Lisa Stiles-Shell

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Lisa Stiles-Shell is a nuclear engineer, an active proponent of nuclear power, and the Manager of State Initiatives, Grassroots and Coalitions for the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). [1] Her current and past titles and positions include:

Stiles-Shell received a B.S. and an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively. [6]

In addition, Stiles-Shell is a contributor to the NEI group blog, "NEI Nuclear Notes." [7]

On December 7, 2006 Stiles-Shell took part in a debate in Wisconsin regarding the proposal to end the state's "moratorium" on building new nuclear power plants. She said, "Nuclear power is one alternative to meet growing energy demands, and evaluating it with the same criteria with other technologies will help ensure that Wisconsin can meet the needs of its citizens for safe, reliable, affordable and clean electricity."[8]Blogging about the event, Stiles-Shell wrote that we will need all energy technologies to meet rising demand and that "Nuclear, coal, natural gas, and renewables must be thoughtfully deployed to protect our health, the environment, our economy and the security of Wisconsin and our nation." [9]

When asked by CNN's Glenn Beck, "Why don't people understand how safe and clean nuclear energy is?," Stiles-Shell answered: "I think nuclear energy is a mystery to a lot of people. I've worked and lived near nuclear power plants, so I can say on a personal experience that I know how safe and clean and secure and reliable that they are." [10]

Countering Anti-Nuclear "Propaganda"

In an August 2006 interview with MIT's Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Stiles-Shell said that, a few years back, "a group of us from NA-YGN [North American Young Generation in Nuclear] were starting an outreach campaign in support of building new nuclear power plants in the U.S. We were thrilled by the movement towards a nuclear renaissance. ... As our campaign grew though, as we countered the propaganda of antinuclear extremists, as the media began to recognize us and our views, as the tone of the debate changed, the cynicism changed to enthusiasm. ... Who in the nuclear industry can help being excited today?" [11]

Pro-Nuclear Activism

In a presentation given at the University of Tennessee-Knoxvilee on March 15, 2006 (and later posted online), Stiles-Shell outlined how the Virginia branch of North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN) became "frustrated that the anti-nuclear activists' message was dominating the public discussion," and so "began attending events organized by the opposition." The goal was to "observe and take note of the issues" and, if possible, to "speak to concerned citizens." The online presentation notes that the pro-nuclear activists "avoided 'tech-speak'," "stayed positive," and "stayed on message." Other suggestions Stiles-Shell had for pro-nuclear activists included "going in groups is better than going alone" and "use personal experiences." [12]

The presentation declared "success" with a pro-nuclear rally held before a Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearing in Virginia. "Antis were shocked!" reads one slide. "The media and public couldn't miss our message" and one-third "of public comments were pro-nuclear." After the rally, the pro-nuclear group developed a website, held meetings and events, and wrote op/eds and letters to the editors. One slide asks "Why were we successful?" and gives, among other reasons, that "We weren't 'the suits'." [13]

The presentation cites, as evidence of success for the pro-nuclear activists, "Local media is acknowledging our presence and carrying our message," and "Opposition has changed its tactics." As proof of the latter, a screenshot from the Charlottesville, VA, Indymedia website (a now-defunct site) is presented. The page is an event posting titled, "Anti-Nukes Expert Comes to Cville to Help Stop the New Reactors!!" The line highlighted in Stiles-Shell's presentation is: "This event is NOT a debate! It is open to people who sincerely want to find out more about the dangers posed by the proposed new reactors." [14]

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