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The Forum > Article Comments > What does the nuclear lobby want, for South Australia? > Comments

What does the nuclear lobby want, for South Australia? : Comments

By Noel Wauchope, published 19/3/2015

The central premise of Oscar Archer's promotion of this nuclear chain of events is that Australia should go out on a limb be the first country in the world to import nuclear wastes and to order a mass purchase of PRISM reactors.

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"There is another, underlying premise here that needs to be examined. This is the premise that it is OK for Australia and the world to continue to consume energy endlessly."

So lets examine this premise here, because you didn't in your article. Do you disagree that the world should "continue to consume energy continuously"?

Perhaps I am misunderstanding what you mean by this statement, but it appears as though you disagree with the existence of life on earth, in other words, you believe that energy consuming beings should cease to consume energy, which is necessary for life to be sustained? I mean, even in the green utopian imagination, humans are still able to consume energy provided by the sun, wind or food.

Or perhaps you are suggesting that we need to decrease energy consumption to a level supportable by more sustainable energy sources? If so what do you propose
Posted by Stezza, Thursday, 19 March 2015 8:42:30 AM
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I think SA interests are getting ahead themselves talking about PRISM reactors and taking in overseas waste. SA should establish a domestic reactor and fuel facility which can replace Pt Augusta and imported Victorian coal power and increasingly expensive gas. Note the 400 MW Torrens Island A gas fired unit is to be retired. Something like the 700 MW Enhanced Candu 6 now backed by Chinese money should be suitable and it can be bought off the shelf for about $5bn.

The UK should buy the first PRISM reactor when it is developed perhaps a decade from now. The UK has 120 tonnes of plutonium to burn up, SA has 0 tonnes. The Candu reactor can also fission unenriched uranium and thorium though the burnup rate is not as high as the PRISM. However it's ready now.
Posted by Taswegian, Thursday, 19 March 2015 9:22:09 AM
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No we can't do any of that, better our world is destroyed by runaway climate change; than change over to carbon free energy? So saith the blinkered greens?

Simply put, as dangerous or comparatively safe as modern nuclear reactors are, they just happen to also be carbon free.

And as dangerous or as safe as storing used nuclear rods may or may not be. Neither of these things are currently threatening our inevitable mutual destruction?

Whereas runaway climate change indubitably is!

So, what's the answer, keep on pumping out larger and larger amounts of carbon? Or accept inevitable change; however unpalatable!

And given Nuclear Power seems to be the only other AFFORDABLE option on the table? Well?

Storing the waste could earn S.A's basket case economy trillions! As could safely reusing and reusing it in FBR's, which then reduces the half life of any waste to just 300 odd years?

And surely we are smart enough to safely store this stuff for that long, by which time we may have perfected fusion energy, to possibly use up what is then left?

Our so called experts may know all the reasons this can't be done, but for mine an expert is better defined as; an X is an unknown quantity, and a spurt is merely a great big drip under extreme pressure!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:37:40 PM
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From Noel Wauchope, in reply to Stezza
Perhaps I did not express it clearly when I wrote about the "underlying premise that it is OK for Australia and the world to continue to consume energy endlessly."

The world's ever rising consumption of energy is a future envisaged in the pro nuclear advertising film "Pandora"s Promise"

Oscar Archer's talk is in line with this view, as he talks about a future of "rapid development in conventional Generation III+ nuclear technology receiving a strong boost"

Apart from a few nice "motherhood " statements, at the beginning, about conserving energy, Archer really is in harmony with "Pandora's Promise" and its view of ever motre eneergy and material consumption.
Posted by ChristinaMac1, Thursday, 19 March 2015 3:43:06 PM
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from Noel Wauchope - in reply to Taswegian

As to buying "the first PRISM" reactor. That's not the way it works. For these Small Modular Reactors the only possible way to commercialise them is for a government (using tax-payer money) to order as Oscar Archer suggests - not just one, but a fleet of mini reactors. The makers need "an ironclad commitment" to a mass order, so that they can do a mass production.

The PRISM reactor is not without its problems. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fast-reactors-to-consume-plutonium-and-nuclear-waste

However, it would be a less bad bet than the Candu reactor, given that the Candu is marketed by the Canadian company Lavalin - notorious for corruption
Posted by ChristinaMac1, Thursday, 19 March 2015 3:51:09 PM
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Has anyone asked why waste dumps have been suggested only on non-white, non-mining, non-agricultural land?

Australia would make a great nuclear Waste Dump because of our natural advantages. Australia's geographical isolation makes nuclear disasters safer - umm safer for the rest of the world.

Storage in isolated places in Australia makes it safer - for those hundreds of kms away from the disaster that is.

We know companies and countries honour the necessary Pay for Waste Storage for 10,000 Years contracts. There is nothing forcing a waste exporting Great Power to pay up. Oh yeah we could force these large nuclear energy countries (many are nuclear armed) to honour the contracts or get the UN to shame them or something.

All new and old style reactors leave some hard, expensive to handle, high level waste.
Posted by plantagenet, Thursday, 19 March 2015 4:57:39 PM
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