MMAG invited to show Professor Andrew Blowers OBE, FRSA around the Vale

MMAG is immensely proud to have been invited to take Professor Blowers and a number of of his Royal Society of Arts colleagues on a bus tour throughout the Vale to outline matters of local interest on July 17th.

Professor Blowers is a leading light in Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) ; a citizens’ based organisation. which has supporters who are pro-nuclear, who are anti-nuclear and who are not sure where they stand on nuclear. What unites them all is the belief that Bradwell, for very good reasons, is a totally unsuitable site for a new, mega nuclear power station and the high-level radioactive waste dump that will have to remain on the site for around 100 years from the start of operations.

Most importantly for BANNG, Andy was a member of the Government Committees dealing with the management of radioactive waste: the Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMAC) and the first Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM). In fact, it was the recommendations made by CoWRM on the disposal of nuclear waste that were accepted by the Government in July, 2006. Andy was responsible for writing substantial sections of the Final Report, including the  Overview, as well as the Committee’s Report on Implementation.

Andy has authored/edited 17 books, including The InternationalPolitics of Nuclear Waste, Nuclear Power in Crisis and Planning for a Sustainable Environment.

Andy was one of the ‘pioneer’ academics who helped to set up The Open University in 1970. He was Professor of Social Sciences and during his 35 years at the OU held the positions of Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Degree Studies). He chaired many courses, including Patterns of Inequality, Environment and Environmental Politics in an International Context. He also wrote  about the Blackwater estuary and produced a DVD on the estuary for the Environment course.

For almost 30 years Andy was a Councillor on Bedfordshire County Council, where he was for a time Chair of the Environment Committee (Planning) and Leader of the Labour Group. It was during this time that he fronted the County Council’s successful fight against the Nirex proposal for a low-level radioactive waste dump at Elstow (just outside Bedford).

Andy was for some time the Government-appointed non-executive director of Nirex, the company responsible for the management of the country’s radioactive waste. He has also given evidence and acted as Expert Advisor to the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

He has visited many nuclear sites throughout Europe and the United States and participated in a number of international research projects and commissions focusing on the social, ethical and political aspects of radioactive wastes.

In 2000, Andy was awarded an OBE for Services to Environmental Protection. In 2004 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and that year was awarded an Hon.DLitt. by De Montfort University.

Hugh Roberts,  Chair MMAG