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The Forum > Article Comments > Leslie Kemeny's nuclear crusade > Comments

Leslie Kemeny's nuclear crusade : Comments

By Jim Green, published 29/1/2013

Nuclear expansion is always portrayed as a pathway to wealth and prosperity in Kemeny's opinion pieces and these assertions are unencumbered by any connection with reality.

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How come nuclear deprived Germany and Japan are going backwards while pronuclear China is forging ahead?
Posted by Taswegian, Tuesday, 29 January 2013 6:33:44 AM
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Jim: if this bloke annoys you so much why do you keep reading his stuff? Alan Jones annoys me so I don't listen to him and then I don't get annoyed. It would seem the logical course of action.

Cheers,

Tony
Posted by Tony Lavis, Tuesday, 29 January 2013 7:18:20 AM
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Yes it is a wonder why Jim has bothered to nail/expose Kemeny here - given little chance nuclear power will be voted in in Australia for decades. Coal and gas power stations will rule for decades - with a small percentage of renewable solutions.

Can't wait for Kemeny's rebuttal on OLO.
Posted by plantagenet, Tuesday, 29 January 2013 7:43:44 AM
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When you can't beat the argument, play the man eh?

Jim and his FoE mates are past masters at these sorts of tricks.
Posted by DavidL, Tuesday, 29 January 2013 7:53:11 AM
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Jim Green,

How do you argue with these two key facts:

1. Nuclear power is about the safest of all electricity generation technologies. Furthermore, it is about 10 to 100 times safer (ExterneE) or 150 times safer (Forbes summary of authoritative studies) than coal which is the main alternative to nuclear power for most of the world's electricity generation. http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/deaths-by-energy-source-in-forbes.html

2. There is no other viable alternative if we want economically viable, low emissions energy supply.

This http://oznucforum.customer.netspace.net.au/TP4PLang.pdf shows how much more expensive renewables would be compared with nuclear to supply the power the Australian National Electricity Market. This compares several options on the basis of CO2 emissions avoided (Fig 5) and Capital Cost, Cost of Electricity and CO2 abatement costs (Figure 6).
Posted by Peter Lang, Tuesday, 29 January 2013 8:12:48 AM
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Mr Kemeny's article makes the point that

"Australia is a country hungry for energy and thirsty for water."

Nuclear electricity needs to be put in perspective - electricity is but one form of energy, and has limited application to transport. These sweeping generalisations are grand, but it's a bit like saying that Australia is a country hungry for transport, implying that trains will solve the problem of transport, or that maybe more panel vans are the solution.

Don't get me wrong. Trains and panel vans both have their significant roles.

Nuclear electricity needs to be put in perspective. It is an exceptionally complicated technology, embedded in an international system of expertise and technical and political regulation.

The unprecedented degree of state and international oversight is mandated by the perhaps low but nevertheless real and demonstrated risk of catastrophe and threat.

Chernobyl and Fukushima are stark reminders of catastrophe. To write off the social dislocation and suffering they have caused by claiming that few people have died is to selectively ignore the actions of governments who must make grim choices to protect their citizens in the face of an internationally acknowledged threat of radioactivity, and the real consequences of exposure to ionising radiation.

And it's worth remembering the military destruction of reactors in the middle-east and Vietnam. Not to mention the threat of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism, associated with states such as Iran and North Korea, and Pakistan.

Somehow, to me, an energy source that can produce such catastrophic conseqences and dire threats is arguably neither clean nor green.

Oh, and I nearly forgot: nuclear electricity generation requires large amounts of water for cooling, in a country hungry for water.

Mr Kemeny's article can be read in all its glory at
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/opinion/nuclear-is-clean-energy-20130110-2cinm.html#ixzz2JJLbzsBO

Thanks Jim, for bringing it to folks' attention. In my opinion, Mr Kemeny and his associated lobbies are newsworthy.
Posted by Sir Vivor, Tuesday, 29 January 2013 8:51:08 AM
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