Nuclear a ‘no-brainer’
Steve Sawyer’s letter in the Port Lincoln Times on July 17, negating nuclear for SA contains many errors.
I spent a year in nuclear Canada in 1981,experienced the nuclear industry first hand, learnt the truth about it and converted anti to pro nuclear during the year.
Since 1998, I have studied, written and spoken about the nuclear industry, trying to educate Australians and persuading governments to include nuclear in our energy mix.
1. Some uneconomic UK reactors are closing. However, as of May 2017, the UK had 15 reactors producing 20 per cent of its electricity and 11 reactors planned for the future.
Hinkley Point C continues towards future generation.
In 2017, 447 reactors in 32 countries were generating 11.5 per cent of the worlds electricity.
Fifty-nine reactors were under construction,170 planned and 374 proposed for the future.
China has 35, is building 21 and has 180 planned or proposed by 2050.
Nuclear is increasing rapidly world wide and Australia should be part of that nuclear expansion.
2. Most large reactors are in the 1000 - 1600MWe capacity range.
Approval and build time is generally five to seven years.
Median build time to grid connection in 2017 was 58 months.
3. Significant development of Small Modular Reactors [SMRs] which are quicker (two to three years) and cheaper to build is occurring.
SMRs capacity range from 10 to 300 MWe.
These would be ideal for mines in SA.
4. New nuclear technologies do not require water for cooling.
They are gas or metal (sodium) cooled.
5. Nuclear power costs are competitive with other base load generation types.
The solar thermal unit at Ivanpah, California, cost $19/Kwh. Nuclear cost$6/Kwh.
Ivanpah is facing closure.
It failed to deliver power promised.
6. Decommissioning costs are included in the tariffs paid by the consumer and always have been.
7. Chernobyl “went off” on 26/4/1986.
The latest United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation [UNSCEAR] report stated that fallout in the radiation zone varied between 0.47mSv/yr and 3.2mSv/yr.
These levels are below most background radiation around the world including in Port Lincoln.
The relocation of 116,000 people after Chernobyl was unnecessary.
Acute radiation killed 28 involved in the clean up, one hundred had on going health problems.
At the time of the “melt down” three reactors continued operating and 6000 workers kept working.
There were no radiation fatalities at Three Mile Island  or Fukushima .
There was no nuclear disaster at Long Island.
8. Everyone except the AEMO and the renewables devotees, affirms that Australia’s energy generation must provide an affordable, reliable, emissions-free base load supply.
Nowhere on the planet have the renewables with battery storage and pumped hydro back up, ever provided base load.
9. The renewables are not economical.
They only survive through enormous government (tax payer) subsidies.
Over 20 years, the world has spent $2.3 trillion on renewables subsidies, generated 2.8 per cent of its electricity and achieved zero emissions reduction.
Australia will spend $4 billion per year on subsidies until 2031.
The renewables have been a scandalous, reckless waste of public funds.
We should follow other countries and stop subsidising them and invest in nuclear instead.
It’s the only technology Australia has to guarantee an affordable, reliable, emissions-free base load supply.
10. Olympic Dam uranium (20 per cent world reserves) used in Integral Fast Reactors [IFRs] could power the entire planet, emissions-free for 4000 plus years.
Nuclear in Australia’s energy mix is a no-brainer.
Nuclear no worse than fuel
For those that think having a radioactive waste repository, 20 kilometres out of town (that no one will see unless you want to visit) is so terrible or frightening, have a good look at what is passing you on the road every time you are travelling!
Fuels, chemicals, gas and explosives cross the bridge at Port Augusta continuously.
These are very volatile commodities that would cause far more catastrophic accidents than a load of already contained radioactive waste.
I live on Highway One at Kimba and see these dangerous goods trucks come and go all day.
They even stay the night in the parking bay across from the roadhouse on the edge of town.
If there were an accident with a load of radioactive modules destined for a repository it would be simply picked up and put on another truck, checked and on its way, a load of petrol or chemical not so easy.
Every community lives with some sort of dangerous goods, it is part of life.