Racefan’s Ramblings

Collecting my thoughts, news and inspirations on Tech, Psychology, Motorsport and … well anything!! . . . . . . . . . STILL UNDER DEVELOPMENT IN LIMITED SPARE TIME!

Nuclear debate

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 10, 2006

Here is the follow up to the preceding post;

06 November 2006

Nuclear debate

Well, I will admit I cannot see a lot of viable alternatives to nuclear power in the context of greenhouse emmissions over time, But it is interesting that this whole debate is raging in public at the exact same time that the parliament is in a protracted and controversial debate on allowing embryonic cloning…

The following excerpts are quoted from the (Australian) ABC from Mon 6th Nov.

To start with the PM supported Nuclear power as

“an option… The Prime Minister says nuclear power production must be an option in Australia and it would be foolish to ignore the option with the country’s vast reserves of uranium
” Nuclear power is potentially the cleanest and greenest of them all,” he said. “We would be foolish from a national interest point of view, with our vast reserves of uranium, to say that we are not going to consider nuclear power – not even going to look at it, we are going to say no to it before the debate even starts. One of the options that has got to be on the table is nuclear power, I believe that the world’s attitudes toward nuclear power is changing and I believe that Australian attitudes towards nuclear power are changing”

This follows the release of a report commissioned by the government, and controversially staffed by pro-nuclear supporters and scientists. It was led by the man who ran Telstra (The national phone company) while the share price free fell to a fraction of their value as the government started to privitise it…

A review by the Federal Government’s nuclear energy task force has found a nuclear power industry could be commercially viable within 15 years. The Federal Government says it believes the 15-year time frame is realistic. A report by the Federal Government’s nuclear energy task force has found that within 15 years a nuclear power industry in Australia could be commercially viable.
The task force is headed by former Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski and it is due to hand the draft report to the Government in a fortnight. The report also suggests that when more countries invest in nuclear technology it will become cheaper.
Federal Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane says the report shows that nuclear power is viable and should be carefully considered in Australia.
Mr Macfarlane says he agrees with the 15-year time frame suggested in the report. Fifteen-year time frame is realistic, you could see the beginning of construction of the first nuclear power station in Australia within the next decade and coming on-line and producing electricity on a constant basis within five years after that,” he said.

“What we are seeing though is more and more evidence both here in Australia and also internationally through the International Energy Agency that nuclear power will be a price competitive option for Australia to consider in the years ahead,” he said.

The review has also found that the cost of nuclear power will drop dramatically when more countries invest in nuclear technology and the price of fossil fuels goes up.

The PM even touched on that bogeyman of the Kyoto protocol. Interesting take!

[He] …will not be pressured into making changes that would place Australia at an economic and competitive disadvantage…“Australia is different from Europe, it is different from America, it is different from Asia,” he said.

“In many respects the whole debate surrounding the Kyoto Protocol is being driven out of Europe rather than out of countries whose economic circumstances are similar to our own.”

But there are always at least three sides, with one being the truth. This is another.

But a spokeswoman for the Wilderness Society is calling on the Government to rule out using nuclear power and instead investigate other options for generating base load electricity – like the use of natural gas.
Queensland Conservation Council spokesman Toby Hutcheon does not believe Australia will have a nuclear power industry by 2021.

Further arguments include the fact that nations like the UK and USA still have a 20+ Year lead time. I wonder if this is a new “green’ Howard government, a smokescreen for something else, or a real attempt to both secure future “Clean” power and improve the balance of trade by supplying enriched products to consumers overseas…

I will come back to this in a month or so to see where it has gone!

Technorati Tags: , , ,

powered by performancing firefox


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s