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The Forum > Article Comments > Empowering citizenís voices: lessons from inside a citizenís jury > Comments

Empowering citizenís voices: lessons from inside a citizenís jury : Comments

By Tony Webb, published 21/2/2020

Given the experience outlined here the decision to involve New Democracy in the upcoming NSW citizens jury suggests there will need for very close scrutiny.

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We elect politicians to make decisions. We have no say in a bunch unknown citizens picked at random. The bunch of nobodies in SA said nayy to a nuclear waste facility, and a weak Labor government buckled. The current Liberal government has decided that there will be a facility at Kimba. That's the way it should be.
Posted by ttbn, Friday, 21 February 2020 8:41:07 AM
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As always anti-nuclear advocates and coal company stooges will argue against nuclear and from a very broad spectrum of ignorance and unfounded fear!

liberally sprinkled with mountains of misinformation and weaponised BS writ large. Will attempt to come across with concerns and always, always repeat Chernobyl and Fukushima as if they understood anything whatsoever about nuclear energy!

And any citizen's Jury is sure to be stacked with their ANTI-NUCLEAR numbers, each confirming the bias of their ilk! Just so a gutless and equally ignorant premier can tell her coal-fired compatriots

Well, we asked a people's panel and they shot it down in flames!

I would ask that any anti-nuclear advocate be not included just a bunch of folk with actual knowledge, that, e.g. for every gigawatt, nuclear energy has the lowest death toll and lower than even renewables!!

Even so, would not recommend conventional nuclear power, given prohibitive build costs and even more prohibitive enriched fuel costs aand the possibility of accidents when one is dealing with a pressurised reaction vessel, operating at 150 atmospheres!

We should be looking at WALK AWAY SAFE MSR (molten salt reactor) and thorium. Thorium is less radioactive than a banana. 8 grams of thorium contains enough energy to power your house and car for 100 years!

And it's this potential that has the 3 trillion dollars a year fossil fuel industry and their stooges, trembling with unmitigated rage as they see their rivers of gold being removed by a carbon-free alternative they could never ever compete with! Ditto equally terrified big nuclear! TBC.
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Friday, 21 February 2020 9:51:49 AM
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When you get that just 8 grams of thorium contains enough energy to power your house and car for 100 years, is so abundant we can never run out of it.

Understand that the half-life of thorium is 15 billion years and that the projected life of the universe is 13.5 billion years and the reason we can never run out of thorium.

Uranium, on the other hand, has a half-life of 5 billion years and will be gone before the universe ends!

Also, understand this, the longer the half-life, the less radioactive the material! Some xenon e.g. has a half-life longer than the universe or thorium and therefore not very radioactive at all! And used routinely in nuclear medicine to assist with lung and brain scans.

Thorium is fertile and therefore cannot be compressed to create a thermonuclear explosion. And needs to spend a fortnight in the blanket of a conventional reactor (Lucas heights) to convert it to U233 which is fissile!

U233 can be used and used and used time and again in an unpressurised molten salt reactor where the immediately adjacent reprocessing facility allows further reactor energy depletion until every available erg of energy is extracted.

The remaining depleted material eminently suitable as long life space batteries and now in critically short supply around the globe as is another decay byproduct of U233, Miracle cancer cure, alpha particle isotope, bismuth 213!

A citizen's jury? Well, why not get a bunch of blind folks and ask them to evaluate sight? TBC.
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Friday, 21 February 2020 10:24:44 AM
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London to a brick the "Jury" will consist of a few nuclear physicists who know SFA about thorium and will all have pet barrows to push. May know about the study of hormesis that shows communities exposed to higher than background radiation (double) have far fewer health issues!

Others will come from a very vociferous green movement, who to a generic man will know less?

But come with a shipload of unfounded fear and know all the ( vested interest) reasons we should be saddled with their prefered, more expensive renewables with battery backup.

And demand we just use less energy as their preferred stack and rack preferred solution.

Would import all our food and sell off all our intellectual property and homegrown innovation? Then just print money to pay all our bills?

The "Jury" should have at least one expert on thorium on it, someone who has spent over five years studying it. I mean anyone can read a book then pretend to be fully informed? Like the antinuclear (over my dead body) author?

If the Jury is just another delay the inevitable strategy? Or its recommendations are like so many other enquires, just pigeon-holed to gather dust, it'd be just another time and money-wasting exercise by a government trying to look like they're listening, considering all the carbon-free options? WTFing L is the point!?

Q: When is the best time to plant a tree?
A: Twenty years ago.

If something we need now is going o require a twenty-year lead time and R+D, should we then defer making a decision to deploy some prototypes for another twenty years, when all the opportunities that now beckon including the annual billions we could safely and sensibly earn as the world's safest nuclear waste repository!

On the clear-sighted understanding that in MSR, nuclear waste is simply unspent fuel!

Time we took charge of our own destiny, rather than, price gouging, tax-avoiding, debt-laden, profit repatriating foreigners

In the last analysis, a good businessman/leader, knows when to cut the losses and get out!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Friday, 21 February 2020 2:38:22 PM
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The author had already decided his answer before hearing anything. He closed his mind to any evidence in favour and stuck with his "set in concrete" mind set. Then he rubbished everyone around him.
A perfect example of why this process would not work.
Leaders should lead although against me is the evidence that we are swopping a cheap and reliable power supply for a very expensive and unreliable power supply. Add to this further disruption to transport making it all much more expensive and unreliable. Good news is it is only us Western idiots! The rest of the world will adopt what we have shown them works best!
Posted by JBowyer, Friday, 21 February 2020 7:04:13 PM
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A lot of closed minds in the space JB. Other so open their brains fall out?

Others have decided long before any of the alternatives were ever considered that it had to be coal, it just had to be coal. Others welded to their ( vested interest) solar voltaic and battery backup.


And only economic if at all, due to current price gouging by privatised or corporatised power! Both of who would be forced to fold up the tent and move on if MSR thorium and consequent power prices came in at under 3 cents PKWH!

3 cents PKWH? How is that possible?

Well if the wholesale price of current nuclear power is 12 cents PKWH and a hugely expensive 350 MW reactor housed inside an inordinately expensive hardened building burning fuel that's as rare as platinum.

Requires 2551 tons of enriched fuel during a thirty-year operational lifetime. And produce as much as 2550 tons of nuclear waste.

Whereas MSR thorium, say a rejigged NON-PRESSURISED FUJI 350 MW, will rf four times more abundant fuel and require over the same time scale just one ton of four times more abundant fuel

And build costs just a fraction of that required for an equivalent coal-fired power station. That's how!

As for coal mining jobs? They will be lost to automation inside a decade, Some coal mining robots are already deployed to cut cost and remove humans from unsafe/hazardous workplaces.

I speak as a former power company employee, employed as a science assistant. Have also be employed underground, as an assayer/lab technician and as an industrial chemist. And would have handled radioactive material on a routinely daily basis.

So, am talking through a hole in my face not from far lower down as I suspect is where the anti-nuclear Author is speaking from? TBC.
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Saturday, 22 February 2020 9:55:57 AM
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