on Friday, Dec. 10 at 3pm. “Uranium and nuclear energy in New Brunswick and beyond.” Details and registration link here.