Whether purchasing a house or a car, developing a mineral deposit, or planning for water or energy security, exploring our options is roundly regarded as a good place to start. Options let us explore alternate pathways. They let us envisage and model different outcomes.

It's in here somewhere! Pic: Supplied

Options let us consider the costs and benefits of action from a range of perspective with a simple goal in mind: making the best, most informed and beneficial decision we can in a world of scarcity and finite resources.

It follows that the exclusion of options at the early stages of planning runs the risk of the opposite outcome. Unless we get lucky, closing ourselves to options without objective analysis is nearly destined to generate an outcome that is sub-optimal. That means embracing higher costs for slimmer benefits, which then limits our ability to deliver more and better change in future.

That’s where Australia sits, right now, in looking ahead to plan the next half century of development of that most crucial input to our economy, energy. We appear to be fully appraised of the enormity of the challenge we face, that of sustaining and growing an economy while decarbonising one of the most carbon-intensive electricity supplies on earth.

Yet we approach the challenge with an arbitrary exclusion of a major potential solution. We exclude nuclear power.

Despite being the world’s largest exporter of uranium, nuclear power has been legally prohibited in Australia since 1990. Since that time our greenhouse gas emissions from electricity production have grown 18 per cent as we have extended our dependence on fossil fuels. Nuclear power is not a bit player in the global scene.

It provided over 12 per cent of global electricity in 2011. By excluding it before we even start our planning, the options that are well suited to providing zero-carbon baseload become very, very scarce, limited to a range of technologies that, in 2012 at least, are financial and technological non-starters.

As Professor Barry Brook recently pointed out, modelling from the CSIRO eFutures tool allows us to see the impact of this arbitrary exclusion on a nation-wide energy scenario. The result is unsurprising.

Modelling without nuclear yields a higher-cost result, with nearly double the greenhouse gas emissions. Even that outcome is dependent on the questionable assumption of carbon capture and storage delivering around a third of the supply.

Another, potentially more tangible way to illustrate this type of impact is to model different technologies against a range of criteria in the hypothetical delivery of a defined energy challenge. That is precisely what we have done in our new report Zero Carbon Options.

The task the technology options had to meet was the hypothetical replacement of South Australia’s Playford and Northern Power Stations based on 2009/2009 levels of generations. Two reference zero-carbon technology options have been compared head to head against thirteen criteria: a nuclear power option (in this case, an Enhanced CANDU6 reactor) and a hybrid solar thermal with storage/wind power development.

The results are telling. For dramatically less capital investment, the reference nuclear solution delivers a greater quantity of electricity, with a far higher capacity factor, at a much lower cost per megawatt hour. The superior dispatchability and higher electricity production means the reference nuclear solution delivers greater reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

It occupies a dramatically smaller footprint on the land, uses far less fresh water in operation and is constructed with fewer resources for a much longer lifespan. The principal trade-off for these benefits is the accumulation of a small quantity of spent fuel, to be housed on site.

Before we reject options in major state and national decisions, we need to impartially assess them. We can continue the arbitrary exclusion of nuclear power and pay the national price. But thanks to tools like eFutures and reports like Zero Carbon Options, it will be much harder to do this in ignorance of the costs we are incurring and the benefits we are forgoing. A different option is available to Australia. Will we exercise it?

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEST.

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    • acotrel says:

      04:58am | 07/12/12

      ‘. For dramatically less capital investment, the reference nuclear solution delivers a greater quantity of electricity, with a far higher capacity factor, at a much lower cost per megawatt hour. The superior dispatchability and higher electricity production means the reference nuclear solution delivers greater reduction in greenhouse gas emissions’

      Does that include the cost of the clean-up.when somebody stuffs up due to our national mindset of ‘she’ll be right, mate - if it ain’t broke don’t f ix it ! ’ ? Our engineers already cannot handle simple workplace hazardous substances without tripping over their own feet. How will they ever handle nuclear waste ? Our nuclearpower generation industry would not be controlled by scientists, and engineering is the wrong profession for the job.  This is not about uncertainty, the outcome is predestined.

    • Bane says:

      07:43am | 07/12/12

      So in your opinion, we ( or you) have considered the option of nuclear and duly ruled it out based on the waste issue, which surely must of destroyed Europe, US, Japan etc by now and your perception of our “she’ll be right” attitude.
      I’d call it a Can-do attitude. C’mon Aussies C’mon

    • Levi says:

      07:53am | 07/12/12

      “This is not about uncertainty, the outcome is predestined. ” - with a poor attitude like that it is.

      You know the old saying “those people who say it cannot be done shoudn’t interrupt the people doing it”. You could learn a thing or two about that acotrel.

      People just have this irrational fear of nuclear power and radiation, despite the fact that coal generated power realeases more radiation, heavy metals and other types of pollution, and results in more deaths, than nuclear power.

    • Fred says:

      08:07am | 07/12/12

      Benalla will become the nominated nuclear waste dump for australias future nuclear industry. The small hamlet in victoria already contains mutant creatures that can absorb the nuclear waste in their morning cereal.

    • Chris L says:

      08:37am | 07/12/12

      What happened? I’m seeing conservative commentators displaying enthusiasm and optimism and Acotrel being defeatist and pessimistic.

      Did I sleep through the election?

    • TimB says:

      08:46am | 07/12/12

      I see nothing fundementally wrong with Fred’s proposition and I endorse it wholeheartedly.

    • steve says:

      01:41pm | 07/12/12

      How about you go and read up on the newer generations of nuclear power plants before spouting all this nonsense acotrel.

      They even have ones now that can use the waste from the old ones and in turn produce no radioactive waste.

      So you could install the old style ones now that are available, and stockpile the “waste” and when the new style readily available you can install them and boom, waste problem solved.

      The only reason we aren’t doing this now is because of people like you who don’t know the facts running your scaremongering campaigns.

    • LC says:

      03:22pm | 07/12/12

      So in a nutshell, Australians are inherently more stupid or untrustworthy than our cousins overseas, despite the fact we are biologically the same people, and as such we cannot be trusted to run a nuclear power plant to the same standards?

      Doesn’t that make you…y’know, by the left’s own standards,...racist?

    • TerryG of PK says:

      04:15pm | 07/12/12

      No country which is sitting on nuclear waste has any intention of give it up. In time it will be recycled, re-energised and reused. Or if the Indian’s or the Chinese perfect Thorium lifter reactors then current waste stockpiles will be used as the spark plug to set off a reaction. Resulting end waste is a tenth of original feed, which has a half life of 250 years. Surely better than 10 thousand years for current waste stock piles.

    • Brad says:

      05:03am | 07/12/12

      I once read that if the entire world were to switch to nuclear power overnight, there is only enough uranium to last three years.
      I’m all for doing everything we can to cut our emissions, but isn’t the sun going to last about 5 billion years?

    • subotic says:

      08:27am | 07/12/12

      Mr. Burns: A lifetime of working with nuclear power has left me with a healthy green glow… and left me as impotent as a Nevada boxing commissioner.

    • TimB says:

      05:18am | 07/12/12

      An excellent article. Nuclear power is cleary the smartest route we currently have available to us.

      The sad thing is, one of the main arguments I see in these very columns (apart from Acotrel’s perpetually insulting ‘Australians are too dumb to run a reactor’), is it will take ‘too long’ to get one up and running. 20 years too long apparently.

      This is ridiculous. As you say, none of the other suggested technologies are anywhere close to being efficient enough from a financial and technological standpoint. How long do we have to wait there before they prove themselves? Less than 20 years? They’ve had that time and more already.

      Nuclear is the smart move. And as long as the doom mongers who claim the world is headed towards carbonageddon continue to oppose a viable solution to their issue, they cannot expect me to take their scare campaigns seriously.

    • acotrel says:

      07:04am | 07/12/12

      TimB
      For many years all liquid chemical waste from Melbourne’s industyt was added to the clay bottomed hole at Tullamarine, none of it was radioactive .  What are you suggesting ? The waste being held around the world in nuclear establishments and transported is simply frightening.  We don’t have to be part of that. It might be OK if we were Russians or Chinese and didn’t care who we killed while making a dollar,  however Australians usually recognise their duty of care and manage the risk appropriately . This risk is worth eliminating.

    • Mahhrat says:

      07:39am | 07/12/12

      TimB:  Agreed.

      We know wwe can use nuclear power now.  This gives us the time to be world leaders in solar and wind power and figure out how to make those cheaper and better.  How one of the hottest, windiest, sunniest places on the planet isn’t already is totally beyond me.

    • Chris L says:

      09:10am | 07/12/12

      Nuclear is already safer to use and the waste material created is very small in volume. I suspect opposition to nuclear energy are either reacting from an emotional viewpoint or are perhaps employing outdated information about the industry.

    • AdamC says:

      09:41am | 07/12/12

      Clearly, the attraction of nuclear power is that it is viable and available now. There are also precedents (most notably France) of nations producing a significant majority of their electricity from nuclear power. Despite massive investments in renewables (including here) there is no renewables equivalent of the French achievement.

      The opposition to nuclear, of course, is entirely political.

      I suspect our descendents will see our aversion to nuclear power as a quaint manifestation of our primitive ignorance.

    • Tim says:

      09:53am | 07/12/12

      Nuclear is the smart option.

      But massive problems would need solutions.

      Location. Where do we put them? They must be near large waterways and population centres.

      Nimby’s. How do you deal with the public outrage from putting one near large waterways and population centres?

      Waste. Solveable but needs a technically workable solution.

      Cost. Extremely high capital costs. The variability of the energy market creates large problems for the viability of nuclear plants. If we install them, we’d better be prepared to guarantee long contracts for output, which places a lot of risk on the government.

      Accidents. One accident, just one and it would be the end of the industry. We would need extremely robust safety measures.

    • Knemon says:

      12:04pm | 07/12/12

      @ AdamC - “Clearly, the attraction of nuclear power is that it is viable”

      I suppose it depends on your definition of viable AdamC, the recently retired CEO of Exelon John Rowe, America’s largest producer of nuclear power said…

      “Nuclear power is no longer an economically viable source of new energy in the United States and it won’t become economically viable for the foreseeable future, I’m the nuclear guy and you won’t get better results with nuclear. It just isn’t economic, and it’s not economic within a foreseeable time frame.”

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2012/03/29/exelons-nuclear-guy-no-new-nukes/

      Tim also makes valid points, plus opposition to nuclear power is coming from within the energy sector itself, those with vested interests in the fossil fuel industry who have more to lose than any nimbies or feral Greenies Etc.

    • Rob of Brisbane says:

      01:59pm | 07/12/12

      @ Alcotrel
      Your comment about Russians is insulting and rude.  Modern Russia is not as you describe and clearly you have never visited (except perhaps, in the days of the Soviet Union where you were indoctrinated).

    • Achmed says:

      06:00am | 07/12/12

      Why dont were see anyone continuing the work of Nikola Tesla on the use of atmospheric electricity? and the wireless transmission of electricity?

    • Colin says:

      07:23am | 07/12/12

      Well, for a start, the ‘Wireless transmission of electricity’ is already being done - but it doesn’t SAVE energy, and it must use electricity generated by some other means to power it, so it is far from being some form of alternative power, if that’s what you think…

      And as for Tesla’s other ‘Wonderful’ ideas, I’m sure that they all worked amazingly well in his mind…and on the pages of Science Fiction novels, but the idea that he was some sort of genius whose work governments are trying to cover up or there is some conspiracy at play not to use his inventions, the fact is that much of what he suggested was, at best, impractical and, at worst, downright ludicrous.

      (Awaits howls of derision from conspiracy theorists and Tesla ‘Experts’)

    • Achmed says:

      10:50am | 07/12/12

      So the development of the Alternating C urrent was in his mind….that’s why Westinghouse paid him all that money and employed him so they would have control over his inventions….of course

    • St. Michael says:

      11:09am | 07/12/12

      So long as Tesla is actually David Bowie in disguise and actually was able to (SPOILERS!) making cloning technology like he did in The Prestige, all our problems would be solved.

    • Colin says:

      12:49pm | 07/12/12

      Achmed 10:50am | 07/12/12

      The DEVELOPMENT of AC and the INVENTION of technologies are two completely different things…

      ...and do you continue to believe that Westinghouse (and others) by buying up his patents have managed to “Squash’ and “Quell” his Amazing Secrets..?

      You do know that all of his patents are freely available to download from Patents online, don’t you? Or do you really believe all the conspiracy theories..?

    • SAm says:

      06:02am | 07/12/12

      It really is a no brainer to go down the nuclear path.
      Safe, comparativly environmentally friendly (assuming safe waste disposal), comparativly cheap, good baseload.
      In my opinion this should be our baseload power supply over the next 50 years, which will give us time to research and gradually roll out renewables.
      Much better plan than trying to cram them in now. In 50-100 years we quite forseeably could be on 100% renewables, given enough generating power and storage technologies (to eliminate the ‘fluctuations’ associated with such technologies).
      By that stage energy will so cheap it will be mind boggling.
      Any politicians feel like the challenge? Didnt think so

    • acotrel says:

      07:10am | 07/12/12

      ’ (assuming safe waste disposal),’

      Sounds good if you say it quickly.

    • Upnorff says:

      10:00am | 07/12/12

      What about the option of fully embracing this opportunity? Make Australia the world’s nuclear fuel & waste reprocessor and storage operator and get into the fuel rod business on a changeover basis - especially for nations with dubious nuclear motives. For so long we have exported base ore with no value adding - here is our opportunity to get on top of the game with the construction of a breeder reactor to facilitate the reprocess business as well as light the nation! And yes, in my back yard is fine.

    • Kipling says:

      06:14am | 07/12/12

      occupies a dramatically smaller footprint on the land, uses far less fresh water in operation and is constructed with fewer resources for a much longer lifespan. The principal trade-off for these benefits is the accumulation of a small quantity of spent fuel, to be housed on site.

      A small amount….. With a significant half life that will in fact mean that the small amount you speak of will accumulate fairly noticeably. This add promotes one specific option and blatantly so.

    • acotrel says:

      07:16am | 07/12/12

      ‘The principal trade-off for these benefits is the accumulation of a small quantity of spent fuel, to be housed on site.’

      A small amount if it is concentrated - might glow and get a little bit warm. The current waste problems involve large qualitites of strongly acidic solutions of isotopes .
      I know you won’t listen to me, but my advice as an industrial chemist with 40 years experience is - don’t go there !

    • Kerr Avon says:

      06:40am | 07/12/12

      Even better if we look at Thorium rather than Uranium as fuel as India & China are. More energy from less ore & less waste produced. The reason initial development was with Uranium is that it can be weaponised. Aus has Thorium deposits as well

    • acotrel says:

      07:08am | 07/12/12

      ‘The reason initial development was with Uranium is that it can be weaponised.’

      Nuclear power ? Another statement of ‘fact’ with no supporting evidence ?

    • acotrel says:

      07:21am | 07/12/12

      ‘Even better if we look at Thorium rather than Uranium as fuel as India & China are.’

      ‘A little knowledge is dangerous’ ?
      Ziggy Switkowsky is a nuclear physicist, and pro-nuclear power.  Perhaps you should ask him how to build a thorium reactor or a controlled fusion reactor ?

    • ronny jonny says:

      07:53am | 07/12/12

      Take a few billion from dead end green schemes and invest it in research into your thorium or whatever, at least there would be a chance of a decent return on the investment.

    • subotic says:

      08:29am | 07/12/12

      Mr. Burns: Remember, your job depends on your successful completion of Nuclear Physics 101. Oh, and one more thing…

      [ominously]

      Mr. Burns: You must find the Jade Monkey before the next full moon.

      Smithers: Actually, sir, we found the Jade Monkey. It was in your glove compartment.

      Mr. Burns: And the road maps, and ice scraper?

      Smithers: They were in there, too, sir.

      Mr. Burns: Excellent! It’s all falling into place…

    • Levi says:

      09:34am | 07/12/12

      Mr Burns: “I know, we’ll take the Spruce Moose…here, hop in!!”

      Smithers: “Uh…sir…I don’t think”

      (Burns produces a revolver and points it at Smithers)

      Mr Burns (ominously): “I said, Hop in”

      - Gotta love The Simpsons. They have a line or episode pertinent to every one of lifes dilemmas.

    • Kerr Avon says:

      05:37pm | 07/12/12

      @acotrel Thorium reactors are still a form of nuclear power. As such in common with Dr Ziggy I’m in favor of developing an Australian nuclear option. Try doing some research before posting. Then again as you are a rusted-on labor troll I wouldn’t expect you to be capable. You will just regurgitate what the labor - green vacuum-heads support

    • Kerr Avon says:

      06:13pm | 07/12/12

      @acotrel If you did some research before posting you would understand that Thorium fuel is nuclear power http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle article lists test reactors. However given that you are a rusted-on labor troll - you will just spout what your green overlords tell you

    • Kerr Avon says:

      06:13pm | 07/12/12

      @acotrel If you did some research before posting you would understand that Thorium fuel is nuclear power http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle article lists test reactors. However given that you are a rusted-on labor troll - you will just spout what your green overlords tell you

    • ronny jonny says:

      07:03am | 07/12/12

      Nuclear is clearly the only current option to replace coal. That is if you regard CO2 as a serious pollutant. There is no such thing as a free lunch, especially in physics, there will always be a downside to any technology we pursue for our benefit. Storage of nuclear waste in Australia has a simple solution, we have millions of square kilometers of empty stable desert, bung it in a hole under Ayers Rock, no problem. Part of the problem is that the same people who have an irrational fear of coal also have an irrational fear of nuclear, the safest, least harmful power generating technology.

    • iansand says:

      07:10am | 07/12/12

      Why must there be only one solution?  Why not multiple, application specific, solutions?  One size never fits all.

    • TimB says:

      08:01am | 07/12/12

      This sounds suspiciously like an argument against the NBN.

      Meh. I’m sure it’s just coincidence.

    • iansand says:

      08:22am | 07/12/12

      TimB - You do understand that the NBN will be wireless for remote locations, don’t you?

    • TimB says:

      08:41am | 07/12/12

      Yes I do iansand, but that wasn’t quite my point.

      Nevertheless you’re partway there. I suppose that’s progress.

    • ronny jonny says:

      08:59am | 07/12/12

      Leads to duplication, ineffeciency, transmission loss. Look at the mess with wind turbines, gas generator back ups, solar panels stuck on peoples roofs, it’s ineffcient and over complicated.

    • Colin says:

      10:06am | 07/12/12

      @ iansand

      Absolutely right.

      Individual power generation (by those who can) with solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal heat pumps, rainwater tanks…whatever it takes. If everyone who could do that did do that and got off (or, at least greatly reduced their dependence on) the grid, then we would all be better off.

    • iansand says:

      10:15am | 07/12/12

      Ronny Jonny - Think “get off the grid”

    • iansand says:

      10:17am | 07/12/12

      Ronny Jonny - Think “get off the grid”.

      TimB - What?  You are going to have to understand that Delphic utterances are rarely confused for intelligence except by the gullible.  Of whom you may be one.

    • ibast says:

      08:29am | 07/12/12

      Actually they don’t use less water, they use more.  They run at lower temperatures than coal fired units.  They compensate for this by running more LP turbine and more LP turbines means more condensors and more condensors means more cooling water.

      That doesn’t mean I’m not for them.  Just saying.

      What this means is they need to be in coastal areas in Australia and near to a grid.  So this is why the NIMBY factor is such a big consideration.

    • Geoff Russell says:

      03:33pm | 07/12/12

      And if you don’t have water? Easy, just run them air cooled and lose about 1.5% of energy running fans. You don’t need water to run a nuclear/coal/solar thermal or any other steam generator system, it just makes them a little more efficient than otherwise. With solar thermal however you need water (fresh water) to clean the mirrors and with nuclear you need a little for the spent fuel ponds.

      http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/cooling_power_plants_inf121.html

    • subotic says:

      08:30am | 07/12/12

      Lisa Simpson: Woo-hoo! St. Patrick’s Day! I love how they made the river green!

      Mr. Burns: Actually, my nuclear plant did that. And now that you know, your life is in danger…

      [walks off humming]

    • PD says:

      09:40am | 07/12/12

      I await any proposal for current, real-world renewables that can displace Australian baseload power, ie coal.  On second thought, I won’t wait - there just aren’t any.  I’d rather see us get on with nuclear than wait for the mythical clean, infinite, benign, cheap energy source we’d all love to have.

      You can’t spruik ‘imminent climate-death’ and dismiss nuclear power as ‘too dangerous’. Not only is it untrue, it is irrational.

    • Bomb78 says:

      09:44am | 07/12/12

      Burning coal, oil and gas in leaving a considerably larger waste footprint, uncontrollable in the atmosphere. Securing the nuclear waste an economy the size of Australia would produce if we replaced all fossil fuels with nuclear would be comparability easy compared with the doom of the greenhouse apocalypse.
      Nuclear does not need to be explored and implemented to the total detriment of clean renewable energy. But to keep burning coal while we wait for technology to catch up with energy demand is not just stupid, its suicidal.

    • Robinoz says:

      10:04am | 07/12/12

      It’s fairly well a no-brainer. It’s either coal or nuclear and although the former has been cleaned up considerably with innovative technology, the pollutive discharge is still politically unpopular. Technological advances in engineering have also improved the chances of nuclear power stations being more efficient, less dangerous and a safer option. Wind and solar are part of the solution, but neither is yet a full solution; wind can’t sustain a base load and solar also creates pollution of a different kind and is not cost-effective. Until we come up with a better mode of producing energy, which we will in time, we need to use what is available now. Nuclear is available as is coal. We also have plenty of isolated places that are geologically stable for storage of nuclear waste products ... one is being set up at present. As Shakespeare said, ” ... we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures.”

    • maybe says:

      10:11am | 07/12/12

      At the risk of sounding like an unwashed, hessian pants wearing hippy, I think a greater impact could be made by folks just being less wastefull, and building more efficiency into the system. For example, take solar hot water: take heat from the sun, apply to water at the location where it is required. This eliminates generating electricity, usually done by producing heat somehow, then turining it back into heat to warm up water (or run a heater, etc etc).  I know solar hot water isn’t 100% reliable and requires a back up energy source, but it’s still relatively more efficient. And accepting that sometimes when it’s cold, you should put on a jumper rather than crank up the heat.

      Impossible task though, I know.  Completely unreasonable.

    • Austin 3:16 says:

      11:27am | 07/12/12

      Khazzoom–Brookes would be a bit against you there. Increased energy efficiency at the micro level doesn’t lead to a macro reduction in energy demand. If anything it leads to increased deman.

    • Helen of Troy says:

      11:43am | 07/12/12

      Whatever happened to the water wheel? I can envisage a system where you flick an appliance on, the water starts filling the wheel, turns the motor to fuel the appliance, the water drains back into the pond, and is continally recycled as needs dictate. Best if you have a farm, but how about a community water wheel?

    • Leigh says:

      12:10pm | 07/12/12

      I have note read the report “Zero Carbon Options”, not do I intend to as I do not believe in man-made global warming; I believe in climate change as a natural occurrence.

      However, the title Zero Cargon Options is really amusing. We are NOT talking about carbon; we are talking about carbon dioxide as the ‘bad’ gas. So, it seems that zero emissions really means that the will be able to breath in, but not allowed to breath out!

    • Jack says:

      01:42pm | 07/12/12

      Wow, you people are still running with that LOL IF CO2 IS SO BAD WHY DO PLANTS LOVE IT?! as if it’s a real argument?

      Sigh.

    • Geoff Russell says:

      01:36pm | 07/12/12

      Nuclear waste isn’t a problem, its just an added benefit. It can be used as fuel in what are called fast reactors which will make it very valuable ... http://bit.ly/OR8Nzc  The Chinese connected a small fast reactor to their grid in 2010 and will be commercialising them in the near future. The UK deal to build a PRISM fast reactor which will turn weapons plutonium into civilian electricity looks to be proceeding. 

      Note there are two approaches to the current stockpile of nuclear waste and weapons plutonium: 1) the anti-nukes want it to still be a problem in 10,000 years, 2) the nuclear industry had solutions to the problem decades ago (fast reactors), but the anti-nukes stopped their development to guarantee the problem persisted to give them a raison d’etre.

      Likewise all of the planet could be producing electricity for 90 grams of CO2 per kWh like the nuclear French, but the anti-nukes stopped this so most of the world has been generating electricity for 500 grams of CO2 per kWh for the past 30 years which has rapidly warmed the planet and made fixing the climate that much harder.  After a decade of massive investment in renewables, the Germans are still generating 470 grams of CO2 per kWh.

      It’s not rocket science. Either you care about climate change and are pro-nuclear, or you are running on instinct and simply haven’t bothered to learn about the technologies and considered the options rationally.

    • LC says:

      03:41pm | 07/12/12

      Australia and New Zealand are in the minority of countries which still rely on primarily on coal power, while the French from a part of the nuclear powered majority along with most of America and Europe (though China has been slowly getting the hint recently). They must be laughing at us while we export our uranium to countries with a clue by the shipload while relying on power derived from a method which is a throwback to the industrial revolution. It’s a national joke.

      We have enough uranium here to power the current generation of nuke plants for the next 300-400 years, a lifespan which would be further extended by the fast reactors you mentioned and in the future, highly efficient thorium reactors which would have a lifespan of close to 1000 years from Australian fuel sources alone.

      Though until the Greens are relieved from their position of power, Nuclear power will be a pipedream, they won’t allow the construction of a nuclear plant. But even if we were to give it the nod tomorrow, we’d still be waiting 10-15 years, minimum, for it to be built. And if you, or the Greens, or Flannery, or Gore, or anyone else thinks we should live in the cold and dark in the meantime…

    • BJ says:

      04:24pm | 07/12/12

      Candu-6 plants can be built & commissioned in 4 years, as the PRC has demonstrated. As Geoff says, if you want to do something about climate change, you make up your mind,  then do it, as France and Sweden did.

      If you want to play footsies with the anti nuclear movement which has established firm control over the Greens, the court battles might well take 15 years, and you end up with a very expensive waste of time on cute feel good systems, and an increase in CO2 as in Denmark and Germany.

      It is really a question of whether special interest minorities will be allowed to determine the future of this country, and quite possibly kill the planet, with their blinkered inability to accept that irrational rhetoric is not going to cut it on climate change.

 

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From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more

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