Malcolm Turnbull believes that nuclear power is a real option for Australia, but he doesn’t see any use at all in pursuing it without some kind of bipartisan open-mindedness, and he is right.
And Labor’s refusal to contemplate the issue is looking more and more like stubbornness. We are quite happy to flog our uranium to others for peaceful purposes, after all.
Many of the reservations about nuclear power – including the cost – need to be reconsidered in light of what we have learned about the real cost of fossil fuels.
And the Prime Minister is only too prepared to remind us that the consequences of failing to cut our carbon emissions are gothic in the extreme; death by sunstroke or beriberi, catastrophic weather events and the disappearance of the Great Barrier Reef.
If climate change is indeed the greatest challenge of our time, is it really appropriate to be ignoring one feasible and low-carbon – albeit contentious – solution? Is the Government serious enough about all of this to risk its own political hide?
via Annabel Crabb | Peter Garrett – smh.com.au
Nuclear power is an option that dates back at least to the energy crisis of the 1970s.
There is NOW a BETTER option!!!!
Systems that use renewable energy sources, that have energy storage subsystems, and that are coordinated by a smart grid will be able to replace coal power stations and deliver reliable energy.
They will do so at a fraction of the cost of nuclear, without the dangerous wastes, and without the possibility for nuclear proliferation. Most importantly, the speed that our energy systems can be transformed by renewables/energy storage/smart grid is a key factor for this new option. It involves the progressive change of our existing systems and this new model for energy systems will include optimisation in terms of energy efficiency.
Another thing to consider about this new smarter option for energy systems is that once the cat is out of the bag, the rest of the FREE world will be going down that path of renewable sources/ energy storage and smart grid networks. If Australia goes for nuclear power it will be left behind. The costs for a nation with a small population like Australia’s means that it can go one way or the other – nuclear or smart grid/renewables/storage. If Australia goes for nuclear power it may find that it has to drop nuclear power projects midway through the projects at an incredible waste of money and effort.
Australia is being sold a hoax – and possibly the reason for that is that the world would love to dump nuclear wastes here. I don’t think it would help them if they dumped nuclear wastes in Australia. I think the way to solve the nuclear waste problem is to 1) prevent the production of more nuclear wastes and 2) keep the wastes where they are, so that 3) once energy systems have been transformed and surplus energy is available to transmute nuclear wastes into harmless chemicals, we can 4) systematically smash nuclear waste products (generating very high radioactive fluxes in the transmuting machines for a short amount of time). That is a project for after the renewable energy systems are well established. I think it would be a mistake to bury the wastes in a large repository somewhere in Australia – it would put off the transmutation of nuclear wastes and risks the release of nuclear wastes and by-products into the biosphere in ways that we can not track. Such a repository would become a lethal time bomb that will need to be properly cleaned up shortly after it is filled and closed at enormous expense to Australia in the future – if that option goes ahead.