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Client showcase: Perfection in all things nuclear and editing

Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, Plant A, Tiverton, Ontario. © D. Gordon E. Robertson, 2010 (CC-BY-SA-3.0)It seems like only last year that a small core of associates at Talk Science to Me experienced our Adventures in Ottawa (see entertaining blog by Talk Science mastermind, Eve Rickert). Oh, wait. It was only a year ago. Having edited literally thousands of their pages since our seminal meeting with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, my (our) relationship with the CNSC seems like it’s lasted a lifetime. I mean that in a good way.

In case you’re wondering, the CNSC is the federal governmental body that “regulates the use of [Canadian] nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment, and to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public.” And I am the senior editor for Talk Science since its founding three years ago—and the Minnesotan mentioned in Eve’s Ottawa article.

But enough about me. Recently, several CNSC reports reached an editorial juncture regarding their eventual disclosure of information to the Canadian public. Before these highly visible, essential documents connect with the general population, they must go under the scrutinizing lens of Talk Science to Me eyeballs—and this season, the eyeballs once again belong to me. Claire Eamer, project lead this past year and who is also featured in the Ottawa blog, has been the other major set of eyeballs. And a huge round of applause goes to Roma Ilnyckyj, who lent Eyeballs #5 and 6 to the latest report, the annual CNSC Staff Integrated Safety Assessment of Canadian Nuclear Power Plants for 2013.

The editing we perform for the CNSC entails, well, absolute perfection, in keeping with the exacting standards required by all the CNSC’s work. Thus, I strive for—and I believe I achieve—perfection when editing a CNSC document. Of course my plan, along with that of each editor at Talk Science, is to strive for perfection in every small paper and every mammoth project.

But back to the CNSC. As I alluded to above, the CNSC is not only tasked with overseeing nuclear safety in Canada, but with conveying this information to the public in a simultaneously intelligent and accessible manner, an occasion to which its staff consistently rises. One of the dozen or so reports I’ve edited since Ottawa is The Science of Safety, a 30-page report geared so well to the public that I can’t imagine it could be topped in readability.

Other CNSC reports edited this late spring/early summer come with informative titles such as Evaluation of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s Contributions to the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development’s Nuclear Energy Agency, Evaluation of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s Class Grants and Contributions Program, and the pithy Audit of Import-Export Licensing. Each of these reports includes examinations of CNSC “responsibilities in conformance with regulations, Canadian policy and international obligations.” I enjoy being a part of the team that produces these masterpieces and I look forward to the continued work and teamwork!

Oh, and as for the annual report (the one I mentioned first) on the safety performance of Canada’s nuclear power plants? It found everything to be quite safe.                 

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